After two weeks, the Marlins are nine games out; I've seen worse

By Danny Knobler | Baseball Insider

Two weeks into the season, and the Marlins are already nine games out of first place.

Nine games. The Yankees haven't been nine games out of first place since 2008. The Marlins are nine games out of first place, and the season has barely begun.

I've seen worse.

In the 19 years of the six-division format, the Marlins are just the fourth team to fall at least 8 1/2 games behind this early in a season. I covered two of them.

The 2003 Tigers (who would go on to lose 119 games) were 8 1/2 games behind the Royals after two weeks. The Tigers were 1-10; the Royals were 9-1.

The 2002 Tigers (who in some ways had a more miserable season than the 2003 group) were an amazing 10 1/2 games back after just two weeks. The Tigers were 0-11; the Indians were 11-1.

The 2003 Royals didn't ride their strong start to a division title. They barely finished over .500, at 83-79, good for third place behind the Twins and White Sox.

The 2002 Indians were even worse, finishing 74-88 after firing Charlie Manuel at midseason.

But the Tigers were as bad as it looked, both years. They lost 106 in 2002 and 119 in 2003.

The other team that was this far out this early? The 2009 Nationals (1-10), who trailed the Marlins (11-1) by 9 1/2 games.

The Nationals were another triple-digit loser, at 59-103. The Marlins were another hot starter that didn't make the playoffs, finishing 87-75.

Hot starts don't always hold up. Terrible starts almost always turn into terrible seasons. Don't ask me why.

The Marlins are headed to a terrible season. Count on it.

But you probably didn't need the 2-10 start to tell you that.

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