It's only one series against a team that also finished 2013 in the cellar, but the everyone in attendance can clearly see that these Miami Marlins are not like the Marlins for yesteryear.
Last season, the young Marlins sported a young staff of pitching phenoms but also looked like they were swinging with whiffle ball bats. Now there's fight, there's leadership, and most importantly, there's hope.
“The Pirates were in a similar spot," said former Pirate and current Marlins first baseman Garrett Jones, "and we turned things around and had a winning season."
There are definitely similarities between this year's Marlins team and the Pirates that had their first winning season and postseason appearance since 1992.
The Pirates were built on young top-notch talent but had veteran players like Russell Martin, Jason Grilli, Clint Barmes and Jones himself as the group who on top of their own performance, corrals the young talent together and turns it into success.
The Marlins have that now, and even though they’re plenty of similarities, no one player on the Marlins roster gives off any resemblance to a player on Jones’ former team.
“Everybody has their own unique personality, but it all blends into good team chemistry. The Pirates definitely have talent but the Marlins definitely has talent both offensivly and defensively.
“We’re becoming closer with each guy like [Christian] Yelich. But we got me, [Casey] McGee and [Jarrod Saltalamacchia] talk to guys and just keeping them loose, having fun and tell them to don’t put pressure on yourself.”
The Marlins face the San Diego Padres this weekend and will have a chance to test themselves against the NL East division during the month of April.