FLB: Marlins preview

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That famous slogan, "You can't tell the players without a program," certainly applies to the 2006 Florida Marlins. That's assuming, of course, enough fans fill the seats that the team decides it's worthwhile to actually print programs; they didn't in 2002. That was the season in which the team set franchise-record lows for single-game attendance (4,466 on April 11, in their third home game of the season) and full-year attendance (813,111). Incredibly, this year's team is even less fan-friendly than the 2002 model.

Since Juan Pierre's RBI single against the Braves on Oct. 2 closed out the 2005 season, the list of those who have left the team include: manager Jack McKeon retired; A.J. Burnett, Jeff Conine, Juan Encarnacion, Alex Gonzalez and Todd Jones left via free agency; and Josh Beckett, Luis Castillo, Carlos Delgado, Paul Lo Duca, Mike Lowell, Guillermo Mota and Pierre were traded in five separate cost-cutting deals. The Marlins have trimmed about $45 million off what was a $60-million opening day 2005 payroll, leaving this team full of no-names and youngsters, one not much different from the 1998 fire-sale squad that lost 108 games.