Cubs vs. Marlins Preview, Friday 9/17, 6:10 CT: A New Team To Dislike

For Cubs fans of my generation, we grew up hating the New York Mets, for what they did to us in 1969, and just the general attitude the franchise had. Since the wild card era began and the Mets aren't a divisional rival, though, that has faded.

I don't mind telling you I truly detest the Marlins. Not just for what they did to us in 2003, but for the fact that they have the worst stadium in the major leagues, absolutely horrid for watching baseball. There are no good seats there. And their own fans must agree -- since 1999 they have ranked no higher than 14th out of the 16 NL teams in attendance, and dead last the last five seasons. They're averaging 18,175 a game this year, which would give them a total of about 1,472,000 if they maintain it. The last time a Cubs team drew that few fans was in 1983.

Then there's the idiotic goat stuff they put on their video board. I don't really care if fans of another team make those silly taunts -- but the marketing department of another major league team? Classless.

And yet, they usually put a competitive team on the field and have a good shot at their third straight winning season. Here's how I feel: sweep 'em, and make all the games 10-0.

Game Three of the Southern League championship series between the Cubs affiliate Tennessee Smokies and the Marlins affiliate Jacksonville Suns begins tonight at 6:5 CDT. The best-of-five series is tied at one game each; the rest of the series is in Jacksonville. Here's the scoreboard page; I assume there will be a Gameday link and audio links there when the game starts.

And, the Dave Matthews Band will be playing Wrigley Field tonight and tomorrow. I'm not going, but if anyone here is, please post a review and/or photos.

Cubs lineup via tweet from CubsInsider:

Fukudome RF, Castro SS, Byrd CF, Ramirez 3B, Nady 1B, Soto C, Soriano LF, DeWitt 2B, Dempster P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Ryan Dempster
Ryan Dempster
vs. Alex Sanabia
Alex Sanabia
13-10 W-L 4-2
3.62 ERA 3.95
185 SO 37
78 BB 13
22 HR 4
vs. Fla -- vs. Cubs

2010 - Ryan Dempster 13-10 31 30 1 0 0 0 193.2 174 95 78 22 78 185 3.62 1.30

2010 - Alex Sanabia 4-2 12 9 0 0 0 0 54.2 59 26 24 4 13 37 3.95 1.32

Alex Sanabia is a San Diego native who was taken in the 32nd round by the Marlins in 2006. Now he's a major league starter and has thrown fairly well in 12 total appearances (nine starts). He has never faced the Cubs.

Ryan Dempster, who was drafted by the Marlins and played for them through 2002, has not faced them since last year and only three times as a starting pitcher (twice in 2008). In those games he has a 1.50 ERA, a win and two no-decisions, and 12 walks and 20 strikeouts in 18 innings. Chad Tracy -- remember him? -- has homered off Dempster, but not this year. Tracy, incidentally, is hitting almost exactly the same (.250 BA, .645 OPS) with the Marlins as he did with the Cubs (.250 BA, .622 OPS).

Today's game is on CSN Chicago and FSN Florida. Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Marlins site Fish Stripes. Go visit. They seem a little lonely over there.

Today's first pitch thread will be up at 6 pm CDT, and the overflows will post at 7:15 pm, 8:15 pm and 9 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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