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Land Shark Stadium? - Cubs vs. Marlins Preview, Friday 7/31, 6:10 CT

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I did not know this until I started looking up info on the Marlins for this series, but about three months ago, Dolphin Stadium, where the Marlins play, was renamed "Land Shark Stadium":

Miami, FL – Friday, May 8, 2009: Owner and Managing General Partner of The Miami Dolphins, Stephen M. Ross, and celebrated singer songwriter Jimmy Buffett have today announced that Dolphin Stadium will be renamed Land Shark Stadium. This unique branding will bring Buffett’s Margaritaville and Land Shark themes to enhance the game-day experience for Dolphans.

Today Jimmy will unveil the new lyrics to his iconic song "FINS", written expressly for the team and all Dolphin fans in South Florida. In addition, in recognition of this unprecedented relationship, the stadium will be renamed Land Shark Stadium.

Note, there is not a single mention of the Marlins in that entire press release. I'll bet the Marlins ownership is extremely happy that they will be, at last, getting their own new stadium in 2012. Joe Robbie Pro Player Dolphin Land Shark Stadium is, hands down, the worst stadium for baseball I have ever been to.

That said, let's win this series. The Cubs won two of three in south Florida last year; a repeat would be very welcome.

For those of you who complain about the state of the Cubs' farm system, note that there have been no fewer than seven pitchers who have pitched for the Cubs this year who started the season at Iowa: Randy Wells, Jose Ascanio, Kevin Hart, Jeff Samardzija, Jason Waddell, Jeff Stevens and Mitch Atkins. Most of those pitchers, particularly Wells and the just-traded Hart, have made significant positive contributions. Add to that list position players Jake Fox, Sam Fuld, Andres Blanco and Bobby Scales, and that makes 11 Cub minor leaguers who have helped the major league team win this year. Most of them aren't going to be superstars or even everyday players -- but I don't think you could name another team that's gotten as much help from its minor league system as the Cubs have in 2009.

Lineup via Twittermyer, who also notes that Soriano is just getting a day off because he is hitless vs. Volstad:

Fukudome, cf; Theriot, ss; Lee, 1b; Ramirez, 3b; Bradley, rf; Fox, lf; Fontenot, 3b; Hill, c; Harden, p
Today's Starting Pitchers
Rich Harden
Rich Harden
Cubs
vs. Chris Volstad
Chris Volstad
Marlins
7-6 W-L 8-9
4.55 ERA 4.44
104 SO 86
38 BB 39
18 HR 21
vs. Fla -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Rich Harden 7-6 18 17 0 0 0 0 93.0 86 52 47 18 38 104 4.55 1.33


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Chris Volstad 8-9 22 21 1 1 0 0 125.2 120 66 62 21 39 86 4.44 1.27

Chris Volstad has pitched well in three career starts vs. the Cubs (2.84 ERA) but has three no-decisions to show for them. His last outing vs. the Cubs was April 30 at Wrigley Field, a boxscore you probably don't want to look at. Mike Fontenot is the Cub who has hit him best -- 4-for-8, a HR.

Since the All-Star break Rich Harden has been the guy we got last year -- 2-0 with a 0.95 ERA, 21 strikeouts and two walks in 19 innings. Keep up the good work! Harden also has three starts vs. tonight's opponent, though with a 4.40 ERA; he pitched poorly against the Marlins at Wrigley Field on May 1. Only two Marlins have homered off him: Dan Uggla and Jeremy Hermida.

The Cubs are back to cable-only today, CSN Chicago and FSN Florida. For other games today see the MLB.com Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Marlins site Fish Stripes.

Overflow comment threads will post today at 7:15 pm, 8:15 pm and 9 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.