No one is expecting the Miami Marlins to break everything down and try to rebuild again slowly, as they did in 2006.
However, just in case some in their front office are tempted to do just that, Dan Uggla has a word of caution.
Uggla, now playing second base for the Braves, was one of the all-time great finds in the Rule V draft in December 2005. He hit the ground running, quickly finding his stride amid a low-pressure environment with few people in the stands at Sun Life Stadium.
Things are different, he says, now that the Marlins have their own taxpayer-funded stadium.
"When you have a new stadium, I don't know everything that goes along with it, but you need to put out a product people are going to be excited about," Uggla said after Wednesday's game at Marlins Park. "People don't want to see [no-names]. They want to see a young, budding superstar that comes up every once in a while, like a [Giancarlo] Stanton. That's exciting to watch."
What isn't acceptable anymore, Ugglas suggested, is "to bring in what we did in '06, and being like, 'Who are these no-name guys? What's going to happen?' "
The 2006 Marlins, with a majors-low payroll of just $15 million, became one of the best surprise success stories in recent times, even if manager Joe Girardi wasn't able to return for a second season.
"It ended up working out and they learned to love us," Uggla said of Marlins fans. "But yeah, you have to put out a product like Jose Reyes, those caliber of players."
So would Uggla be surprised if the Marlins tried to mount another three-year rebuilding plan?
"I would," he said. "But then again, who's to say? These guys [in the Marlins executive suite], they kind of march to the beat of a different drum than the rest of the league, which has worked for them in the past. That's the way they do things. I'll tell you what, it's what got my career started, Josh Willingham, Hanley [Ramirez], a lot of guys. A lot of really great players have come through this organization."
Trouble is, they never seem to wind up staying very long.