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Miami Marlins Search For Team Identity In Final Weeks

The Miami Marlins seemed to be planning to win in the near future, before a disappointing 2012 season. The final weeks of the schedule will go a long way for this team as it continues to evaluate talent.

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 28:  Ozzie Guillen speaks as the Florida Marlins introduce him as their new manager during a press conference at Sun Life Stadium on September 28, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 28: Ozzie Guillen speaks as the Florida Marlins introduce him as their new manager during a press conference at Sun Life Stadium on September 28, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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Judging from the moves the Marlins made this offseason by signing Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell, hiring Ozzie Guillen as their manager and moving into a brand new state of the art stadium, it seemed as if the team had the intention of winning right away, or at least soon.

There's been a change of course as the season has progressed. Miami didn't perform nearly as well as expected and eventually Hanley Ramirez was shipped to the Dodgers. Reyes has filled his role in the batting lineup for the most part, and the Carlos Lee trade gives them some power to lean on. But unlike when the season began, this doesn't look like a team built to win now.

So how the Marlins' remaining pieces perform in the final weeks of the season will go a long way in determining where to go from here. Fish Stripes has these Ozzie Guillen quotes we'll share with you here:

"If we're going to be younger here, then OK, what kind of young team are we going to have? Are we going to go forward, or are we going to stay the same? If we're going to go young, just go young, and suffer for a couple of years and see what happens. Or are you going to compete, and make a mix [of veterans with young players]? Then who's coming here to make the mix? It's all a process."

Guillen, never bashful a day in his life, went on:

"We've got to sit down, look at the talent and be realistic about the talent that we have. The front office, they know better than me, this team. But we cannot miss too much more on the evaluation of the ballclub, of the team."

Read more on the Marlins at Fish Stripes and SB Nation Tampa Bay. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.