Don Mattingly is all about social distancing, showing his team what’s up.

Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly is making sure his team knows how to social distance.

For anybody who grew up playing first base, you probably idolized Donnie Baseball for his slick fielding skills at first base for the New York Yankees. While team success evaded him in his borderline National Baseball Hall of Fame career, there’s a reason first basemen want to wear the No. 23 jersey, and it’s not because of Michael Jordan.

Now firmly in his second big league baseball life as an MLB skipper, Mattingly is making darn sure his club knows all the proper social distancing protocol in the midst of a global pandemic. Mattingly is no spring chicken himself, as his next birthday means he’ll be turn 60 years old. Here he is instructing his players and coaching staff how to maintain proper social distancing protocol.

The Miami Marlins will finish in first place at social distancing.

South Florida’s professional baseball has one of the strangest histories you’ll see out a club that isn’t even 30 years old yet. As one of the two 1993 MLB expansion teams, the then-Florida Marlins won their first World Series championship in their fifth year of existence in 1997. They did it as a Wild Card team and did it as a Wild Card team again in 2003.

That’s the last time the Marlins have been to the postseason. In fact, those are the only two times the Marlins have ever qualified for the postseason. They have never won the National League East in 27 tries, but both times they’ve been Wild Card teams, they’ve won the World Series and thus, have never lost a postseason series. It’s a small sample size, but that’s just crazy.

But is it crazy enough to think the Marlins will be anything more than cellar dwellers in the shortened 60-game MLB season? No, the Marlins will probably finish in last again. The Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals should be playoff teams, while the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies are certainly in the mix this year, especially in a massively shortened season.

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Then again, anything can happen. What if the Marlins go 50-10 in this 60-game season, win the NL East, the NL pennant and the whole shebang? That would be one unbelievable parlay, but with their proper social distancing protocols firmly enforced by Donnie Baseball himself, it could happen. If any team can win a World Series with an asterisk, why can’t it be the moribund Marlins?

If Donnie Baseball wins a World Series with these Marlins, put him in Cooperstown already.

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