The Marlins were generating a lot of buzz going into this season. They were opening a new ballpark in Miami and changed their name from the Florida Marlins to the Miami Marlins. In addition to the change of name, the Marlins added players like Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle, Padres pitcher Heath Bell and Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano to ramp up the excitement even more. And for good measure, the Marlins brought in World Series-winning manager Ozzie Guillen to guide this team. The scene was set for the Marlins to make a run at another championship.
(Ozzie Guillen frustrated via www.fishstripes.com )
Fast forward to now and the Marlins are in fourth place in their division and everthing is looking like a disappointment. They just shipped shortstop/third baseman Hanley Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers for some minor league players. And before that, the Marlins shipped infielder Omar Infante and pitcher Anibal Sanchez to the Detroit Tigers for prospects. The vote is in. The Marlins are having another firesale. And just like that, the optimism in has quickly gone to disappointment.
After seeing the rebuild and unload method happen over and over again in Miami, I am sure that they find a way to build and contend again. But can they continue to do this at the expense of the fans? It seems like the fans get robbed more years than they get rewarded with this team. If you look at the team’s history, when they have won a championship, they have pretty much unloaded the team during the off-season or during the next season’s trade deadline. What team does that over and over again?
(An excited fan via www.photoblog.msnbc.msn.com )
The fans in Miami, although they do not show up a lot, do not deserve this type of treatment from the organization. In my opinion, two things must happen in order for this organization to survive on South Beach. The first thing that they must do is retain some of their homegrown talents. Pitcher AJ Burnett, infielder Miguel Cabrera, first baseman Derek Lee and third baseman/shortstop Hanley Ramirez are all special talents that grew up in the Marlin organization. Fast forward to now and none are there anymore. The Marlins shipped these players out for other young talents instead of trying to build some familiarity with the players among their fans. This clearly shows me that the Marlins are a cheap team. In order to get the fans to come out, the Marlins must pay to keep their in-house talent in Miami so the fans can recognize the team that represents their city. Next, the Marlins must reach out to the city and try to be involved. Maybe they could learn from the Miami Heat and be more visable in the community. It seems to me like the organization is one that cries about the fans not coming but does not do much to persuade them to come or even become more endebted to them.
If these two things are not done, then it won’t be long before the Marlins are gone in Miami. And if they leave Miami, baseball may never come back to South Beach.
What do you think of the Miami Marlins? Thoughts on the newest firesale?
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