"Klotz" As In "Blood"

A Testament to the Insidious Impact of Florida Sunshine on Brain Matter

Friday, March 31, 2006

A Momentary Lapse of Season

Filed under: Playing With Balls — Steve @ 1:01 am

Has anybody noticed that the Florida Marlins’ baseball starts Monday? Coincidentally, it will commence about the same time as Major League Baseball’s, although there is no apparent connection.

“We worked diligently all through the off-season, starting with the fire sale of our expensive, major league players, to reduce roster payroll,” proudly states a Marlins press release. “On opening day we will have the least expensive team in the major leagues — under $15 Million! No, of course we won’t be competitive. But we urge South Floridians to come out, buy tickets, and root for the temporary home-team losers!”

Temporary,” of course modifies “home team,” not “losers.”

Ownership’s approach, while deviating from professional standards that encourage competition, excellence, and emphasis on victory, seems perfectly suited for South Florida audiences. “It’s not like we have real baseball fans here,” commented one Marlins flak. “It’s kinda like people who rush into restaurants for early bird specials. They’re not interested in good food or quality dining experiences, they just want cheap. Well, we know cheap and we got it in spades!”

The team that starts the season, consisting of minor leaguers and washed-up second-rate veterans, anticipates losing at least 100 games by October. Maybe by August (is that even possible?). Fewer than two dozen season tickets have been sold — a world record — and crowds are expected to range between 200 and 1,000 on weekends, barring rain.

“Except when the Yankees, Mets, Cubs, RedSox, or Cardinals come to town,” confided the flak. “After all, those teams have fans.”

Marlins officials expressed regret that their plan to skip every other game this season, reducing the schedule to 81 games and saving half the budget, was rejected by the league. “They said it would screw up the schedule,” reported a (part time/discount ) team accountant, disgustedly. “Like that’s more important than the bottom line.”

Also, contrary to reports about the team’s payroll, there is no thought to change the name of the team to the “Florida Bargains,” reflecting management’s scant commitment to payroll and quality play. “We’d have to change the uniforms, logos, and printed materials,” said the official, dismissively. “That would cost money. We’re not into that We’re businessmen.”

14 Responses to “A Momentary Lapse of Season”

  1. Coconut Grove Grapevine Says:

    Will anyone show up for the wayard marlins opener?

  2. John Says:

    Thankless, thankless, thankless. I’m a Yankees fan but these dudes have done more than any team with a small market and lack of fans. Man, you guys are brutal!

  3. Fan Says:

    This is the deadest-on and most succinct commentary
    on the 2006 Marlins I’ve read. What has happened to this team – TWICE! – should never have been allowed.
    What kind of owners are these bastards that they would do this to their team, their fans, and Baseball? I’m a fan, and I’m just sick about it.

    Harry Frazee, President
    Boston Red Sox
    Dec 26, 1919

  4. Another Fan Says:

    The last few games I went to the fans all around me seemed much more interested in having conversations on their cell phones, ordering food, running into the concessions area to see something else on the TV. It’s no wonder management slashed their budget by getting rid of all the big ticket players. They probably think no one will notice. What’s even worse, they’re probably right. And no matter how much I enjoy the game, I’m dead set against paying for a new stadium. I think with all the money management is now saving they can certainly afford to pay for their own damn stadium.

  5. John Says:

    I’ve heard every reasonable baseball person (managers, coaches)say that small market teams have to catch players on their upward trajectory or find great players that still have something left but have been forgotten about. They can’t carry big payrolls like major markets. It makes perfect sense.

    Miami is the ULTIMATE small market team, a small city with an even smaller middle class. People have other franchises in each major sport. AND the Marlins are an expansion team. Despite that, the Marlins are the second most successful team in terms of WS championships since their inception. It’s not the team, you guys. You are just THE SUCKIEST fans in the universe! THE (long e) SUCKIEST (long suck).

  6. mkh Says:

    This may be unusual for me, but I’m going to defend the fans here. Miami was on its way to building a strong baseball fan base when the Marlins won the WS the first time. When Wayne showed the community his appreciation for their support by butchering the team and selling off the star players to make some quick money, a large number of nascent baseball fans decided it wasn’t worth it.

  7. Hugh Bris Says:

    I agree with mkh. I also agree with John. Miami sports fans are truly terrible They know shit about sports they’re way too focused on irrelevant crap like personalities, colleges, payrolls, etc. Baseball takes time, and these fans need even more to get interested and stay focused. But I think it would happen if ownership measured its market and stayed with it, brought it along at its own pace, worked to the crowd to teach the game and the culture as well as to build loyalty. You can’t do that if you’re just out to make money. They had a great team and terrific opportunity which they just blew off. Typical Florida tale of missed chances.

  8. Big Sports Fan Says:

    Hey guys, come on. Baseball is boring. That’s why there’re no fans. Where’s the blood & guts. The only time it gets interesting is when the benches empty. And did you notice, most of the players have all their teeth? If you want to attract fans bring in the cheer-leaders….oh and make them top-less

  9. Living Will Says:

    In my experience, people who say “baseball is boring” don’t know a whole lot about baseball: basically they’re waiting for the batter to hit the ball and don’t know what else is happening. I hear that a lot in Florida, and a lot of those same people watch football, which bores me to tears. For every 5 seconds of action there’s 25 of standing around.

    Y’know what? Big Sports Fan has a point. To hell with all this. Bring back gladiators fghting to the death and toss in some burning Christians. Topless and sweating. That’ll solve the fan shortage.

  10. Billy The Marlin Says:

    Does anyone know where I can unload a stinky fish suit?

  11. berry berry good 2 me Says:

    Last night’s game – the Opener! – was actually one of the better games we’ll see this year because it had great pitching and wasn’t an error-filled blow-out. (Instead it was an error-filled heartbreaker.) These kids might be fun to watch because they play real hard, but they’re destined to lose to seasoned professionals. In a shallow sports town like this, where winning is the only reason people watch, that’s bad news.

    Hope you keep posting about baseball now and then!

  12. Miami Harold Says:

    “Florida Bargains,” huh? Some bargain.
    I watched last night.
    I watched as the team’s bloated owner,
    dressed in his pajama top shirt,
    sat there chewing his cud without a moment of remorse
    for what he’d done to this team, this town,
    his star pitcher and third base phenom,
    and to baseball in general.
    And I watched as his gnomish bespectacled son-in-law,
    coincidentally the team President,
    made filthy lucre love to the future team hosts
    in the city of San Antonio.
    And I watched a bunch of over-matched kids
    play their hearts out,
    licking their lips, wetting their pants.
    Berry berry sad. Berry berry wrong.

  13. Robert Says:

    I agree with mkh. The fanbase was also on its way up after the second title in 2003. We have been stigmatized with selfish ownership.

    I think we have a lot of latent fans who given the right stadium and the assurance that they won’t have to sit through a 2 hour rain delay, will go to the games and support the team. How else can you explain the fact that Marlins’ TV ratings are actually quite high? Fans are cheap? Well, that may be true for some, but I think a new stadium here would work. We DO have some good baseball fans, unfortunately we’ve been treated like crap.

    The Marlins should take a page from the Dolphins as far as how to build a fan base. It takes time and care for your community and your customers (fans). It also takes converting stubborn transplants who don’t want to give up their allegiances to their long lost hometowns. When are those people going to accept the fact that they live HERE, not THERE?!

  14. Hose B Says:

    Robert writes: “When are those people going to accept the fact that they live HERE, not THERE?”

    Ha! Perfecto comeback!
    I love baseball and I want to stay a Marlins fan but what are they doing to us? And why is the Herald’s coverage so lame? Who asre those assholes on the sports talk stations and why do they know shit about the game? Forget the transplants: build up from the kids. You need a 20-year plan, not a 12 month P&L.

Leave a Reply