Please explain to me why anyone in their right mind would choose to be a Marlins fan? After the antics they've pulled within the past year -- that have all come to a pinnacle as of Tuesday night -- I think it's safe to say they're the most poorly run franchise in baseball, if not all of sports.
Fans of the Florida...er, Miami, Marlins are ticked. And they should be.
It was just one year ago when Miami was a proud, big spender. Just months before the opening of their brand new $525 million ballpark in downtown, the Marlins went after free agents Heath Bell, Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Albert Pujols, signing three out of the four. It wasn't long after Opening Day that things began to fall apart quickly.
Ozzie Guillen, in his first year as manager in Miami from the White Sox and as outspoken as ever, praised Cuban leader Fidel Castro. All the local Cubans protested, the team suspended Guillen, but attendance never recovered. In fact, the Marlins had the lowest attendance of any team with a new ballpark in 20 years.
Add to the fact that the team was either injured or just awful and the Marlins are off to their third fire-sale in just over a decade. But this time, they have no excuses in regards to their ballpark or spending. They just have themselves to blame.
Just in the past year, the Marlins have:
- Spent way too much on a new ballpark with tax payer dollars that has extravagant amenities, such as a fish tank behind home plate
- Hired Ozzie Guillen.
- Faced protestors in response to Guillen's support of Castro
- Fired Ozzie Guillen
- Their president called Miamians 'stupid'
- Signed closer Heath Bell a 3-year $27 million deal.
- Removed Heath Bell from closer role
- Signed Jose Reyes to $106 million contract
- Traded Jose Reyes
- Signed Mark Buehrle to $52 million
- Traded Mark Buehrle
- Traded All-Star Hanley Ramirez
- Traded ace Josh Johnson, who will make $13.75 million in 2013 before being eligible for free agency.
That's right. The Marlins traded away Buehrle, Reyes, Johnson, catcher John Buck and speedster Emilio Bonifacio to the Blue Jays. In return they get:
Shortstop Yunel Escobar, starter Henderson Alvarez, infielder Adeiny Hechavarria, catcher Jeff Mathis, minor league pitchers Justin Nicolino and Anthony Desclafani and minor league outfielder Jake Marisnick.
Miami City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, who was opposed to the new ballpark, told The Washington Post, “Everybody in the world wants to talk about the Marlins and the fact they’re now a Triple-A team...The Marlins have lost pretty much all credibility with fans. Even if this trade is a positive move from a baseball standpoint, it won’t be viewed by the general public as a positive move.”
The blockbuster trade could save Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria $150 million, but the move is infuriating the baseball world to no end; writers, fans...even players.
Giancarlo Stanton, the last remaining star on the Marlins team, posted this to Twitter:
Radio talk show host Jeff DeForrest took calls from listeners shortly after news of the trade broke Tuesday. DeForrest told reporters, "The next move obviously is to have Fidel Castro throw out the first pitch next year. That’s the only way they could alienate the fans more than they have.”
The saddest news of all is that MLB commissioner Bud Selig is letting this happen. Miami doesn't look like it can support a team, even though they've won two World Series' in the past 12 years. As long as MLB wants a team there, there will be. However, it doesn't mean that Loria shouldn't watch his own back.
Then again, Montreal could use a team again. And they had some pretty good fans, didn't they?
Photo Credit: getty