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The Worst Marlins News Yet

I know Wiggins was trying to lift everyone's spirits earlier, but I just saw this over at Baseball Musings.

I can't even bring myself to type or quote the particulars, so you'll have to go over there to read it. If this means what it seems to mean, this is worse than just about any potential trade (because it will likely mean a slew of trades and other idiocy).

Baseball Musings story

Actually, after thinking about this for a minute, it makes sense -- if speculation can be believed. I believe that Mr. Loria is going through a divorce at the moment. The story has always been that Mrs. Loria is the source of the money in the relationship. Mrs. Loria is, of course, the former Ms. Samson -- aka David Samson's mother. Thus the pieces of the puzzle add up.

Update: It seems that it's now time for everyone to pile on and blame fans (or the lack thereof) as the root of all the team's problems. I think that's a little unfair.

If you step back in time, the Marlins averaged about 15,000 people per game in 2001. In 2002, the first year of the current ownership group, attendance plummeted to just over 10,000 per game. In 2003, the year the Fish won the World Series, attendance climbed to 16,290. In 2004, with folks bought into the team, attendance climbed to 22,091. While you wouldn't know it from the recent reports, attendance did improve this year (albeit slightly) to 22,792.

Don't get me wrong, Marlins' attendance is by no means great. Far from it. Actually, attendance has been pretty pathetic. But all things considered, the trend is still up. Maybe it's not up enough, but that's not all on the fans.

A big part of that (if not all of it) is on the team. Marketing efforts are largely pathetic (the biggest concentrated marketing effort has been to introduce orange as a team color). Fringe fans are constantly told about the inadequacies of the stadium, the threat of rain, the distance to the stadium from population centers, how much we suck as fans, and on and on.

I'm disappointed today -- even more than I was over the weekend when I saw Beckett's name added to the list of tradeable players. Now I fear that we're being subjected to what fans in Brooklyn were before the Dodgers moved out West. If you study up on what happened there, you'll find that the team talked down the fan support and talked about how bad their stadium (Ebbets) was and how they needed a new park. When none of that came (and LA threw the world at them), the Dodgers moved. If not for the fiercely loyal fan base that they left behind in Brooklyn, we would all remember the Brooklyn fans the way that Marlins fans are going to be remembered by history: as few and far between, uncaring, dispassionate, and unintersted.

Ownership is playing a game here. They're using the media to get their message out. We, the fans, aren't who are being played. We're just an after thought in this whole mess. The people who are getting played in this game are the politicans -- both in Miami/South Florida and in whatever municipality has their heart strings tugged at enough in order to get them to pony up the money for a ballpark and whatever else the Marlins demand.

If you're a fan, you've been warned. Be prepared to have your heart broken. I'm not saying that you should stop being a fan (at least that's not what I going to do). But it is time to accept the reality: the fire sale is on. When it's over, it's unlikely that we'll even have a team of prospects to watch develop. The last time it happened (1998), at least we got that. This time, they're going to move the team somewhere else.