Mr. Brattain has a new piece on the Marlins and their current situation up over at The Hardball Times. There usually isn't much written about the Marlins on sites like these, so I thought this was worth sharing.
I generally don't agree with the premise presented in this article. In my opinion, Samson and Loria aren't dumb as much as they are simply not wealthy enough to do the things that the ownership of a major league baseball team should be capable of doing. Maybe they are dumb too.
I also don't begrudge them sticking their hands out for public money. If I thought I had a chance at a nine-figure handout, I'd devote some time and resources to making that happen too.
That said, I agree that the Marlins should have been doing a better job all along of promoting the numerous positives that surround this franchise. There's not much reason that Miguel Cabrera, Dontrelle Willis, and/or Josh Beckett aren't the level of superstar in Miami that Dwayne Wade is for the Heat or that Jason Taylor is for the Dolphins.
Speaking of the Dolphins, I took specific issue with this comment in Brattain's article:
Are the Dolphins really all that popular? In South Florida, they undoubtedly are. But until I moved to Miami, I wasn't aware of the alleged world-class and dynastic reputation that the team and Dol-fans have bewstowed upon the organization.
Sure, except for last year, the Dolphins have generally fielded a very good team, but in my lifetime they've trailed the 49ers, Cowboys, and now the Patriots (you could probably even throw the Redskins, Giants, and Bills ahead of the Dolphins, in terms of on field accomplishments in recent times) in terms of sustained dominance and post-season success. Somehow the Dolphins are able to latch on to a legacy from the 1970s. You'd never know it from the aura that surrounds this team, but the Dolphins have won as many road playoff games in my lifetime (one) as the lowly Cardinals (of Arizona and St. Louis).
Somehow though, the Marlins have not been able to market themselves, as the Dolphins have, so that they will be able to rest on their 1997 and 2003 laurels when 2030 comes around. Sure, a lot of that has to do with the Marlins not being the only pro-game in town, like the Dolphins were for a long time. But much of it is also due to the Marlins inability - through three ownership groups - to market themselves appropriately.