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Who's to Blame

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I wasn't sure how to title this since it is probably covering many different things that overlap.  But nonetheless, here it is.

Most of the articles today are about the fire sale and who is to blame.

Dan Le Batard leads-off.

Sports fans have a bad habit of wanting teams to be unlike any other workplaces -- to act like utopian playpens instead of the corporations that they are.

Actually, the Florida Marlins are a L.P. and not a corporation, and yes, I know the difference.  They operate about in the same way with the main difference being legal liability. But we will leave that aside for now.

Mr. Le Batard goes on.

We've seen it most recently with the unpopular and cheap Florida Marlins, Inc. Any other failing and flailing business can have an everything-must-go sale, and it is understandable desperation. But this sports team does it, and it is allegedly betraying all the customers it doesn't even have.

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South Florida is the worst baseball town in the country, and there is plenty of blame to go around for that. Blame a flawed baseball business model that demands taxpayer help. Blame god-awful rain. Blame a poor city and indifferent fans. Blame an ownership group that is hard to trust. Blame Cabrera for being too good at his job, making him too valuable, and Larry Beinfest for being too good at his. Young Devil Rays and Pirates don't seem to get too expensive too fast.

But don't blame the Marlins for behaving like what they are.

It isn't fair to tell them to spend when you aren't willing to do the same.

And then there is the conclusion that is this one draws.

am not a fan of the Marlins, but I think it would be a shame to lose a team in that area of the country. Marlins fans should stand up and show some support for their team, no matter what kind of team is on the field. That would be a step towards keeping the Marlins from heading towards seemingly greener pastures.

Of course, what is more interesting on the topic is what Marlins fans, themselves, actually think.

Photi gives his opinion.

Gamefish also chimes in.

In the major media, the fans are as much to blame, if not more so, than the organization.  While it is true that the Marlins have never drawn crowds comparable to the size of the population of the area.  That is not the entirely the fault of the fans.

Mr. Le Batard criticizes us for not spending, i.e. not attending the games and instead watching them on television.  He may have a point, if the games were played in a decent location and in a stadium that was conducive for baseball.  But that is not the way it is.  And even if everyone switched off their televisions, made the long trek, paid the all the tolls and the unbelievable high parking fees, bought tickets and concessions -- just how much of that money would end up in the hands of the franchise?  Last time I looked at the lease figures, it wouldn't be that much.

And then there is the team constantly selling off the best and most productive players in the franchise.  Which doesn't exactly make one want to rush out and spend the time, effort and money just to have your heart snatched from your chest and the front office stomp that sucker flat, one more time.

I know the team doesn't have the revenue streams that most all, if not all, other teams possess.  I understand the Marlins don't have the ability to operate in the same manor.

But when they start selling off 24 and 25 year-old players, you can't expect the fans to react in a positive manner.

Photi, Gamefish, you and me are uber-fans.  And are probably the best fans there are in the sporting world today, or maybe anytime for that matter.  We put up with more crap, but for reasons unknown to ourselves, we still love our team.  But this is getting old.

Maybe if I found joy in the fact that the Marlins are clearing a profit instead of wanting to watch my favorites compete playing baseball in South Florida, I would be content.  Don't get wrong, I'm happy the team is making money, but it doesn't sit well when it is all at the expense of losing the best players.  And nor should it.