The Marlins' plans to host the Mets in a three-game series in San Juan, Puerto Rico, this season are close to being finalized, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
With the Marlins set to open a new stadium in 2012, they'll use the preceding two seasons to strengthen the South Florida market as a "Gateway to the Americas." The club is also looking to host an additional series in Puerto Rico in 2011.
"Our view of it is that with our ballpark coming online, there's no question in my mind we're the team of the Americas," team president David Samson said, according to the newspaper.
I was under the impression that the team was going to be referred to as the Miami Marlins in 2012, not the "Marlins of the Americas." Exactly how many dollars is Puerto Rico contributing to fund the Marlins' new ballpark?
Mr. Samson can wax eloquent about being a gateway to the Americas and spreading the game internationally, but the truth is that the Mets are much more of a draw in Puerto Rico than the Marlins, however jacking a series from Fish fans will cause much less of an uproar than if Mets fans were denied one of their home series this summer.
As a fan who attends games most often on Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday, when the Puerto Rico series would take place, this decision (clearly) doesn't sit well with me. Taking away one of our home series, especially such a popular one, is shortchanging Marlins fans and season ticket holders. And please hold the standard response, "what fans and ticketholders?" Even if local fans aren't exactly coming out to the stadium in droves, I'll bet a limb that we outnumber those who now or ever will fly in from Puerto Rico.
It's not the Marlins job to spread the game internationally or to bring baseball to the Americas. It's their job to build a loyal fan base in South Florida. Moving one of the most popular home series of the season a plane ride away isn't going to help make that happen.
[Steps off soapbox.]