The Marlins and Nationals enter their series in D.C. headed in completely opposite directions. Fast approaching the Memorial Day checkpoint of the season, they are tied(!!!!) in the loss column. While a six-game winning streak has alleviated some of Don Mattingly’s stress, Washington’s Dave Martinez could be out of a job as soon as this weekend with his club’s postseason hopes already fading.
A silver lining to Miami’s rebuilding season? Playing spoiler against opponents with high expectations. Opportunities don’t get much better than this.
Approximately 73% of Nats fans approved of Martinez as manager entering the 2019 campaign. That has plummeted all the way to 11% in the most recent FanPulse survey.
In all likelihood, Mattingly will also be out of a job this winter when his contract expires at the end of 2019, but at least the calls for his immediate dismissal have simmered down. Receiving 86% approval coming off an encouraging spring training, only 39% of fans were in his corner last week. That has since rebounded to 56% (coinciding with the winning streak).
We see another massive contrast in sentiment at the front office level. Both fanbases were ecstatic about their franchise’s long-term direction on Opening Day (95%); fast-forward two months, that number has dipped slightly for the Marlins (71%) and dramatically for the Nats (13%).
If you’ve spent any time at all on Fish Stripes lately, you know we are putting a heavy emphasis on the 2019 MLB Draft. So is the Marlins front office, thankfully, with CEO Derek Jeter spotted on the grounds of the SEC baseball tournament on Wednesday in Alabama, then heading west to Arizona for the Pac-12 tourney on Thursday.
The old regime frequently squandered great draft position over the past decade, which contributed to keeping the Marlins in a perpetual state of mediocrity. But two-thirds of FanPulse voters believe Jeter, Gary Denbo and the rest of the braintrust will get it right this time.
The Marlins select at No. 4 overall, followed by No. 35 and No. 46 (then one pick in every round after that).
Nationally, 60% of fans said they prefer their teams to target safer, quick-to-the-majors college prospects over high-risk/high-reward prep talent (40%).
More polling and illustrations next week! Sign up here to give us a balanced representation of the Marlins fanbase.