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What do you need to see in order to believe?

A professor, a banker and a construction worker walk into a barbershop. Their perspectives cover the full spectrum of Marlins fandom.

Miami Marlins v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

“As a phoenix rises from the ashes, so do the Marlins from this rebuild.”

Yes, even the literature professor at this local barber shop has takes on the state of the Marlins. For better or worse, everybody does. When you inform the small crowd that you’re writing an article on how the community perceives the franchise during this rebuild, they don’t shy away from it. What began as a broad discussion evolved into a blunt assessment about what CEO Derek Jeter and Co. need to accomplish to earn trust from a fanbase that has felt betrayed by previous ownership.

More than two-thirds of the Fish Stripes audience already buys in, but they don’t necessarily represent the casual fan.

Meet four unique characters with four different mindsets.

The Professor: “I’ve already seen enough. Now, it’s about watching it continue to develop.”

Harold Ramirez #47 of the Miami Marlins celebrates his solo home run against the Detroit Tigers in the fourth inning at Comerica Park Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

The professor, and those of you who agree with him, got called a “blind supporter,” a “homer” and naïve. To be fair, expressing that kind of satisfaction with the rebuilding process while the Marlins remain buried deep in last place for the second straight campaign oozes of premature optimism. The contrast between those struggles and the successes of Christian Yelich and other ex-Marlins would drive many fans away.

However, the professor defends himself with the positives that he has observed thus far: improved farm system, international involvement, and success of young developing players. Moreover, he places his belief in the plan and the “reliability” of the rebuilding process as executed by the Astros and Cubs.

He has real conviction in this stance...knowing full well that he’s in the minority.

The Barber: “I’m a wait and see kind [of] guy. But as soon as they match the previous win total, count me in.”

We cannot blame the barber for choosing a somewhat centrist approach; after all, he ought to be careful not to alienate any of his customers.

Take note of the phrasing: “as soon as they match the previous win total…”

Many fail to realize how close the quality of Marlins baseball is at the moment compared to what it was when they last attempted to contend. On the morning of June 3, 2017, the Marlins had 22 wins. Fast-forward through all the teardown trades, the 2019 Marlins have 21 wins on the same date.

Lacking the experience and urgency, it’s doubtful that the current Marlins will wind up with 77 wins like the 2017 team. However, is this core trending in a positive direction? Can, say, the 2020 Marlins get to 77 or better? I would say that there is a fair chance of seeing them do just that.

Paired with a (projected) Top 10 farm system in baseball by next year, that’d be awfully refreshing for the barber to see.

The Banker: “I don’t believe yet, I won’t believe at 75 wins, either. I’ll believe when they are a playoff-competing team.”

Fish Stripes original GIF

The Banker used quite a few colorful words in the quote which I decided to leave out. He’s unsupportive of the rebuild, and he won’t be until they win when it matters. Many fans take this “show me” approach—you either win, or I’m not there.

There is no denying the magnitude of the outgoing talent in this rebuild. Keep the core together through 2019 and we’d be watching a quality team right now (albeit one with no depth whatsoever).

“They get to the playoffs, I’ll give them all my money…but you won’t find me at Marlins Park until then.”

The Construction Worker: “I’m not coming back, not until they win, they retain, and they do it again. Sc*** them!”

Miami Marlins v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Loud, direct, and not one to mince his words, the heavy-duty worker is flat-out angry. Projected success won’t be enough for him. Make it real and keep it going rather than ship away familiar faces.

As he lists all the players who are gone, going back to the 1998 fire sale, he concludes with Yelich. “That’s all you need to know.”

He himself conceded that he does not care much for the context of why. So what if the rebuild was justified? The short-term result is irrelevance, which causes him the ultimate pain.

“Winning. Do it again! Keep the players! And then I’ll [sarcastic tone with air quotes] believe.”

Which one are you? Do you find yourself as a mixture of a few, or an entirely new character that isn’t represented here? Let me know in the comments and on social media!


Which character are you?

This poll is closed

  • 62%
    The Professor
    (105 votes)
  • 15%
    The Barber
    (26 votes)
  • 8%
    The Banker
    (14 votes)
  • 9%
    The Construction Worker
    (16 votes)
  • 4%
    Combination (Tell us in the replies)
    (8 votes)
169 votes total Vote Now