Being a Marlins fan means being subjected to constant ridicule, most of which no longer applies to the revamped franchise. Why can’t the media and opposing fans just get their facts straight?
Here are the Top 10 myths that you’re tired of hearing!
1. “The Marlins are going to leave Miami”
Reality: The Miami Marlins have a no-relocation agreement with the City of Miami that disallows any relocation and/or negotiations for relocation until the year 2047. For those stating that the agreement was altered by the transition of ownership, this is also false—transfer of ownership was only allowed if “new franchise owner(s) agree in writing prior to transfer, to assume all Marlins obligations….[including] Non-Relocation Agreement and Ballpark Management Agreement.”
The Marlins are not ever (or at least for 30+ years) relocating to another city. (A THREAD):— Danny Martinez (@DannyM_MIA) June 20, 2019
With the Rays news, this felt necessary to quiet those that love this threat
I got my hands on the agreement for Marlins Park (it’s public, you could do the same).
Here are some notes
Ex-Marlins president David Samson confirmed these findings via his verified Twitter account.
2. “Attendance is even worse than before”
Reality: Bruce Sherman and his ownership group drastically changed the method for recording game attendance at Marlins home games. This is now one of the few sports franchises to solely count turnstile figures. If you bought your ticket and are at the game, you count towards attendance; everyone else is no longer included (i.e. giveaway, no-show tickets). Loria, as well as a vast majority of other professional teams, use inflated figures.
Forbes reported the following on the Marlins attendance:
“Reported attendance was off 51%, but paid attendance was roughly flat, as the team did away with inflating attendance figures that often doubled the actual ticket sales.”
Is attendance good? Of course not. But reality is that has not changed much from prior figures. This is more about the organization being transparent.
3. “Miami will never support baseball”
Reality: Myths #1 and #2 were countered objectively. I’m leaning more heavily on subjectivity for our third myth, so feel free to test the logic.
Firstly, this is South Florida, and if there is one thing our fanbases do well, it is know when to support their teams. Require some examples? How about we go to the gold standard of Miami sports: the Miami Heat.
From 2002 to 2005, the Heat ranked 19th, 22nd, 24th, and 4th respectively among 29 NBA teams in attendance. The now-powerful Miami Heat fanbase—of which I have been a season ticket holder—went from bottom-third of league attendance to top shelf.
What happened? The Heat became good. Down here, it is truly that simple.
Moreover, whenever the Marlins have been good (i.e. two playoffs), South Florida filled a stadium with a 60,000-plus seating capacity every single night. Those crowds still remain amongst the most-attended games in modern baseball history. If the Marlins win, the city will show up...just like with the Heat.
4. “They didn’t have to rebuild…they were only two pitchers away”
Reality: Adding two pitchers to the 2017 Marlins core would’ve led toward them being a consistent World Series competitor? That’s a logical fallacy.
The core of Stanton, Yelich, Ozuna, etc. averaged 75 wins together, never made the playoffs, never even reaching a .500 W-L record. Also, the Marlins ranked dead last in farm system talent, leaving no reinforcements to complement those stars or to be used as assets to acquire talent via trades.
By the way, which two pitchers would take a 75-win team without a farm system to being World Series contention? None of the critics ever bother specifying that. I’ll continue to wait for a response in the replies.
5. “They didn’t get anything for their trades”
Reality: Through their rebuilding trades, the Marlins received eight players with Top 100 prospect pedigree (meaning those who actively held that distinction at the time of the trade, or had recently graduated or fluctuated from it). They are Sixto Sanchez, Isan Diaz, Monte Harrison, Lewis Brinson, Jorge Guzman, Jorge Alfaro, Sandy Alcantara, and Nick Neidert. In addition, they also received Jordan Yamamoto, Zac Gallen (currently a Top 100 prospect), Magneuris Sierra, Jose Devers, Will Stewart, and Starlin Castro.
A once-decimated Marlins farm system, now ranks #10 according to Baseball America across Major League Baseball. If this accounts to “not getting anything for their trades”, then what does?
Lastly, it is important to mention some of the overlooked obstacles that prevented the Marlins from receiving even more in their trade returns. Giancarlo Stanton’s no-trade clause, Marcell Ozuna’s two-year control, and Christian Yelich publicly requesting a trade lead that list of often unspoken variables.
6. “Two MVP’s…”
Reality: Stanton was the only player traded away that was an MVP for the Marlins. While I agree with applauding Christian Yelich for winning MVP the following season, it’s a stretch to believe that his leap in production would’ve happened had he not been traded. There were only two teams, per Craig Mish, that made realistic offers for Yelich. Two. You’d think more teams would have been pounding down the door for an “MVP.”
Yearly reminder : At crunch time only two teams really had decent offers in on Yelich. Brewers & Blue Jays. Stearns won executive of the year for good reason. He stepped up, 25+ other teams didn’t even really try. Perspective.— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) April 16, 2019
7. “Can’t believe all the young pitchers the Marlins had, and they still rebuilt”
Reality: This is one of the laziest myths out there. It also contradicts Myth #4. The narrative is centered around breakout pitchers Luis Castillo, Domingo Germán, Chris Paddack, etc. When their impressive 2019 campaigns began making the news, baseball media maximizing attention for their “ex-Marlins” content by often deciding not to distinguish between the Loria era and the Bruce Sherman era. That, in turn, misleads fans into believing that they had been traded in the recent rebuild.
In reality, the Marlins had none of them remaining in the organization after 2017. These fine young pitchers would have made the rebuild truly unnecessary, but new ownership never had the opportunity to maximize their potential.
8. “Marlins ownership has no money and will never spend”
Reality: We have no way of knowing if Sherman and Co. will ever spend heavily on player payroll, but the belief that they do not have the resources to compete is objectively false.
Of the financials given access to, via Forbes and other public business domains, the Marlins ownership group has a net worth of over $5B. No one is gullible enough to believe that they will utilize a significant percentage of their worth on the Marlins, but in comparison to Jeffrey Loria’s net worth of $500M, there is no comparison between the ownerships’ available capital.
9. “New ownership hasn’t spent anything after the rebuild”
Reality: The new ownership group has spent significant money on the organization. Including millions invested in Marlins Park renovations, international free agency market, building a complex in the Dominican Republic, and community outreach. Interestingly enough, the 2019 adjusted payroll ($74,995,037) is only slightly lower than the 2016 adjusted payroll ($77,715,306); 2019 is a rebuilding year, while the Marlins were “going for it” in 2016.
Furthermore, with the business department striving towards community relations, new business partners, TV contracts, and stadium naming rights, there are objective reasons to be hopeful that the 2020s will see the Marlins spend more capital than they ever had in franchise history.
10. “The Marlins censor local media coverage”
Reality: Fans loved Tommy Hutton and Rich Waltz! Fans also remember hearing the speculation that Jeffrey Loria, the players, and individuals throughout the organization would often complain to FOX Sports Florida about Hutton’s criticism of their play, as well as the ballpark’s dimensions. Prior to the 2016 season, Hutton was terminated as the Marlins TV analyst (he was eventually reinstated in a part-time role in mid-2018).
That being said, the Miami Marlins do not have control over the employees at FSFL and any other separate entity. It’s why the amazing Kelly Saco, Jessica Blaylock, and Craig Minervini cover both the Marlins and Florida Panthers organizations—they are not employed by the team, but by the company.
As with any partnership between franchise and network, healthy dialogue is likely present. However, the Marlins are not “censoring” the coverage around them, not on television and certainly not here on Fish Stripes. As the rebuild progresses, they’ll receive praise only when it’s merited.
See you in the comments section!