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FanPulse: Confidence in Marlins’ long-term plan drops for 4th straight week

Thursday’s walk-off win cannot cleanse the stink from an embarrassing month of August at the major league level.

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When Jon Berti is considered one of the main bright spots of your team’s season, it means there hasn’t been much to get excited about.
David Santiago/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Welcome to SB Nation FanPulse, a survey of fans across MLB. Each week, we send 30 polls to plugged in fans from each team. Marlins fans, sign up HERE to join FanPulse.

What seemed unthinkable around midseason is now entirely within the realm of possibilities: the Marlins could wind up with a top-three pick in the 2020 MLB Draft. Entering Friday only two games ahead of the Kansas City Royals in the standings (three in the loss column), they’ll be hosting K.C. at Marlins Park next weekend for a three-game set. That figures to go a long way toward deciding the ultimate draft order (and let’s not completely rule out a pursuit of the Baltimore Orioles, who are four games worse than the Fish with a month to play).

A 7-20 August record has plummeted the Marlins to 48-85 overall. With Brian Anderson (broken hand) sidelined for the remainder of the season and the pitching staff thinning out, the goal is no longer for the club to make tangible progress from 2018—that shipped has sailed. Rather, the more relevant question is whether they can avoid the worst campaign in franchise history.

As it turns out, a significant chunk of the fanbase isn’t captivated by this “tank race.” Confidence in the direction of the Marlins—as gauged via our FanPulse survey—matched its 2019 season peak heading into the trade deadline, when 95% of respondents said they were supportive of the rebuild.

Since then, however, that confidence has waned each week, from 95% to 91% to 87% to 82% to 76% several days ago. It’s the first time we have seen a dip in four straight surveys.

Approval of lame-duck manager Don Mattingly is also lower than usual (he currently has 60% of fans on his side).

The national FanPulse question of the week is unfortunately relatable: Is it okay to bunt to break up a no-hitter or perfect game? Even prior to the Anderson injury, the Marlins had the least productive offense in the National League. Most memorably, Chris Paddack made it into the eighth inning before losing his no-hit bid in a start this summer against his former team.

Nearly 70% of MLB fans condone bunting as a means of breaking up a no-no.

The Marlins don’t really have the personnel to take advantage of that, anyway.

More polling and illustrations next week! Sign up here to give us a balanced representation of the Marlins fanbase.