“Baseball in Miami-No One Cares”
I would have never thought it would happen in that market.
Baseball in Miami was always something special, not just because of the sunshine, but because of the chemistry make up of the community.
The Cuban population base, loved baseball back on the island.
Those who moved to South Florida from the Dominican and Puerto Rico have grown up on the sport.
South Florida is the home of a lot of transplanted retirees from the Northeast, you know, Yankee-Met fan…Red Sox nation and the like.
I would have thought the Florida Marlins-Miami Marlins would have been a raging success.
Bu no, hasn’t worked out that way at all.
Oh yes the Marlins went to a World Series, sipped the champagne, got rings.
And they had some spectacular players, headed up by Gary Sheffield and a great manager in Jim Leyland..
And they had big money owners led by owner of the Dolphins, who said he loved he game, then lost his taste for it.
But they also played in an aging stadium. And it always rained in the afternoon. And it was hot and humid lots of the time.
And then there were the firesales of players, when Wayne Hizuenga did not like the budget payroll trends he was seeing across the game.
The city and county built a shiny new stadium on the sight of the old Orange Bowl.
They developed some really good young players, like the late pitcher Jose Fernandez, Marcel Ozuna, and this year’s MVP-Giancarlo Stanton.
But it’s all going to go away again.
Jeffrey Loria has sold the club, taking his bad leadership qualities and terrible won-loss records, with him and a big profit too.
Left behind for Derek Jeter and the new ownership group is a high payroll, low attendance figures, and a monster contract owed to Stanton.
Loria gave him a back-end loaded deal that still has 10Y-285M left on it.
Jeter says the club has bled dollars, and must reduce the payroll. Another firesale is coming, and the Marlins are attempting to find a buyer for Stanton’s contract, which includes a no trade clause. They need to lop off some 40M from that payroll.
Once they get done shipping players out in the next couple of weeks, the roster will likely look like an expansion franchise…again.
This firesale may be more painful, because they are moving a superstar, with 59-hoers and an MVP trophy.
But the fans won’t notice. They don’t come to games. They don’t watch on TV.
Despite all the young talent stockpiled, in that colorful new Stadium, right near Little Havana…Marlins baseball is just not very important.
I would have never thought that would happen, not in that city, in that state, with that cross-section of population from other countries that love baseball.