On the heels of the Miami Marlins' trading away Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers and Anibal Sanchez to the Tigers and working on a possible deal to send Josh Johnson to the Rangers comes a Forbes report that the Fish are on pace to set the record for drawing the fewest fans to a first-year ballpark since the early 1990s.
Marlins baseball. FANTASTICO!
For well over a season now, Marlins brass has been using the allure of that new stadium smell to mask the fact that their front office is run by a bunch of dipshits. Starting with Larry Beinfest, who hasn't been able to draft a single stud -- let alone a regular productive starter -- in the first round in more than a decade. There's also Marlins GM Mike Hill, who, well... we don't know what the hell he does, other than telling us his teams' veterans have crapped all over themselves and then coming to their defense after making said statements.
This isn't the first time Marlins fans have had to endure watching their team being dismantled one piece at a time (Miguel Cabrera, Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell, and the entire 1997 World Champion roster come to mind). And now, Jeffrey Loria's $600 million ballpark -- financed by public money -- is on pace to draw the lowest fan attendance since the '90s.
The Marlins are on pace to draw 2.2 million fans this season, a nice percentage increase from last year's paltry 1.5 million but still a figure that would distinguish them as the worst-drawing club at a new ballpark since the start of the modern buiding era that kicked off with Chicago's new Comiskey Park and Baltimore's Camden Yards in the early 1990s.BUT WE HAD FLO RIDA PERFORMING AT FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE!! HOW CAN THIS BE??
Forbes says that the "weather and a plethora of recreational choices" make baseball a tough sell in South Florida. That may be true (also the fact that getting to the new ballpark is approximately a three-day journey the likes of which only the early prospectors heading out West to search for gold can attest to). But that's a bunch of crap. Build a winner and they will come. Kevin Costner fucking said so!
If Loria and the Marlins are serious about turning things around, it would help to revamp the front office and not insult us by selling us the stadium by telling us how awesome the pork sandwiches are (they are pretty goddamned fantastic, though).
It would help to grow some balls and spend money on players with upside (*cough*PrinceFielder*cough*).
It would also help to not give away all our best players like Oprah giving away cars to her studio audience.