Saturday, April 12, 2008

Hey Marlins fans... clear some stuff up for me

Don't be fooled by the empty seats... there are indeed passionate Florida Marlins fans out there.

The folks at Bright Orange Seats show their love for the Fish.

I am convinced Fish Stripes know the Marlins better than the front office does.

Fish Chunks, Fish@Bat and The South Florida Fan all show there those who live and die in teal.

So I am wondering about a few things and I'm hoping my Marlins compadres can help clear things up for me.

I think the Marlins are the strangest franchise in any professional sport.
They are a poster child for small revenue woes. They play in a bad park with small crowds and let their big players go constantly.

And yet since their first season, they are the only team other than the Yankees and the Red Sox to win more than one World Series title.

I encouraged my Cubs, Indians and Giants buddies to become Marlin fans so they could be happy.

But I wonder how those two titles have affected your fan base.
Do you watch and rewatch those playoff and World Series games in your head?
Do you close your eyes and see Edgar Renteria line that shot over Charles Nagy's head?

Do you have the clip of Pudge Rodriguez holding onto the ball to eliminate the Giants on your desktop?

Is there a picture of Alex Gonzalez's walk off shot against Jeff Weaver on your wall?
Is Josh Beckett tagging out Jorge Posada to clinch 2003 your cell phone ring?

Do you chuckle when people mention poor Bartman?

I know that I have watched the games of 2004 more than I care to admit.
And I also own the Sox post season wins on iTunes and rewatch the best parts.

Sometimes I actually stop and exhale and think to myself "I've seen the Red Sox win TWO World Series!"

Is it the same for you?

I've seen Yankee fans thump their chests winning during the Torre years.
I've seen Oakland A's fans proud in 1989, but their celebration subdued by the earthquake.

I've seen Randy Pearlstein, my college buddy, go nuts when his beloved Blue Jays won back to back titles.

I've seen my cousin Dave loving life when the Mets won in 1986. (I don't recall who they played.)

But I also know those fans lived and died and cried with their team for a while.
The Marlins were formed... stunk for 4 years and then suddenly won a World Series.

Was that too much too soon?
Kind of like losing your virginity to Jessica Alba?

Then of course the team was dismantled so fast that 90% of them were on different teams during the victory parade... they stunk for 5 more seasons and won ANOTHER World Series.

Seriously, how do you guys relish those titles?
Forget Billy Goats... Cub fans would sacrifice first born children for one of those.
Same with Cleveland fans... and Giants fans.

You guys have experienced more World Series titles than the Phillies!
And that's a fan base that needs one soon.

Someone e mail me and let me know.

Oh... you do know that you are going to win another World Series very soon, right?


  1. Sully, thanks for the link love in the other post.

    From my standpoint the 2003 victory was sweeter than the 1997 win for several reasons.

    The first is that in 1997 Marlin fans didn't really know anything about this business of baseball. It was that season that the owner, Huizenga, said he wanted to sell the team because it didn't make money. Nobody believed him. The team was a new team as you mentioned, so almost all of the players were from somewhere else. That's something that fans of other teams never lets us forget. They try to diminish the accomplishment by claiming the Marlins "bought" the title. That's ridiculous. It's not like Manny Ramirez was born in Red Sox red etc. There is free agency in baseball. It's a fact of life. If you win by putting a team of free agents together you still win. And you still did it according to the rules.

    I also have personal reasons for having more fond memories of the 2003 season.

    In 1997 I was re-starting my career after a business failure and I was also starting to date my future wife. In other words I wasn't paying close attention to baseball. I did attend one of the World Series games but the Marlins lost that one. In fact that was the second World Series game I had attended. I was at Skydome when Joe Carter hit his walk-off shot against the Phillies (I was born in Philly and even though I've lived in Miami since 77 I was still a die-hard Phillies fan in 1993).

    By 2003 the word was out that the team would probably be moving. The new owner had borrowed a bunch of cash to buy the team and it looked like they were going to run a line-up of nobodies out there. I had been watching the team closely in 2002 and felt they had a good chance to be respectable. I said to myself, if the Marlins leave and we lose baseball for lack of fan support, it won't be because of me. I bought two full season tickets (they had a special two for one deal in special sections).

    I attended over 50 games in 2003. I attended all of the playoff games except one (my wife made me promise to take her to disney a month before when I had no idea the Marlins were going to be in the playoffs. I was the loser in the Marlins jersey walking to Main Street Disney with a walkman on listening to a ballgame).

    I went to all 3 World Series games in Miami in 2003.

    In other words I was much more a part of that than the 1997 win.

    I have a shrine in my den. Maybe I'll take a picture and post it on my blog.

  2. Sully,

    You've brushed on a very interesting topic. The Marlins just might be the most enigmatic organization in sports today. No franchise has put its fans through more ups and downs.

    Perhaps the rollercoaster is a good analogy. How many times can people go up and down without getting sick? For Red Sox fans, it was always "when is the other shoe going to drop." For Marlins fans, it's "when are all our favorite players going to be traded in mass scale, all for a new crop of no-names who all somehow develop into World Series champions."

    It makes watching the games enthralling and repulsive. Our financial psyche is so down, I actually find myself thinking, "Hanley's playing so well, this should really help him get the $200 million from the Yankees. Go Hanley!" Then pulling back and thinking, "Oh shit. He'd better not keep hitting like this."

    You may find these two pieces on our blog interesting (in response to each other):

    and then in defense:

    Thanks for mentioning our blog! I'll return the favor.

  3. Just adding that we discussed your story here:


  4. I don't know about other Marlins fans ... I rarely meet them even though I attend about 30 games a year and live less than 30 minutes from the park ... but for me, being a fan of the Marlins is about being a fan of the perpetual underdog.

    Whenever we win it is a surprise. Whenever we trade superstars we get great value in return. We get to watch young, hungry players fight for a big pay day. And we can do it with a whole row of orange seats to ourselves.

    Adding to the Marlins' enigma, we have never won a division title but have never lost a playoff series (6-0). We have four no-hitters and the Mets have none. We have hosted some of the largest crowds in World Series history (67,000) but routinely have the worst regular season attendance in baseball.

    It all makes winning so freakin' fun. I wouldn't have it any other way.

    Low expectations...high rewards. Gotta love the Fish.

    Oh, and Larry Beinfest is the best.