Since the Washington Nationals recorded the last out of the Florida Marlins season, change has been in the air. Long gone are the Florida Marlins. Gone is Sun Life Stadium and the dreadful baseball environment. In steps the Miami Marlins. Debuting a new stadium, coach, and uniforms, there is plenty of change to be excited for. With the organization making it clear that they will pursue top free agents, the national media has caught on to the buzz. It seems like everyday you log onto the internet, there is something new the Marlins are trying to do. As we all know, this off-season is dramatically different from previous ones. In the past, fish fans could only dream of signing the big name. We could only envision top players wanting to bring their talents to Miami, but now its reality. Of course all this attention has its advantages, but it also offers danger. Lets break down the pros and cons:
All the growing attention has offered the Marlins something that has been rarely obtained in the 18 year franchise. Exposure. The fish have never had all this exposure. With new colorful uniforms, a new advanced stadium, and a high profile coach, the baseball nation is finally starting to take notice of our franchise. For once in my life, I am actually hearing random people including our Marlins in their everyday conversations. All this exposure triggers excitement for all sports fans. I have no doubt in my mind that the exposure and national attention will lead to the signatures of some top stars. Players want to play to win of course, but the Marlins can finally offer an attractive surrounding environment and a chance to start something new. Surrounded by beautiful city’s, beaches, and weather, the Miami Marlins are now a tourist destination wish.
Not only will this attention expand the team’s actual talent but it will also affect the fan-base. Referred to as “band wagoners”, many people will notice the excitement and decide to cheer for Miami. Some people despise band wagon fans but in my opinion they will be good for the team. Not only will more people buy fish gear and clothing, but there will be more people in attendance to support the team. I would not be hesitant to say that the Marlins have one of the worst fan bases in the league. Not saying they are not supportive, because they are. But from a numbers standpoint, the fish just do not have the popular fan base like the Yankees, Dodgers, and Cardinals. Despite the low numbers, fish fans should be excited for the potential growing fan-base. Having supportive fan’s is a attribute that goes unnoticed every single year. No matter what you may think, a strong fan-base effects the play of our hero’s every game. With more people watching to impress, players will have more to play for.
Finally, the added exposure also plays a psychological role as well. When players cut their televisions on and see their team being talked about and credited, a since of excitement is sparked. No matter what they say, players love being talked about and rewarded. It is human nature. Television time and media attention gives the player more self motivation and personal goals to achieve.
As with every good result, the chance of a bad result is looming in the shadows. Of course media attention can be bad for a franchise and it is seen across the world of sports all the time. A perfect example is found in the same city as our beloved Miami Marlins. The Miami Heat. After the signings of superstars Lebron James and Chris Bosh, the Heat were on top of the world. Adding in Dwyane Wade, most every expert predicted the Heat to run the league. Ceremonies were created to show off the team and to advertise “The Big 3″. As we all know, the Heat were brought down to reality real fast. Every error they made was strongly criticized and it most certainly effected their play. Learning to adjust to the hype and media took a tole on the Heat, and they experienced some painful losing streaks. Even when they got it together, they were still pressured to win. In the NBA finals, they were outlasted by the Mavs and drew strong criticism. This could very easily happen to the Marlins. While they have not signed a superstar yet, many expect they will soon. If this happens, the media will be all over the new franchise and talks will begin. It is important for the Marlins to stay grounded and not get caught up into the hype that they are unfamiliar with. Staying focused and having a winning mindset is what needs to be done and the media is notorious for ruining such things.
The media can also play a huge psychological role in hurting a franchise as well. The Miami Marlins are a young team with young budding talent. While this is a great aspect to have, it can also hurt the team in dramatic ways. Being a young adult myself, we all love attention. Just because these kids make more money than we do does not mean they are any different. They like to be talked about and they like to be noticed. Many times, attention can be the main downfall of a clear path. Many of the Marlins young players have never experienced the hype and media. If handled wrong, playing for attention rather than results can occur. This is where new coach Ozzie Guillen needs to step in and make sure his team is focused and mature enough to handle the attention.
To sum this up:
To sum my point up, the growing media attention can be good if handled well. Unfortunately this is easier said than done. We all know the organizations desire to change the franchise around and this is a great starting point. With the news of the Miami Marlins spreading fast, more and more people are catch on to the changes. This is a new franchise with new hope and new goals. The question is, Can they handle the pressure and attention? Hopefully, they will be coached well and know the basics of playing in front of attention. If this is handled well, assuming we sign who I expect, this year has a chance to be a great year.