A Miami Marlins Fan Pleas To Micky Arison

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Dear Mr. Micky Arison,

On behalf of the fans of the Miami Marlins, I am writing you this letter that I hope finds you well. Also, I hope I am not too forth-coming in approaching you in this manner. Please do not think me to be insubordinate; I respect and honor your position as the great pillar of the South Florida sports scene. It was you who brought a sense of hope and pride to the Miami market, when you took control of the Miami Heat and helped build them to a multiple-time champion, to which we are now forever in your debt.

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But now I ask you to consider to save a franchise being held hostage by someone who doesn’t seem to have the best interest of the club in mind, or who only seems to own a team because it’s something that looks cool on a business card.

I’m asking you to please buy the Miami Marlins.

I know, I know, this nonsense again. Another shameless request to have a wealthy person buy a floundering sports team because the local fan base is fed up. And I’m sure you’ve heard the request to buy the Marlins a million times. This very website even attempted an April Fool’s joke about it a couple of years ago! Well, let’s show them who the fools are when we (by ‘we’, I mean ‘you’) buy the Marlins!

Mr. Arison, are you even aware of the petition on Change.org to get you to buy the Marlins if it reaches 500 votes? We’re halfway to that number! And if it’s on the internet, it must be legally binding, right? Who would lie on the internet?

Of course, the fact that it’s been online for nine months and still only has about half the necessary votes doesn’t help the cause. Maybe it’s because people don’t think you’d actually consider making a bid, or because no one cares about baseball in South Florida. But with a few pen stokes on a check, we (again, you) can change that, Mr. Arison! You can be a breath of fresh air to clear the sulfur-like smog that has hovered over the Marlins for 13 years.

I know what you’re thinking, aside from “Why are you writing to me?” or “Can I put you on a list of some sort to make sure this doesn’t happen again?”, and that is “What makes you think I’d even care to buy them?” That’s a fair question, Mr. Arison.

The answer is that, deep down, you know you can be the hope this market needs; why focus on one sport, when you can be great at two? Hell (pardon my language, sir) you even know that this ownership group does ridiculous things; you even showed your hand on the day the Marlins hired Dan Jennings to be the manager by favoriting this tweet on Twitter that a writer from the Miami New Times posted questioning the move.

Those type of bone-headed decisions are beneath you, Mr. Arison. You’re the type of owner who hires credible and bright people to handle the day-to-day operation of your organization – unlike your would-be predecessor that fancies himself to be a brilliant baseball mind, even when it’s questionable whether he’s even good at his chosen profession (seriously, what is this? This is a Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas drug-fueled bender of an abomination.) Letting people do the work that they are being paid to do? Pure genius, Mr. Arison! That is definitely a quality that has escaped the Marlins during this reign of depression.

Now, I know your time is already consumed with the Heat, and their season goes from October to April (although we usually expect it to go to June *wink*), so giving attention to a baseball team could prove to be difficult. Of course, I’m well aware you enjoy spending your free time in exotic places in the Mediterranean or the Baltic, which passing that up to be at Marlins Park wouldn’t be a decision many people would make. I surely would much rather wander around Palma Majorca than drive aimlessly through Little Havana. But you’re more of a “hands-off” owner, anyway, so your absences wouldn’t affect the running of the team. I mean, Loria couldn’t even be bothered to attend the announcement of Jennings as manager, so you missing a few games couldn’t be worse. 

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  • While many Marlins fans would probably want you to spend Dodgers-like money to make the team an immediate contender, I wouldn’t even expect that from you. Just you owning the team will be enough to change the atmosphere around the franchise, as their name alone has become toxic under Loria’s regime. Bringing the Heat culture to the Marlins, as well as selling the market, will be enough to get the attention of free agents. You’ve shown that you’ll trust your front office make the best decisions for the sake of the franchise, as well as given them the necessary time to allow them to put their plans in place. You would actually be able to sell hope to a fan base whose only previous hopes were that the core of the roster would remain intact for two consecutive years.

    Take, for instance, this year’s edition of the Marlins, Mr. Arison, one that has fallen victim to numerous injuries to key players and hasn’t had the chance to even try to live up to expectations. Sound familiar? Can you imagine firing Erik Spoelstra six weeks into the season because the Heat were trying to incorporate new players, while also fighting Dwyane Wade’s and Chris Bosh’s health issues? Could you also imagine replacing him with someone like Andy Elisburg, someone who has never coached a game in his life? Who would honestly think that’s a good idea?

    And think what would happen if the team finally achieved its goals under your ownership, Mr. Arison. The man that saved two franchises and made them great would be an incredible success story. Books are written about people like that.

    The downside with major transactions, Mr. Arison, is that there is a cost here, as Loria won’t give this team away for free. Plus we need to remember those business cards that Loria that has “Owner” on them; he really loves those. And unless there’s a Donald Sterling-like scandal, he won’t be forced to sell, so paying premium dollar is what we’ll have to do (again, you; but I can chip in a full bucks if it helps put this over the top.) Looking at Forbes franchise valuations, the Marlins rank at a lowly 29th out of 30 Major League teams, with a value of $650 million. 30th! They just got a new stadium! The man is like Eric Cartman swimming in that wonderful revenue sharing money! So let’s say we call it $700 million and get him out of our lives? Again, I’m chipping in some of it (do you take IOUs?), but a franchise in a premium market of about five million people with a new owner is like a great reset button that will rake in money. Don’t believe me? How about your new friend, Steve Ballmer, who bought the Los Angeles Clippers and now has injected to new life into that franchise?

    (I could be wrong on how any of that works, but this is why you’re the kajillionaire, and I’m just a guy writing a blog.)

    Again, the deal includes a beautiful new ballpark, which has a retractable roof (please invest in some meteorologists that can actually tell when bad weather will come in), great food choices, and a fish tank right in front of your seat! Oh, and that thing, but you can tear that down. You can also rename the stadium something like “Carnival Park”, and now we’ve got some cross-branding going on with your cruise line. I know, how is genius like mine not on your payroll already? Well, we can take care of that, as well as talk numbers, once the transaction is finalized.

    I’ve already taken too much of your time, Mr. Arison, so I’ll apologize for that, but I just wanted to convey how important this would be for the fans of the Miami Marlins. You have already achieved great things with the Miami Heat, as they’re essentially the kings of Miami, and helped transform the city into a basketball town. Once upon a time, baseball was seen as a sport that could take that title, but mismanagement and apathy have gotten in the way of that.

    I’ll leave you with this, Mr. Arison. I’m a big fan of the movie The Shawshank Redemption. In that movie, Andy Dufresne was convicted of a murder he did not commit and was sentenced to life in prison. After 19 years, he used a rock hammer that he wore down to the nub to escape. He literally crawled through 500 yards of waste to get to his freedom. 

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    Right now, Marlins fans are Andy, and 13 years has been long enough.

    You can help provide the rock hammer, Mr. Arison. That is my hope. The hope that you can see the tremendous opportunity to build another great thing in South Florida. The hope to give baseball new life.

    Because hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.

    Sincerely,

    Marlin Nation.

    Follow Marlin Maniac on Twitter @MarlinManiac for all your Miami Marlins news, opinion and analysis!

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