Jaded Miami Marlins fans will have to fight their instincts
The Miami Marlins are no longer in the hands of Jeffery Loria. But that doesn’t mean fans will love every roster decision coming this offseason.
Have no doubt, it’s time to bask in prospect of brighter days for baseball in Miami. George Bluth described Jeffery Loria’s tenure as Miami Marlins owner best; he was just a turd out there. With Loria’s reign effectively flushed, the fanbase will grow.
But how much? Don’t expect everything to be springtime sun showers under Derek Jeter. At least not right away. Jeter, and money-man business associate Bruce Sherman face a monumental task of revitalizing the franchise.
Correction: vitalizing the franchise.
The Miami Marlins have been plagued by poor ownership. Which in turn has led to poor support from fans in Miami. Which has led to a low operational budget and made ownership hesitant to invest heavily, often selling off players once their worth exceeded the bottom line.
It’s been a vicious cycle, and the Marlins franchise has been chasing it’s own tail since winning the World Series in 2003. To an extent, the belief that Miami’s best players will inevitably be traded away has becoming something of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Fans don’t want to get attached. Therefore no money comes in and the team can’t afford richer contracts. So the players get traded and supporters throw up their arms in protest. Round and round we go.
The hope is that Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman will buck that trend. When a star comes up through the Miami Marlins system, fans want to know that their $110 jersey isn’t going to be a throwback by lunchtime.
In time, that will come. We think. Hope. There is no reason to think otherwise.
But he faces some tough financial decisions in his first offseason, and the scarred Miami Marlins fanbase will be asked to muscle up on perspective.
Another rebuild isn’t more of the same
Jeffery Loria was lambasted for his apparent willingness to and lose. Apparently sensing that his time with the team was running out, he decided to push all of his chips to the center of the table.
If you can believe it, he overspent. He handed Wei-Yin Chen, Edinson Volquez, Brad Ziegler, Junichi Tazawa, Giancarlo Stanton, and Martin Prado contracts that the team couldn’t afford. With the exception of Stanton, all of these players have either underperformed, or battled injury.
Jeter faces a lose-lose situation off the bat. He’ll likely be compelled to trade Stanton to make inroads towards the black. Other fan favorites may follow, including bag-swiper extraordinaire Dee Gordon.
It’s all too easy to say that the moves that are likely to come this offseason are “more of the same”. They aren’t. An 80-win season isn’t worth $115 million. If the playoffs are the goal, and ultimately a World Series, change has to come.
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Many of the core players are still young and team controllable. Several of them could remain with the team and be part of the plan moving forward. Christian Yelich, J.T. Realmuto, and Marcell Ozuna come to mind.
The truth is the Miami Marlins are at least two or three years from being legitimate playoff contenders. Have patience with the new ownership and have faith that what they are doing is for the greater good. They didn’t drop a cool billion to own a losing team.