The Miami Marlins have made headlines this offseason because of their controversial decision rebuild their roster. That should only be the beginning.
When Derek Jeter purchased the Miami Marlins, he saw a chance to create something new. The two-and-a-half-decades old franchise boasts two World Series trophies, one MVP award winner, and no discernible personality.
In his introductory press conference, Derek Jeter stressed wanting to change the culture of an organization that has historically kept it’s fans at arms length. It’s ironic that his first decision as the boss is to do the very thing that has kept Marlins baseball from becoming “a thing”.
Opinions vary wildly on how Jeter has handled his first offseason as owner and operator. Some feel the team was “a couple of pitchers away” from being playoff caliber. Others thump the organizational depth bible and await a Houston Astros-esque awakening.
Regardless of where you land on the spectrum, the rebuild is in full-effect. And with any luck, it’ll come with major aesthetic changes.
Notably, the Miami Marlins underwent an overhaul prior to the 2012 season. They moved into a gleaming new ballpark, sported vibrantly colored uniforms, and welcomed Muhammad Ali as their guest of honor. They even commissioned Red Grooms to build a custom home run statue.
It’s like the Apple at Shea Stadium, only more “Miami”.
The problem? It was all terribly tacky.
The ballpark is truly a beauty; an underrated gem in baseball architecture right now. And being in the presence of the Greatest of All Time was something I’ll never forget. But as far as the uniform, logo design, and home run statue go: Yikes.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who looks upon the metal monstrosity sitting in left-center field with a smile. Mother taught us that if we didn’t have anything nice to say, we shouldn’t say anything at all.
But mother never saw that statue.
Redesigning while rebuilding
The previous ownership group was quick to dismiss criticism of the Marlins new look. They appeared willing to chalk up any naysayers as nostalgic grumps who needed to get used to the change. Not for a moment did they consider that the design and color scheme were poor.
At the very least, ugly for baseball. Nothing about the logo suggests that it is the symbol of an official Major League Baseball franchise.
Fans never liked it, but were told that the color scheme would grow on them. If tacky uniforms meant the organization was finally willing to spend in free agency, then nobody cared much what they were wearing.
As it turns out, it didn’t. And the color scheme hasn’t grown on anyone.
The statue in the outfield has been reviled since it’s unveiling for the same reasons.
To truly change the culture around the organization and move on from the Jeffery Loria era, a total redesign is necessary.
Whether that means bringing back elements of the old design, or something entirely new is not for me to say. I’m not a designer, just a guy who knows an ugly uniform when he sees one.
A change in the overall look of the franchise will likely happen at some point. Not before the 2018 season, but probably before the 2020 season. It’s hard to image Derek Jeter wanting his newly built juggernaut wearing someone else’s ugly outfits.