Time is running out on one of the Miami Marlins’ most prominent season ticket holders to renew for 2018.
“Marlins Man,” real name Laurence Leavy, still has not renewed his season tickets, stating that he made an offer to the team that was rejected.
— Andy Slater (@AndySlater) March 9, 2018
No, they’re not going to let Marlins Man negotiate his own season ticket pricing, but it’s still somewhat surprising that we’ve reached this point. He’s been venting about the quality of the team for months, and he has a point — the Marlins, already unsuccessful, are tearing everything down and starting over more or less from scratch. Justified or not, it’s not a method that’s going to win you many fans.
The Miami Marlins have not reached the postseason since 2003, but one of their former up and coming stars believes all of that was about to change before tragedy struck the organization in September of 2016.
Christian Yelich, who was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers this offseason after five years in Miami, told ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick this week that things went into a tailspin for the Marlins after Jose Fernandez tragically lost his life in a boating accident.
“From talking to the guys there — the guys who got traded and some of the guys who are still there — the consensus from our clubhouse is that everything changed after the tragedy with Jose,” Yelich said. “I think everybody figured our window to win was with him. You have a bona fide ace, a No. 1 starter, and you kind of have something there with that. It’s nobody’s fault what happened. It’s a tragedy in every sense of the word. Nobody could have seen that coming.”
The Marlins showed some signs of promise in 2016, and there’s no question Fernandez was one of the biggest reasons for that. In 29 starts, the right-hander went 16-8 with an impressive 2.86 ERA. His ERA after four MLB seasons was 2.58, and Fernandez was just 24 at the time of his death.
“We went through that rebuild, and we were so close. We had all the pieces,” Yelich said. “If a few things break differently, you never know how things turn out. I think a lot of the guys feel that way. We were really close and had a chance to do something special with that group. We just weren’t able to get it done. And when you don’t get it done in this business, teams have to move on. That’s what happened with us.”
After Derek Jeter’s ownership group took over, the Marlins held a fire sale. They reduced their payroll from $115 million to $90 million, and many players were unhappy about it. Yelich was one of them, which is why he essentially forced his way out of town when he was still under contract for several more seasons. While he didn’t want to be part of the rebuild, Yelich believes it will ultimately be successful.
“I don’t know how long it’s going to take, but I think people need to let things play out down there and give it a chance,” he said. “People are going to say, ‘How come you didn’t give it a chance?’ That stuff takes time, and I didn’t know if it was going to get done in the amount of time I had left there. But I think it’s going to get better there. The fan base has been through a lot the past few years, but I truly believe this ownership group will do things different.”
There’s no question Fernandez’s death altered the direction of the Marlins, but many fans have a tough time believing Jeter and his fellow owners had to hit the reset button. In fact, the team’s most recognizable fan is threatening to not renew his season tickets. Unfortunately, it could be several more years before the Marlins end their playoff drought.
The defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors are losing one of the top figures in their front office to an entirely different sport.
According to a report by Bloomberg’s Scott Soshnick on Monday, top Warriors executive Chip Bowers, who had been serving as their chief marketing officer, is leaving the team to become president of business operations for the MLB’s Miami Marlins. There he will report to part-owner and CEO Derek Jeter.
Bowers was serving in his fourth season as CMO for the Warriors and had been in charge of overseeing “all marketing and corporate partnership sales & services efforts for the organization,” per the team’s official website.
While Bowers’ departure will certainly hurt, at least it is better to lose a top executive to another league than it is to lose one to a rival team (as the Warriors recently did as well).
The housecleaning among the Miami Marlins is apparently continuing.
SiriusXM MLB Network Radio’s Craig Mish reports that the Marlins have fired the man who plays their mascot, Billy the Marlin.
Source : The Marlins have terminated the man inside the suit of Billy the Marlin. Marlins spokesman says Billy himself has not been fired. He will remain Marlins Mascot, played by someone else.
— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) February 5, 2018
The horror! Hopefully he didn’t do anything like the Mets mascot once did.
No word on whether Derek Jeter will be taking over the job.
Derek Jeter has been serious about his plans to remove the home run sculpture from Marlins Park as soon as he bought the Miami MLB team. Any plans to remove the statue would be complicated and require Miami-Dade County approval, but it sounds like Jeter has some political backing.
Miami-Dade mayor Carlos Gimenez toured Marlins Park on Tuesday and expressed openness to getting rid of the sculpture.
“I just don’t think they’re all that crazy about it,” Mayor Carlos Gimenez said, via the Miami Herald. “I’m not a fan. We’re looking at it. …We’ll see if anything can be done.”
— Mike Hernández (@HernandezMA5) January 16, 2018
There are some obstacles in removing the statue that would require political maneuverings. The stadium is county property, and The Herald says the sculpture is too because it was “purchased as part of an Art in Public Places program that requires builders of county-owned buildings to install art works for the public.”
Removing the statue would require plumbing, electrical, and much more work. The entire statue cost $2.5 million and was paid for from the sum of money the Marlins pitched in for the stadium.
The brakes may be on the Miami Marlins firesale.
According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, rivals feel the Marlins are “reluctant” to move outfielder Christian Yelich and catcher J.T. Realmuto, though there is a desire to move Starlin Castro’s contract elsewhere.
marlins seem reluctant to trade yelich and/or realmuto to this point, rivals say. they are, however, trying to "attach" starlin castro in trade discussions, to move him.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 22, 2017
Financially, the Marlins have less incentive to move Yelich and Realmuto, who are much cheaper than Castro and Giancarlo Stanton. The added issue, though, is that both players are unhappy with the direction of the franchise. That said, one has to wonder if the backlash to the Marlins’ offseason so far could factor into any trade decisions.
The Miami Marlins have been selling off some of their most precious assets this offseason, and the players they have chosen to keep do not seem pleased about it.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reported on Monday that Marlins center fielder Christian Yelich is “unhappy” with the fire sale the team has conducted this winter, but he has not gotten to the point where he wants to demand a trade. Instead, Yelich would like to sit down with Miami’s front office to get a better idea of the direction of the franchise.
Yelich spoke with Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill earlier in the offseason, and a source told Crasnick the 26-year-old is looking to have a “respectful” follow-up chat.
Yelich is a .290 career hitter who has won a Gold Glove, and teams who would be interesting in acquiring him reportedly include the Arizona Diamondbacks, Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves. Teams have reached out, but Marlins officials have said Yelich is “not in play” at this point.
As Crasnick notes, Yelich had established a close friendship with Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and Dee Gordon — three players the Marlins have traded this offseason. At least one of Miami’s other top players now wants out, leading many to wonder just how big of a rebuild Derek Jeter’s new ownership group wants to take on. Yelich has four years and a reasonable $44.5 million remaining on his contract, so the Marlins would probably prefer to keep him.