The natives may already be getting restless down in South Florida. A slow-moving sale of the Miami Marlins, coupled with a mountain of injuries and a team that is falling deeper in the cellar of the National League East, doesn’t bode well for the organization as the summer months are moving in at a steady pace.
Regardless of the circumstances the team is experiencing right now, Miami Herald columnist Greg Cote says that South Florida has no greater sports fans, none, than stubborn Marlins loyalists who just don’t quit, no matter what. Few fans of any team in any sport in America must work harder to keep the faith.
They all should an anointed to sainthood.
The Marlins have not tasted what the postseason is like since 2003 – the last time the team won the World Series. The organization has not had a winning season since 2009. And by the looks of things, the pitching rotation is coming apart at the seams. Manager Don Mattingly will have to do his best job as leader of this ball club if things are to turn around.
There is no lifeline or flotation device available at this present time.
Cote, who has seen the rise (and steady fall) of this organization believes there is no way around the notion this team is cursed.
“There is no other explaining it. Marlins Park was built on the hallowed acreage of the razed Orange Bowl, but it’s more than those old ghosts at work here. You could build your home field over a sacred Indian burial ground or play in a floating stadium on the Bermuda Triangle and not have luck as bad as the Marlins’.
When your most beloved and best player dies, in his prime, in a horrible boating accident, this is a clear indication the baseball gods hate you.”
Some may seem this as “extreme” but as a Jacksonville Jaguars fan, who has seen my favorite football team fall into the deep, murky waters of the St. Johns river, I get what he’s saying. Some sports organizations tease fans with a modicum of success and then take their rightful place as loveable losers. The city of Cleveland understands the Marlins’ plight. While the Cavaliers are NBA royalty right now and the Indians are a solid baseball team, the Browns are the epitome of failed success. The same can be said for the Chicago Cubs until last year. 108 years of failed expectation speaks volumes while the fan base continued to support their home team.
At some point, this has to get better – Right?
“Of 122 teams in the Big Four sports, the Marlins are one of only four to make the postseason as few as two times since 1993, along with the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Royals and Milwaukee Brewers.
This would be the Marlins’ eighth consecutive losing season since the last winning record in 2009. Only five of the 122 franchises have made their fans wait longer for a winner,” Cote writes.
Two months ago, the writing was on the wall. The Marlins were “saved” from the clutches of current owner Jeffrey Loria. Derek Jeter and Jeb Bush were saviors in South Florida. Now, it looks like that may not happen, with Tagg Romney, Tom Glavine and Dave Stewart taking the lead in the sale processional. Still, no decision has been made – which makes an already long first two months of the season seem like a Gone With The Wind novel.
The Marlins just finished a 1-8 homestand and have lost 19 of their last 23 games – nothing to get excited about. But, hey, these are the Marlins. The fans still hope and pray for a winning season. They hope for a third World Series title. They want a new owner to come and sweep the ill will away. And in the end, they will continue to suffer near South Beach.
It’s not fair – but it’s the way things are in Miami. Cote points out Miami was at .350 entering the weekend, great for a batting average, not so much for a winning percentage. That was within fractions of being the worst in all of baseball. (No All-Star Game host team since the 1964 New York Mets finished with a worse winning percentage (.327) than the Marlins' current .341.)
Despite the talent on the roster with Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and JT Realmuto, this team cannot find a way to win. It’s a shame. So much hope. So much promise. So little chance of making 2017 the season that turns the fortunes of this franchise around.