Dear Marlin Fans,
You are welcome.
Seriously, it has been my pleasure to be an owner who has delivered all sorts of joy and happiness to you. I know you all appreciate the fact that as an owner, I’ve done everything in my power to make the experience of being a Marlins fan unique and memorable.
I honestly can not think of how you guys could have it any better. I certainly can’t take the credit for ALL of it, but I will take my share of bows.
Now I know you all are familiar with the joys of being a Fish Fan. But for the many outsiders to the euphoria of Marlins baseball, let’s review the perks.
MARLIN FANS ARE NOT LONG SUFFERING
The 2013 is the 10th anniversary of the last Marlins World Series Title. That may seem like a while and to be sure, it is the longest drought in team history. (The 1997 title came on the team’s fifth season. The 2003 title was just six years after that.)
But think of the Indians, whose hopes the Wayne Huizenga Marlins crushed in ’97. Cleveland fans haven’t had a World Series winner since 1948 and no major titles since the 1964 Browns won the NFL title.
And that poor shmuck Steve Bartman got all the blame for 2003 even though it was the Cubs who blew a 3-1 series lead, not some dope wearing ear phones.
Remind me who won that game? Oh yeah! The Marlins did. Owned by me.
I owned a team that won the World Series. Remind me how many the Yawkey family won while owning the Red Sox for a billion years? Where is Arte Moreno’s title? I matched Ted Turner’s total.
Hell, this franchise has two World Series titles since the Pirates last winning season before this year. The city of Washington is still trying to win their first post season series since 1924.
I bet there are plenty of Indians, Cubs, Pirates and Nationals fans who wouldn’t mind an owner who resided over a World Series winner… like your pal Jeffrey!
MARLIN FANS HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCE A POST SEASON SERIES LOSS
I consider you dear fans to be like my children and perhaps I spoil you. But I can’t bear the thought of a Marlin fan seeing our beloved Fish watching another team celebrate.
So while every single franchise in baseball history has stopped and watched another team pile on the pitchers mound in victory, Marlin fans have been spared. We have seen two Division Series, two NLCS and two World Series and won them all.
And sometimes I did not add a player or increase payroll, like for the overachieving 2006, 2007 and 2008 squads, because I’d rather miss the post season all together than get in and lose.
We are Marlins! We either win the World Series or fade away.
I’M NOT EXACTLY A HANDS OFF OWNER
Hey, I’m just like you. I’m a fan who wants the Marlins to win. The difference between you and me is I actually have a hand in whether or not that happens.
You know how you like to yell at the TV screen and wish you could fire the manager when things are bad?
Well, that’s me only I actually CAN fire the manager. And I do it. A lot.
Don’t believe me? I took over the Marlins in 2002 after I destroyed, er sorry, sold the Expos. In 12 full seasons of owning the team, 8 different men have been manager.
Hell, I fired Joe Girardi after he won Manager of the Year with a payroll lower than one of those factories in China making iPads.
And it isn’t just the manager. At the end of the 2013 season, a year where I ordered our front office to trade away anyone making more than a inner city public school teacher, I took a look at our massive haul of young players, including Henderson Alvarez, brought over from Toronto and who threw a no hitter against the Tigers. The guy who had the thankless task of trading veterans for prospects was Larry Beinfest. Earlier he had made the deals that brought in players like Hanley Ramirez and assembled dirt cheap rosters that finished above .500. Guess what? Last month I fired his ass too, just like some loud mouth guy at a sports bar would do.
Hey, it shows I want to win right?
MONEY DEALING EASY TO FOLLOW
There are a lot of teams out there that have some shady dealings with money. And for the life of me, I can’t figure 3/4 of them out. The Dodgers went bankrupt over a divorce and two creeps treating the team like an ATM machine. Meanwhile the Mets get swindled by Bernie Madoff. Who can make sense of it all?
Here? It is pretty simple. Miami shells out cash for a stadium. I collect revenue sharing and slash payroll to keep more money for myself. Who can’t understand that?
I DON’T LET PLAYERS OVER STAY THEIR WELCOME
It is always better to leave too early having people want more than to stick around and becoming a pain.
Go ask Met fans or Angel fans or Yankee fans how fun it is to wait for lousy contracts to expire.
Not with the Marlins. When was the last time a old Marlin player broke down and hobbled to the end of their career? How about NEVER?
By the time a Marlin is getting old, they’ve been shipped to Toronto or Arizona for a young kid who will become good and shipped off before long. It is the circle of life.
Besides, if there is one thing Florida doesn’t need more of, it is old guys waiting for their time to run out!
For a lot of teams, a game to circle on the schedule is a chance to see an old player come back.
Sometimes fans like to boo them. Other times, they give them a standing ovation. But always there is added excitement to seeing an old face return.
Well the league is so littered with former Marlins that virtually every game played is a home coming. Whenever a team shows up, you can look up and down and see a familiar face, even if you have to remind yourself that they played here in the first place.
Every day is a party here. Can you say that with other teams? Didn’t think so.
OUR STADIUM IS NOT A COOKIE CUTTER PARK
There are a lot of new stadiums in baseball now, designed to give an old timey ballpark feel in place of the cold cookie cutter stadiums of the 1960’s and 1970s.
But there is a problem with them. They are all starting to look alike as well.
Seriously, what’s the difference between St. Louis’ new park and CitiField in New York or the Washington stadium or the park in Atlanta or the park in Philadelphia? They all look alike to me!
Not Marlins Park! When you see a game here, you KNOW where you are. You don’t turn on the TV and say “Which stadium is aquamarine?”
You never ask “Hey, is St. Louis the park where there are live fish behind home plate?” Nobody ever says “Which park has the horrific ugly sculpture in left field with dancing marlins and palm trees? Is that Milwaukee?”
No! It is Miami! It is uniquely Miami. No other stadium has a sculpture like that. No other stadium will. And that is something to be proud of.
WE HAVE A WINNER COMING SOON!
Hey, we have awesome young players! Christian Yelich? Giancarlo Stanton? Jose Fernandez? Folks, we are going to have the core of a young solid team here!
Before you know it, I’ll make 3 or 4 managerial changes and we will have a contender on the field.
Look at how the A’s and the Rays put winners on the field on a shoe string budget. Well we are right around the corner from doing that. HELL we finished the year with a no hitter and despite a 100 loss season, there is reason to hope.
We had a winning June and nearly played .500 in July and September. Plus we are getting a sweet draft pick who will sign, develop, make into a solid big leaguer, then trade off for 3 or 4 more prospects. The formula works!
I HAVE MADE YOUR FANDOM THE MOST ADMIRABLE IN BASEBALL
Seriously, how hard is it to be a Red Sox fan? Or a Yankee fan?
There are so many Cardinals fans and Cubs fans and transplanted Phillies and Mets fans that it isn’t surprising to see them.
Indians and Pirate fans have recent bandwagon jumpers. And Giants and Dodger fans are up and down the west coast.
But if you say “I’m a die hard Marlins fan” and show that you are going to games now and say you live and die with them and demonstrate your devotion to the team, you will have proven to the world that your dedication has no peer.
You stay loyal to THIS team?
Friend, you are a real baseball fan!
Can any other team give you that promise?
Didn’t think so.
So once again, Marlin fans, I hope you appreciate everything I’ve done for you. And I promise I will keep it going into 2014. I just need to trim the payroll a little bit more and replace the manager.
Your owner for now and forever,