Will: Marlins Park not the problem

Last place team won't draw big crowds

Author: Will Manso, Sports Director, wmanso@Local10.com
Published On: Aug 23 2012 05:53:22 PM EDT   Updated On: Aug 23 2012 08:24:58 PM EDT
Will Manso

The Marlins have been the butt of many jokes over the last few years.  I won’t lie, I’ve been guilty of making plenty of those jokes during that time.  Let’s face it, they’ve been an easy target.

But, the latest jokes being made by some local and national media members about attendance are a little off base.   The team set itself up to be a punch line by offering massively discounted tickets on Groupon.  It does seem a little desperate.  Unfortunately, this is what happens when a team fails.

The Marlins are in the middle of the pack in attendance around baseball, and it’s disappointing to see a new stadium not getting sold out or close to sold out crowds nightly.  Yet, the new park has lifted attendance to a respectable level compared to previous years.   The real problem hasn’t been the ballpark, instead, it’s been the team.  The Marlins stink.

That’s not a joke.  That’s a fact.  What did you expect from fans?  Many came out to see the new park and were hoping for a playoff contending team.  What they got was a beautiful new place filled with a borderline unwatchable team.  This isn’t “Field of Dreams” or some other Hollywood film.  This is reality.  If you build it, they will come, but, only if you build it and put a good team on the field.

The Marlins have been far from that.  So while we laugh at discount tickets and hear about the ballpark being a failure, let’s save our laughter for the real joke; the roster.

Miami’s front office threw together a mix or high priced free agents, young talent and proven veterans and all they got was a last place team.  Since then, the Marlins have imploded the plan and now have to start all over again in the off-season.

The real winner of this season has been the ballpark.  Reviews have been amazing.  I have been there many times as a media member and also as a fan taking my family and friends.  Everyone I’ve taken there, from the biggest baseball fans to people who barely understand the game, has been impressed.  It’s a great place to watch baseball.  It’s a real ballpark.  Parking hasn’t been the nightmare many thought it would be.  Again, overall, it’s been a great addition to the community.

I'm convinced that a winning team would fill up Marlins Park in the future.  I haven't lost hope for that.

Now, if only the front office can figure out how to build that winner.  I have much less confidence in that than people enjoying the ballpark experience.

Any chance they can search for front office help on Groupon?