MIAMI - Fans chanted loudly in the stands Wednesday, but there was some quiet grumbling going on at Marlins Park over the team trading one of its marquis players, Hanley Ramirez.
"I think this season is pretty much over as far as making the playoffs, so I think it is time to rebuild," said Marlins fan Conner Jones.
At Wednesday's game, fans were still wearing Ramirez's jersey, despite the fact he is no longer on the team.
"Hanley Ramirez was one of our favorite players, so it is unfortunate. I thought we were building the franchise pretty much around him," said fan Kenny Eckardt.
Meanwhile, the Marlins front office brass made no bones about why they let Hanley go.
"Why he is hitting .246 we haven't quite figured out. I think it is time for a fresh change for Hanley, and it is time for a fresh start for the Marlins without him," said Larry Beinfest, general manager of baseball operations for the Marlins.
"I think whatever happened in the past with Hanley, I care less. I care about what he can do for us right now as a ball club. All this ball club we are trying to build around him," said Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen.
But, some are not buying what the Marlins are selling, saying this is all about money -- shedding about $38 million of Ramirez's salary.
"I never expected this to happen -- never -- not with the new stadium, with all the money they are getting from the concession stands," said fan Mike Fonticoba, who said he is not renewing his season tickets for next year.
It is no secret that taxpayers footed the majority of the bill for a $500 million retractable-roof ballpark. At the beginning of the season, owner Jeffrey Loria promised to put a winning team on the field.
"Yeah, I think that anybody believed him, probably there are some bridges they would buy, too," said fan Josh Mothner. "It's unfortunate, but it is just the history of the way things have gone. After the World Series, fire-sale everybody. It's kind of the way it has been all along."
"Trade Loria and Beinfest," said Fonticoba.
Fonticoba said he got caught up in the hype, and now he feels like he has been had.
"So, this year I am all excited -- new stadium, a lot of people, excitement, so I spend 90 bucks on this thing right here -- 90 bucks. Loria, maybe you want to give me my money back," he said.
The play on the field definitely affects attendance. During Wednesday's game, the stands were pretty full, but that was partly because of a lot of children from summer camps attending.
Many are skeptical about the trade because of who the Marlins got in return.
"I don't recognize any of the names coming in, so it doesn't fill me with confidence," said fan Katherine Justesen.
Other fans think the trade was necessary and Ramirez's best days are behind him.
"I liked to see Hanley go. He is a bum," said fan Jim Warstler. "It's good for the team. He was a bad-morale guy."
"I say dump him. Take advantage of the cap and use it to better the team," said fan D.J. Dorsey
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