Marlins ownership excited to welcome back fans, hopes to build off Wild Card success

Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter watches during the first inning of a baseball game between the Marlins and the Atlanta Braves, Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) (Wilfredo Lee, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

MIAMI – With pitchers and catchers returning to Jupiter for Spring Training this week, Marlins CEO Derek Jeter and Owner Bruce Sherman addressed the media on Monday.

The team is planning to welcome back limited fans for the start of the 2021 season.

Jeter said, “We look forward to the opportunity to have fans come back into our ballpark. Obviously, the number one priority is health and safety. I think we continue to get more information as we get closer and closer to the start of the season... We hope those numbers increase throughout the course of the season. "

Jeter said that the safety of everyone around the organization remains the top priority.

On the field, Jeter said that the Marlins top priority was to bolster the bullpen.

Jeter said, “We have a plan to build this organization and we’re gonna stick to that plan. We want to make sure our young players have an opportunity to develop.”

Jeter said the lack of a minor league season last year is something that people are not accounting for.

The goal for the organization, according to Jeter, is progress.

Jeter said the franchise wants to “Get back to some sense of normalcy, I don’t know what that means. Right? I don’t know what that means, I don’t know how long that’s going to take. I know it was a challenge for the entire industry and it’ll be a challenge for 2021.”

Jeter said that he sees the confidence of players rising throughout the organization.

Jeter said, “Made a little progress, got to the postseason, we’re happy with the progress that we made, but we’re not happy with how the season finished. It’s become contagious.”

Jeter wouldn’t commit to any time frames for growth, “When you put a time frame on something, you’re giving yourself an excuse to fail. Right? So we never put a timeframe on it... There was never a timeframe on it.”

Sherman said, “Baseball is different than all business, we’re 30 teams we’re all joined at the hip in some ways... We’re a private company... But the same principles of good discipline and trying to achieve your best apply here. The key element is to stick to the plan.... Put a great product on the field and continue to grow.”

Sherman said that every business has been impacted by the pandemic.

On fans, Jeter said, “We’re doing everything in our power, making sure that fans are as comfortable as they can be coming. While at the same time recognizing that some fans will be hesitant to come... Hopefully, as more and more people become vaccinated they become more and more comfortable.”

Jeter said the team is in the process of getting WELL certified, to give fans a little more comfort in coming in.

Jeter said more details will be introduced next week.

Sherman said the Marlins have made progress in trying to get a TV deal.

Jeter was asked about the NL East, he said that it’s no secret that they are in a good division.

Jeter said the team did not have a conversation about cutting payroll because of the pandemic.

Jeter said he hopes for a full minor and major league season so he can say, “look this is the group that we’re rolling with.. this is the group we have internally and this is the group that we can build externally.”

Jeter said he initially worked to improve fan experience at the ballpark and were making changes.

Jeter said the pandemic set them back, but they’re still trying to address everything that the fan base wanted.

About the Author:

David Lang is executive producer of the Local 10 sports department.