Attention Florida Marlins Fans: Your Team Is One Game Back!
I know this article might have problems serving its purpose.
It's not easy for me to reach Marlins fans for a couple of reasons.
First of all, my articles aren't read much on this site.
Secondly, members of the Marlins' fanbase are elusive. Very elusive.
Neither of these things is within my control, of course, but maybe with a gentle reminder from me, people in Florida will remember the first of two expansion franchises the state received in the 1990s.
This team's inability to attract spectators is almost embarrassing.
The team's season attendance has eclipsed the two-million mark only twice in its 14-year history thus far. The first time was the inaugural 1993 season, when the team lost 98 games. The second time was in 1997, during the improbable run to a World Series championship, only four years after the inception of the franchise.
The attendance problems have inexplicably continued in 2008. Poor Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 600th career home run into mostly empty seats in right field at Pro Player Stadium.
This hasn't been the only thing worth watching in Miami this season, which is surprising, considering that most people thought the Marlins would be sputtering along with the Washington Nationals in the league's cellar.
That hasn't been the case.
Florida is ahead of Washington, ahead of Atlanta, and tied with New York for second in the National League East. With a team playing so far over their heads, you would expect that people would be kicking down the doors of old Joe Robbie Stadium.
But these are Marlins fans we're talking about.
I know what arguments so-called Marlins fans will use to justify not going to see a winning team: The stadium is too far away from metropolitan Miami, and the ownership doesn't care about the fans.
The first argument just doesn't cut it for me.
If the Brewers played in, say, Sheboygan or Whitewater (look 'em up), the stadium would still be full. And that's the smallest media market in all of Major League Baseball.
Marlin ownership also seems far more competent to me than casual Florida fans want outsiders to believe. Even after selling all of the most important pieces of the 1997 championship team away, the Marlins were back only six years later.
The same thing happened after 2003, and now the Fish are back in contention for a division crown.
Any number of teams would kill for ownership that wins two championships in 10 years. Don't talk to Royals, Reds, or Pirates fans about inept ownership, Marlins' fans, because these teams haven't tasted any significant success since before your team existed.
So, folks in Miami, get out and enjoy your team while they are still messing with that division race that was supposed to be a two-horse affair. Before you know it, all your good, young pitching and powerful hitters will all be given away to teams like Boston, Chicago, and New York, and you'll be stuck with a team that will make you long for the 79-83 finish of 2002.
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