Florida Marlins: Most Unsung Franchise in MLB?

Alex AynessazianCorrespondent IAugust 2, 2008

A business is defined by the consumers that use the product. If there aren’t any customers, the product must be a loser. Unlike many other products, the Florida Marlins franchise is very much a winner.

The Florida Marlins have one of the lowest payrolls in all of baseball, but they continue to win most years with a collection of lesser-known players. The players that win for the Marlins were unheard of until their talent sparked out of the blue.

You look at stars like Josh Beckett, Dontrelle Willis, Miguel Cabrera, Hanley Ramirez, and Dan Uggla. Many of these players are no longer on the Marlins, but it doesn’t matter, they still win because they’re loaded with prospects.

This season, the Marlins are battling with the Phillies and Mets for the NL East title. These teams have players that are household names. These players are on covers of MLB video games. The only players on the Marlins that might be a household name are Uggla and Ramirez. Uggla is probably known for being the main reason that the NL lost the All-Star game, when, in reality, he is having a breakout season. Once again, the Marlins beat these teams with big-name players down the stretch and make the postseason.

The interesting fact about the Marlins organization is that, although its team consistently wins, it doesn't have a significant fan base at all. I’m not sure how much a ticket to a Marlins home game costs, but I’m thinking they wouldn’t be all too upset if I was to go up to the front gates and tell them I’m broke. I could probably get a seat where, at a Chicago Cubs game, buying the ticket actually would make me broke.

I know the higher-ups of the Marlins organization can’t be completely ignorant. They must realize that a move would only be a good idea. We saw in the NBA that a team with as much history as the Seattle Sonics can move to a place that will respect the team, like Oklahoma City.

If I were owner of the Marlins, I would be fighting everyday to get a new place to play. The Marlins could get more seats filled just about anywhere. A team in Las Vegas seems like the best idea to me. The USA basketball team trains in Vegas, and gets a huge fan showing; you would think a baseball team could do something similar.

Florida is privileged to have an organization like the Marlins, yet, even when their team is winning, they still don’t appreciate, or even cheer for the team. Florida really isn’t looking at a bright future for its other sports teams, either. The Magic look like a consistent playoff team, but the Heat and Dolphins are a long way away from championship-bound.