Florida Marlins to Pursue Identity in 2012

Colby PashContributor IMay 2, 2009

MIAMI - APRIL 06:  A fan holds up his glove to try and get a ball thrown his way by a player as the Washington Nationals take on the Florida Marlins on opening day at Dolphin Stadium on April 6, 2009 in Miami, Florida. The Marlins defeated the Nationals 12-5.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

In 2012, the Florida Marlins are scheduled to begin play in a new half-billion dollar ballpark, tentatively called Marlins Ballpark. Along with the new ballpark, the Florida Marlins will introduce a new team name: The Miami Marlins. This is good, and I’ll tell you why.

Miami somehow struggles to support a baseball team, even with two World Series Championships in a 15-year existence. Wrigley Field routinely, I’m certain, draws larger crowds for pregame BP sessions.

Right now the Marlins play in a football stadium, but that can’t be used as the reason for the poor attendance. The World Baseball Classic (or my preferred, more accurate title World Baseball Championships) revealed the Miami fan's potential to support baseball.

The attendance for the Puerto Rico vs. Venezuela quarter-finale was intense. This is a larger stage worldwide, but not in the United States. The USA had stunted support while playing in Miami compared to the Latin teams.

The problem with getting fans to the ballpark isn’t the ballpark (football stadium) itself. The problem is the team name “Florida Marlins.” It gives no credit the dense Latin culture in Miami. The team does not belong to the state of Florida, it belongs to the city of Miami and there is no sense of this.

The culture in Miami is different from the culture anywhere else in the United States. The Marlins as a fan-base do not have an identity, which is a shame because Miami most certainly does. The new team name, Miami Marlins, will do incredible things for the closeted baseball fans in Miami.

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The fans can wear ‘Miami’ across their chests with pride. We can only hope that as a society full of nincompoop jersey-wearing adults, the Marlins fans will limit jersey-wearing to the new Marlins Ballpark, but I doubt we'll be so lucky.

While the main problem isn’t the stadium, it can’t go unsaid how much the retractable roof will help attendance by combatting the hot Miami sun and tropical rains. This retractable roof will make baseball games more enjoyable to watch, unlike the games played in Tampa Bay, where the Rays absurdly play in a Floridian dome.

Perhaps the Marlins can finally embrace the culture of Miami instead of having such ballpark promotions as Lawyer Appreciation Night. Yup, it’s a real thing.

And 2009 marks the fifth consecutive year of it. I think maybe Lawyer Appreciation Night should be discontinued upon cutting the ribbon to the new Marlins Ballpark. But that’s just one man’s opinion.