At Big League Stew, Mike Oz details how a Marlins “ultimate fan” contest went horribly awry. The directions told fans to post a photo to Instagram using the hashtag “#MarlinsFanCave” to enter to win a prize — a trip to New York City with the Marlins from June 7-9. Gee, what could be more fun than hitting up Times Square with Placido Polanco and Greg Dobbs?
Oz quoted some of the responses found on the Marlins Facebook post for the contest:
“you guys have no fans.”
“do I get to hide in shame in this cave?”
“Is this the cave where Loria and Samson are hiding?”
“This organization might just be the funniest joke ever.”
“If anyone needs Marlins cheap first row tickets Message me.”
“Please let me choose the game to watch. If I have to watch the Marlins I would feel like I had lost.”
And from Instagram:
“It’s just pathetic at this point. Cancel this account!! Cancel the season while you’re at it.”
“Wait, there is such a thing as marlins fans?”
When you cut the team’s payroll from $101 million to $50 million, this kind of acrimony is to be expected. The Marlins own baseball’s worst offense and are tied with the Houston Astros at 10-25 for the worst record. As a result, the Marlins have the worst attendance in the National League, averaging fewer than 19,000 fans per game.
Mitt Romney built his professional life in Massachusetts and was once the governor of the state. As such, it is not surprising that he has long identified as a Red Sox fan. So this has to be troubling to him from a fan’s perspective. From Jon Heyman:
The Romney family is bidding to buy a small stake in the Yankees months after their try for the Marlins stalled. If the deal goes through, it is expected to be $25 million to $30 million per percentage point and thought to be interested in one or two percentage points. The Yankees are valued around $3 billion or more.
The effort is being led by Mitt’s son Tagg, one of his brothers and their business partners. Mitt’s spokesman tells Jon Heyman that he has nothing to do with it personally. Tagg Romney is reported to have been planning a bid for controlling interest in the Marlins, but that has fallen through.
I find this interesting insofar as the M.O. for the Steinbrenners has, for years, been to buy out minority shareholders in the Yankees, not seek more. Indeed, when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees back in 1973 he held just a bare controlling interest and there were a ton of silent partners, most of which were back in Ohio and knew Steinbrenner from his shipping business. I’ve personally gotten to know some of them over the years as there are a handful of them in Columbus and I crossed paths with them in my legal career. They have almost all been bought out in the past couple of decades. They still get season tickets and World Series rings and stuff. You can tell them by their personalized Yankees plates and the fact that, within the first ten minutes of meeting them, they will tell you that they once owned a piece of the Yankees but got pushed out.
In light of all of that it’s interesting that the Steinbrenners are once again accepting bids for small stakes in the team. Especially from someone whose interest in controlling the Marlins suggests that they do not consider it to be a mere vanity investment. Makes me wonder what the Steinbrenners’ long term plans are.
The Nationals will be many people’s favorites in the NL East this season. Not everything is looking great, however. For example, their ace — defending NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer — can’t even throw fastballs right now.
The reason: the stress fracture he suffered last August is still causing him problems and Scherzer is unable to use his fastball grip without feeling pain in his right ring finger. He will throw a bullpen session tomorrow, but will only use his secondary stuff.
Scherzer has not been ruled out for Opening Day — the fact that he is throwing some means that his timetable isn’t totally on hold — but you have to figure, at some point, not being able to air things out and use his heater will lead to some problems in his spring training routine.