The Miami Marlins were recently purchased via leveraged buyout, basically, and the money that once went to pay the salaries of popular superstars like Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna will now go directly into the pocket of the new bosses. It will not, however, make them better at baseball any time soon, . This is not making fans happy.
To deal with this, the most visible of the new owners — Derek Jeter, who is paying himself $5 million a year to do a job for which he has no experience whatsoever — decided to meet Marlins season ticket holders in a town hall-style setup last night in an effort to make it all better.
He did not make it all better.
At the outset, it’s worth noting that the Marlins did not allow news cameras into the event. The ostensible reason: they didn’t want fans to be uncomfortable. That’s laughable, of course. It was because they didn’t want video of Derek Jeter getting yelled at or fumbling for nonsensical answers to questions for which he had no reasonable response.
Cameras or no cameras, Jeter had a hard go of it. From one report:
Jeter calmly answered questions for 90 minutes. Asked if the team got enough in return for Stanton, he pointed out that they got $265 million of relief that will give them the flexibility to do what they want to do.
“We gave a gift, right?” Jeter said. “I hope every gift I give returns $265 million.”
Nothing makes baseball fans happier than payroll relief.
Another fan — a woman who was in tears, by the way — asked Jeter why he didn’t add pitching and keep the top offensive players the Marlins had. Jeter asked her in return what pitchers he could have signed. Fans love defeatism and condescension too.
But hey, he’s Derek Jeter. He may not have experience with the business aspects of running a baseball team and he may have no idea what he’s doing when it comes to player evaluation and roster construction, but he does have that Derek Jeter magic. He does know how to give that personal touch to make people feel like their voices are being heard:
When one fan told Jeter that she emailed her complaints to him, he recoiled in alarm.
“You don’t have my email address,” he said.
Keep up the good work, Captain. You’re doing a hell of a job so far.