It’s Opening Day in Miami. Spring is here. Baseball is back, and the Miami Marlins will soon take the field with a brand-new look under the direction of brand-new owner Derek Jeter. We have been told he is reasonably attractive.
And still, we are finding it very hard to care.
It’s not that we don’t want to support Miami’s professional sports teams. The Miami Heat is bae. We have a few unresolved issues with the Dolphins – OK, quite a few, if we’re honest. But in general we hope they win, if only to vanquish the Forces of Evil, aka the entire northeastern United States. We even cheer for the Florida Panthers though the team abandoned us to become an extension of Sawgrass Mills mall.
And then there are the Marlins.
That attractive, brand-new owner grows less hot with each personnel decision. He dumped popular players and sliced the payroll down to the equivalent of a night out at Seaspice (drinks not included). In fact, he looks more and more like the former owner whom everybody loathed.
Nobody is optimistic about the Marlins. Miami Herald columnist Greg Cote writes that “You would have to dig below the crust of the Earth and down through at least two or three tectonic plates to reach the depth of expectations the baseball literati have set for these Fire-Sale Fish.”
“I don’t wanna say gloom ushers in the new season where hope of spring should be,” he continues, “but the traditional red, white and blue bunting associated with baseball’s Opening Day would be replaced by funereal black crepe if the experts are right in their pessimism.”
Right. And the rest of you don’t seem to be able to muster up much in the way of a defense. We don’t blame you.
As far as we can tell, the only thing you care about is the Marlins’ home-run sculpture, which is beginning to look like a rare element of grace and beauty in an otherwise grim season. In our poll, a whopping 55 percent voted to keep the sculpture in the park despite Mr. Jeter’s contempt for it.
(The next-highest vote getter was “Sink it in the ocean. It will make a great artificial reef if it doesn’t scare the fish.” Trust us. It will scare the fish.)
So help us out, Miami. Tell us why should we care about the Marlins – or why we should tune out.