The Marlins Plan A Spending Spree

In the winter of 1996-97, then Marlins owner Wayne Huizenga gave GM Dave Dombrowski permission to spend money and sign/trade for veteran players to augment a solid core of talent Edgar Renteria, Robb Nen, Charles Johnson, Devon White, Jeff Conine, Al Leiter and Kevin Brown.

Back then it was an annual undertaking for the club to try and gain public financing for a new ballpark; in this case, winning was seen as the cure. They hired Jim Leyland to manage; signed Bobby Bonilla, Alex Fernandez, Dennis Cook and Moises Alou.

The 1997 Marlins won the Wild Card, upset the Braves in the NLCS and beat the Indians in a 7-game World Series.

Then they dismantled the team when they couldn’t get a new ballpark and were sold.

Now the Marlins have a new ballpark on the way; a talented group of young players; and money to spend.

Apparently they’re intent on spending it.

The circumstances mirror each other.

They’re going to hire a name manager (most likely Ozzie Guillen).

They have a foundation of players upon which to build (Logan Morrison, Mike Stanton, Hanley Ramirez, Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco and Anibal Sanchez).

They need a third baseman and Aramis Ramirez is being mentioned; they need pitching and C.J. Wilson is available; they have a first baseman in Gaby Sanchez, but he’d be trade bait if they made a move on Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder; Jose Reyes would allow them to shift Hanley Ramirez to third base; Jonathan Papelbon would fill the void at closer.

Many players are from warm climates and would prefer that type of venue; or they’re attracted to the absence of a state income tax in Florida.

Players will want to play for the Marlins.

But will that bring in fans?

Will a contending team and a new, retractable roof ballpark attract the notoriously fickle and easily distracted, football-preferring masses to support the Marlins for the entire season rather than when they’re in the World Series?

We’re going to find out.

//

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  1. #1 by Dave Wakeman on September 20, 2011 - 2:21 pm

    I’m quite interested in seeing what happens in Miami. I remember being a high school senior the first year the Marlins played at Joe Robbie. While I went to about 25 games that first season before leaving for Tuscaloosa, even initially the crowds weren’t tremendous.

    After returning to South Florida, I can remember all of the good baseball being played and still no one would show up, unless it was a playoff game and, then, everyone was a huge fan. For that matter, the same issue confronts the Panthers and to a lesser extent the Heat.

    I think a few factors are going to throw a wrench into the Marlins plans to be big baseball Kahunas:

    1. The depressed state of the Florida economy. Which is probably a factor in a lot of places, but the South Florida economy is worse than a lot of other places.

    2. Fan apathy. The fans are just plain apathetic. Look at the lengths the Heat have had to go to to get the fans to come to the games on time or at all and the Heat have the 2 of the top 3 players in the NBA.

    3. Traffic congestion: Traffic exists everywhere, I get it. But I just think Miami is least well suited to get people into and out of the stadium area in any reasonable fashion. And, when you consider that you may have a 10 minute walk to the stadium in the rain, even if the stadium is covered, that might make you balk at going.

    That’s what I think about that.

  2. #2 by Jeff on September 20, 2011 - 3:50 pm

    I sure hope something pans out in Florida. I get so depressed watching their games and seeing a couple hundred people at Sun Life.

    • #3 by admin on September 21, 2011 - 11:58 pm

      I’m not convinced that the fans are going to go even if the team spends a load of money; if they do go, it’ll be because of amenities at the park that have absolutely nothing to do with baseball.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: