Now before Marlins fans go and get their panties in a bunch, this has little to do with the product on the field and much to do with the front office, specifically Jeffrey Loria. We, and by we I mean Mets fans, sit on social media on a daily basis, and bitch and moan about the Wilpons and Sandy Alderson and all the moves (or lack thereof) that this team consistently makes (or doesn’t). But if we look within our own division, do we really have it that bad?
There is no denying that the Mets have not won anything since 1986 and have been borderline unwatchable for most of the 90’s and 2000’s with the exceptions of 1999-2000 and 2006-2008. The Wilpons made a decision to go with Sandy Alderson after replacing Omar Minaya and there was a clear plan put into place (whether that plan should have been made more public is another story for another day). However, from what the media and fans were privy to, the plan was to clear the roster of dead payroll (Jason Bay topped the list, among others) and start building up the farm system and a competitive team of young, controllable, homegrown talent. While the plan has clearly taken longer than anyone expected or hoped for, we are finally starting to see the fruits of their labor.
The Marlins on the other hand, have been the definition of inconsistency. They collect a handful of stars, make promises to their fans and set expectations, then reverse course within a year and field a team of mis-casts. They make commitments to homegrown young talent to increase fan interest and season ticket sales, then usually deal them for minor leaguers and start over before you can even blink an eye. They build a new stadium to entice fans to return to watch them play, then complain that nobody shows up. This is no way to run an organization or treat a fan base. At least with the Mets, we kind of know what to expect on a yearly basis and see the direction of the franchise. The Marlins on the other hand, act like a 4 year old with ADHD and constantly chase the bouncing ball down the road before inevitably being distracted by the new flavor of the week.
The reason this is all relevant today is because yet again, the owner of the Marlins, Jeffrey Loria, has changed directions. After nearly a quarter of the MLB season in the books, Loria has fired yet another manager. It seems that Loria gets an idea or thought in his head (possibly fueled by the media) and it eats away at him until he makes a quick, brash decision. The Marlins were expected to struggle, despite locking up their superhuman Giancarlo Stanton and acquiring Martin Prado and Dee Gordon in the off-season. They have been without young phenom Jose Fernandez as he continues to make his way back from Tommy John surgery and have been missing Henderson Alvarez until yesterday as well. But when all else fails, blame the manager, right? The worst part for fans of the Marlins is not even replacing a manager and his coaches a quarter into the season, but it’s who the manager is being replaced with. Dan Jennings. Who is that, you may ask. Well, Dan Jennings was the General Manager of the Marlins, whose move takes him from the front office to the front lines, on the bench, where he has zero experience.
Good luck, Marlins fans!