Being a Miami Marlins fan sucks. It sucks bad. It's legitimately painful and likely terrible for your health. This week, however, has especially sucked to root for the hometown baseball team.
Now that Derek Jeter's new ownership group has sold off Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees and traded Dee Gordon to the Seattle Mariners, it's becoming increasingly obvious that the Marlins will be a special kind of terrible this year — and probably for the next few years — while Jeter and company try to put together a baseball franchise that has a chance at winning the World Series.
Losing sucks. Knowing you're going to lose for a long time sucks. And being a Marlins fan definitely sucks. It's difficult to put into words just exactly how bad it sucks to be a Marlins fan, but we'll take a couple of swings at it.
1. Everything you love about the team will one day be ripped away. Marlins fans are beyond traumatized. No one would blame them if they had trust issues that no amount of therapy could fix. From the beginning of time (or at least since 1993), they've leased — never bought — their favorite players. Marlins fans have watched various groups of owners and management sell off their favorites — from Gary Sheffield to Miggy Cabrera to Giancarlo Stanton — not because another team offered them a sweetheart deal, but because the Fish simply couldn't afford them.
It's the worst. Even if it makes good business sense, Marlins fans deserve better. This holiday season, what jersey is a Marlins fan supposed to buy? The best and safest choice might be Jose Fernandez, which is incredible for so many reasons.
2. No one gives Marlins fans the respect they deserve. Marlins fans might not be huge in numbers, but the ones who do support the team are some of the most loyal fans in sports. If they are still around after all the franchise has put them through, can anyone argue against the idea that Fish fans deserve some credit?
Everyone else looks down on Miami's fan base not only because they largely find baseball in Miami a joke, but also because even though Fish fans have so much to bitch about, they've also been treated to two World Series championships in their team's short history. That bothers people who have been fans of a team forever and would be happy with a simple wildcard berth.
3. South Floridians' hatred of Marlins Park extends to the Marlins. Everyone knows Marlins Park was a huge mistake for the City of Miami. The deal was so bad that other cities across the nation have since used the project as an example of how not to let a baseball team hold a government hostage. But forget the fact that the grandchildren of Miami-Dade County taxpayers will be paying off Marlins Park for years to come; let's focus on the fact that everyone hates Marlins Park because it's built on the grave of the Orange Bowl. That's salt in the wound.
It already sucks enough being a Marlins fan. It sucks even more knowing that a lot of locals judge you for being a fan of a team that not only stole billions from taxpayers but also dances on the deathbed of the greatest venue in the history of South Florida sports.
4. There is never an end in sight to the suffering. The Marlins are always three years away from being a year away from being a contender. Last season, the Marlins were supposed to compete, and then they didn't. Now it's back to the drawing board. It's like that viral video for that "slippery stairs" Japanese game show: As soon as you near the top, you slip and slide all the way back to the bottom and have to start all over again.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Not only does having to start over every four years stink, but also it's always with new faces. Just when you think a guy is about to get it, they ship him off to the Red Sox for a Triple-A player and a promising pitcher who's barely old enough to drive.
5. You know baseball in Miami can work if given a chance. We've all seen baseball in Miami work. We've seen the Marlins draw 25,000 to 35,000 spectators for an entire month when the team was kicking other team's asses. We've seen the World Baseball Classic create excitement right here in our backyard. When it comes to baseball, Miami has caught lightning in a bottle before. It's just never been given a chance. That why Miami baseball fans get a bad name. It's like blaming the victim.
If someone would just give Fish fans something to cheer for, Marlins Park could be a special place every night. It sucks that the Marlins are a perpetually burning dumpster fire that no more than 15,000 people can support on a given night. Fans hope and pray Jeter knows what he's doing, because baseball in Miami can work if given a real shot.
For now, it just sucks.