Of course, the team is still owned by a cartoon robber baron who stomped out the last remaining ounce of goodwill toward his franchise when he began suing his own season ticketholders last year. So who is shocked that literally no one is going to Marlins Park?
The Fish might have set a new record for pathetic attendance yesterday when they took on the Philadelphia Phillies for an afternoon game. Although the team claimed a paid crowd of 15,197, AP sports reporter Steve Wine had enough time on his hands to try a manual count of fans who showed up. Wine's verdict: 1,590 people.
That is historically bad. If Wine's count is close, it's the worst crowd to watch an MLB game since 1989, when 1,500 showed up for a Padres-Braves game.
The Marlins were infamous for minuscule crowds in their Dolphins Stadium days, when temperatures felt like watching baseball on the surface of the sun, and summer monsoons meant regular four-hour delays.
Marlins leading 10-2 in 9th. Looks like a lot of folks have left to beat the rush hour traffic. pic.twitter.com/WQfJejzaIA— clarkspencer (@clarkspencer) May 31, 2017
Marlins Park, with its high-tech sliding roof and blasting A/C, was supposed to fix that problem at a tidy cost of nearly $3 billion to local taxpayers.
But in 2017, asking Miami residents to voluntarily hand over money to a company owned by Jeffrey Loria is roughly equivalent to asking mugging victims to regularly return to the park where they were brutally robbed to give a few more bucks to the criminal.
Loria, let's hope, is in the middle of his final act of villainy, holding out on a sale of his team until next year, when he'll have to share almost none of the billion-dollar windfall with the local taxpayers who boosted his franchise's value with a free ballpark.
Until then, Miami-Dade's residents are well within their rights to turn Little Havana's stadium into a ghost town. The Marlins already have the lowest attendance in the National League, and only the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Ahtletics — two teams with decrepit stadiums — have drawn fewer attendees overall. Here's our challenge to Miami: Let's top the Rays for futility. They're only 6,000 average fans per game behind us.
Sorry, Marlins Man: You're on your own until next year.