The Miami Marlins took it to the San Diego Padres over the weekend, but it's hard to fault those who poke fun at the Fish. Between the inexplicable out-of-nowhere pair of World Series titles, the every-four-year tear-downs, and today's weak squad, the team is delicious low-hanging fruit begging to be whacked. Who wouldn't think the Marlins are a mess? Who in their right mind believes the team is doing things right?
Apparently, Marlins fans, that's who — well, at least the ones who are paying the most attention to the team. You won't find many of them, though, on Twitter or in Facebook comments.
The Fishstripes, the SB Nation Marlins blog, recently took a poll, and the results are pretty interesting. Fans believe the train is headed in the right direction and, more important, trust Derek Jeter to get it to the ultimate and final destination once again: the World Series.
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The poll shows 68 percent of Marlins fans are onboard with Jeter's plan and have confidence in what he's doing. That's extra-important this afternoon, when Jeter and the team will make one of their most important decisions — selecting fourth overall in the MLB Draft. The SB Nation FanPulse poll is sent out to each of the league's 30 teams every week to take the temperature of those who most closely follow the team. This week, its followers made one thing clear: In Derek Jeter they trust.
The results are a bit surprising when you consider the narrative surrounding the team on social media. There are many angry tweets and complaints on Facebook about Jeter and the Marlins, but the fans who invest time in subscribing and following Fishstripes provide a completely different opinion.
Outsiders will point to Christian Yelich murdering baseballs for the Milwaukee Brewers as a sign Jeter is clueless, but fans in the know look deeper into the overall picture — from Class-A ball all the way to Miami. They see Jeter and his crew have revamped the franchise, restocked the farm-system cupboards (the system ranked almost last under former owner Jeffrey Loria nearly every season but now is in the top 13 headed into today's draft), and accumulated international spending money that will be used on intriguing players in the future.
It's not easy to trust the process, but for those who have done the research, deeply investigated the Marlins' blueprint, and bought into what the team is building, things are right on target.
Marlins fans might be investing their trust in another heartbreaking story. We'll know in the near future. But for now, it's exciting to see what the team is building. For now, it seems a majority of knowledgable and invested Marlins fans like where the team is headed.