Laurence Leavy, AKA Marlins Man (center), and friends.
Laurence Leavy, AKA Marlins Man (center), and friends.
Photo by Tim Elfrink

Marlins Man Is Paying the Price as Jeter Cuts Ties With the Loria Era

Late last week, things between Marlins Man and his beloved home team got messy. Miami lawyer Laurence Leavy, better known as "Marlins Man" after getting prime TV seats at sporting events nationwide in his Day-Glo orange jersey, announced that for the first time in 25 years, he wouldn't be paying for Marlins season tickets.

The reason? The Miami Marlins were unwilling to accept what they considered Leavy's lowball, below-market offer. The real reason? It's probably a bit more complicated.

Leavy says he offered $200,000 for a three-year package for four Diamond Club seats behind home plate, which translates to $250 per ticket. The Marlins reportedly came back at $260 per ticket. Leavy refused to budge, arguing that this offseason's fire sale has resulted in a greatly diminished product on the field, so a 10 percent discount seemed fair. The Marlins did not agree, so Marlins Man and his orange jersey won't be making appearances at Fish games this season.

Chances are Derek Jeter and the Marlins' new shot-callers aren't all that broken up about that development. As petty and insignificant as it might sound, Marlins Man represents yet another tie to the old Jeffrey Loria era that the new brass is trying to purge. They want less circus and more baseball — less focus on sideshows and gimmicks, more energy and more attention dedicated to building a solid baseball organization. If Loria and the old regime had anything to do with it, put it out on the curb.

The garish home-run statue? It still rests in centerfield at Marlins Park, but only because, oddly, ripping it out and repurposing it as a birdhouse somewhere in Aventura would apparently take a unanimous Super Court ruling.

The Great Sea mascot race? The Marlins sent Julio the Octopus and his friends to the big mascot race in the sky.

High-priced players who don't want to be Marlins unless all of their friends are here too? Door, meet ass.

Now Marlins Man and the sideshow that sometimes comes with him are gone, and that's probably not a coincidence.

None of this is to say Marlins Man is a bad fan or even a bad person. He's by all reports a great guy. On numerous occasions, he's made a point to pay it forward by giving away tickets and perks to those who would otherwise never be able to experience a game up close and personal.

But Jeter and his team have bluntly told Marlins Man that he doesn't matter to this franchise anymore. The only obvious reason is that the Marlins want a fresh start from every symbol of Loria-era baseball.

Like Giancarlo Stanton recently said: The circus in Miami is supposed to be over — for better or worse.

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