Chances are you didn't miss the Marlins being in the news this week for suing their own fans, but if you did, that's a thing that is happening. What you may have missed is some Marlins news within the news. Marlins TV host Craig Minervini went all cyber-Anchorman, feuding with the local media over their coverage, or lack thereof, of the team.
Over the course of the last few days, Minervini and numerous local members of the media have been debating whether the Marlins deserve more than the negative news about the front office, scores, and highlights.
Minervini was seemingly set off by a benign tweet NBC News and the Ticket (WAXY-AM 790) the Ticket sports radio host Adam Kuperstein sent out questioning whether even a tenth of South Florida knows who Marlins outfielder and future Hall of Famer Ichiro Suzuki is.
What percentage of South Floridians know who Ichiro is?— Adam Kuperstein (@AKuperstein) May 24, 2016
My guess is 10%. And I think that's being generous.
A fair question asked by a sports radio host that makes a living creating sports discussions turned into an all-out Twitter beef between those who think the Marlins get the shit-end of the media stick and those who think the team has earned their reputation and nothing they have done on the field this year mandates a change in coverage of the team. The tweet, however, has Minervini playing a weeklong tweets tennis match with the media. Here is just a sample of the mind-blowing conversation that has been taking place:
I think some of media here has gotten so drawn into football/hoops, that when a great baseball story smacks them in face, they don't see it— Craig Minervini (@CraigMinervini) May 24, 2016
And what's the great story? Stanton slumping. Ichiro hot. Team around .500. Can't compare to Heat and Dolphins. https://t.co/1U3sT7sMHj— Will Manso (@WillManso) May 24, 2016
What Minervini either misses or is incapable of seeing through his Marlins-employee goggles is that the baseball team should be thankful it gets any coverage at all. The Marlins should kiss the ground that each fan walks on. The Miami Marlins as a franchise are a disgrace to the city of Miami, and most people that don't directly work for them would much rather go about their day simply forgetting they exist. Just because you love baseball and you work for the Marlins doesn't make their putrid history with the city loveable.
People like Craig Minervini will tell you to root for the guys because they deserve it, but that's a heaping pile of bullshit. Marlins players might as well be faceless, nameless robots walking up to the plate this season. Nobody trusts they will be here next year. Trust in the Marlins was a fart in the wind a long time ago. Investing in these guys battling to stay above .500 was cute a decade and $1.2 billion taxpayer dollars ago.
The reality is that media covers the Miami Heat offseason harder than they do the Marlins' actual season because that's what interests their customers, not because they are mean or don't understand a baseball story when they see it. I've worked at a local radio station myself and seen the text machine when hosts talk baseball — it's less than positive.
It's not a level playing field, media-coverage-wise, mostly because the Marlins have made it this way. Mention of the Marlins is not a way to excite or interest readers or viewers in
Sorry, Craig, but not many eyeballs and ears are pinned to the next report about a team in fourth place in the National League East that has won as much as they've lost. Not after what the team has done to the town in the past. Not when you consider what else is available.
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What apparently passes for a feel-good Marlins story at this point is the fact that a 42-year-old backup outfielder is plugging away in hopes of reaching 3,000 hits this season. With the Marlins near the bottom in MLB attendance and lacking TV viewership of games, like much of the rest of MLB, that sort of thing isn't exactly breaking
You know what does, though? The team suing its own fans. The team's best player in 2015 getting popped for steroids. The player the team just dedicated $300 million to falling into an all-time slump. If the Marlins want better coverage of their team, possibly their players shouldn't blackball and ignore some radio stations and hosts in town when asked for interviews. And maybe they should stick around to speak to the media after tough nights at the plate.
Maybe the Marlins should stop being a disgraceful, despicable, and pathetic representation of the city of Miami. Maybe then the fans and media might want to talk about why Derek Dietrich didn't take second on a passed ball. Maybe once the team keeps the same core of players around for more than three years, fans and media will be interested in committing their attention and coverage to a team that has hurt them in the past. Maybe, just once, the Marlins will give Miami and its media a reason to give a positive shit about them. This isn't St. Louis; baseball isn't embedded in the souls of South Floridians. And if we had baseball in our souls, the Marlins would have ripped it out years ago.
Stop complaining, Craig. Be happy your bosses continue to get away with the crooked Ponzi scheme that pays your salary every year. You never know when you'll be canned. Ask Tommy Hutton.