How hard the Marlins marketing department has it likely explains why they've stopped trying to draw Marlins fans and instead have resorted to sending you up? emails to New York Mets fans in hopes they'll buy a ticket to watch the Atlanta Braves close the 2022 regular season in Miami.
Wait, what? Back up. The Marlins are trying to get Mets fans to pay to watch the Braves play the Marlins in Miami?
Word got out on social media on Tuesday that the Marlins had apparently fired off an email to some fans in their database, "Calling All Mets Fans" to buy tickets to watch the home squad play the Atlanta Braves at LoanDepot Park on October 3-5 and to "for once cheer for the Marlins."
New marketing strategy from the Marlins: directly "calling all Mets fans" to buy tickets to next week's Braves series in Miami 🤨— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) September 27, 2022
Final home series for the Marlins and the NL East title is coming down to the wire pic.twitter.com/zmqJuBvFRI
For the record, the Mets are at home against the Marlins tonight but will close out the season against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field in Queens on October 3-5.
We've heard of desperate times that call for desperate measures, but begging New Yorkers to buy Marlins-Braves tickets? There has to be an unwritten MLB rule being broken here. Is nothing sacred?
The angle here is obvious: Recruit South Florida-based Mets fans to the ballyard to root against the Braves and ensure an NL East pennant for the New York nine. But even as the promotion makes sense in theory, the practice of inviting rival fans to your ballpark seems, let's just say, awkward.
Predictably, an already jaded Marlins fanbase wasn't having it. Alerted to the pitch by a recipient of the email, the SB Nation Marlins fan website Fish Stripes covered the icky story in Tuesday's edition of the stie's Fish Stripes Live podcast.
The Florida Mets going up against the Atlanta Braves?" quipped host Daniel Rodriguez.
"They're just flat-out telling us, 'Hey, division rival, come bring your team and fans over to our stadium to support another division rival," scoffed Fish Stripes Live co-host John Rodriguez. "It's not a good look. I think it's embarrassing and pathetic."
Other Fish Stripers expressed a feeling of genuine disbelief and borderline betrayal.
"I've never seen this kind of promotion — or would even imagine that this would cross the mind of any executive, front office, or marketing team," mused Adam Akbani. "I'm just very confused as to how, like, at all, they would think this was a good idea."
Marlins fans weren't the only baseball faithful to question the team's guerrilla marketing move. Fans from around the league took to r/baseball on Reddit to share their thoughts about inviting a rival's fans to a game against not that team.
"I think this would be fine if they were just more subtle about it," one Kansas City Royals fan offered. "Highlighting that this is a huge series for other teams' playoff scenarios and marketing off of that would be good business, but the 'Calling all Mets fans' just feels so amateur and desperate."
"Not only do we not have fans, but watch these teams that aren't us fight for a playoff spot we can’t compete for," opined a Braves fan.
A minority saw the marketing plight and sympathized.
"I'm alright with it because I think it is done in good humor. They're trying to drum up ticket sales and aren't insinuating in any way that they only want Mets fans there," an Angels fan wrote. (Hmmm. Would those be the 68-86 Los Angeles Angels, currently perched 33.5 games out of first place in the American League West?)
The Marlins marketing team has a job to do, and the job ain't easy. Even going into a season with more promise and intrigue than many prior, the Marlins currently own the second-lowest home attendance in the league at 11,158 fans per game, according to ESPN.com. Wonder what the Oakland A's (10,019 fans per game) marketing folks have cooked up for the regular season's finish line.