Being a Miami Marlins fan is a lot like being a garbage man: No one truly appreciates you, and they talk about you only when you don't show up. It's truly a thankless job. It wasn't always that way, though. Being a Marlins fan was once cool. The Marlins were the new thing in town, and being a fan of them was your duty as a South Floridian.
Nowadays, life as a Marlins fan is complicated. There aren't exactly people sprinting down the street to jump on the bandwagon, but for those already onboard, it's a badge of honor. You made it this far, and there is no going back.
Here's how you know if you're a true, die-hard Marlins fan (you know, other than the fact that against all odds and rational thought, you still watch their games).
1.Watching Giancarlo Stanton hit walk-off monster dongs for the Yankees this season feels like watching your ex thrive on Instagram. You're not necessarily rooting against Stanton, but you just would prefer if he didn't rub how well he's doing right in your face. It's just too soon, and your wounds need time to heal without having ungrateful Yankees fans celebrating how amazing it is to have Stanton crushing homers on their favorite baseball team.
2.You really wish the Marlins would listen to their fans and bring back the teal and pinstripes. It's simple: Keep "Miami" in the team's name but bring back the beautiful teal. Rarely do Marlins fans ask for anything other than for their owners to spend some money on baseball players every once in awhile. This request is almost unanimous.
3.You can't even describe what it is about the Marlins' home-run sculpture that makes you happy, but you love it. It doesn't even make any sense. The entire thing is ridiculous. You've fallen in love with it, though. If Derek Jeter even thinks about taking this beautiful monstrosity away, there will be hell to pay.
4.Somewhere you have a drawer full of the most '90s Marlins swag ever. What's crazy is a lot of those '90s Marlins shirts are now considered "vintage" and are being sold on eBay for a pretty penny. You can't sell them, though, because they're your last connection to a simpler time, when being a Marlins fan wasn't met with the constant question of "Why?"
5. Sometimes you actually miss the Marlins playing baseball at Joe Robbie Stadium.Sometimes fans miss the old ballpark in Miami Gardens, but not all the time. Let's not get crazy. But there are definitely times Marlins fans reminisce about the "teal monster" and how you could basically get into a Marlins game for free and by the fifth inning be sitting behind the dugout. Fans used to sit in the cheap seats and literally just find foul balls that had probably been there for weeks. There were perks to the Marlins playing in the worst baseball stadium of all time.
6. Not only do you think the Marlins should go back to teal, but you also think the old logo was better. Of all the terrible things Jeffrey Loria did to the Miami Marlins and their fans, one of the worst was turning the Marlins' logo and look into something you'd expect to find on the Las Vegas strip. The classic look and feel of the Marlins' old logo just feels right. Throw an "M" where the "F" used to be, and we're good.
7. The fact that the Marlins' latest first-round pick, Connor Scott, was born two years after the Marlins' 1997 World Series title makes you feel old. Sports teams are now selecting players who weren't even born when American Pie was in theaters. How washed are we? Connor Scott was at his high-school prom a couple of days ago, and now he plays for the Marlins. Time is a flat circle. In 1999, Mike Lowell was playing baseball for the Marlins, and Connor Scott was an infant.
8. You don't trust Derek Jeter, and you're well aware it has nothing to do with him. Jeter has the right idea when it comes to rebuilding the Marlins from the minor-league system up, but he just ran into a buzz saw. Marlins fans didn't want to hear about another rebuild, and they certainly didn't want to see Stanton, Ozuna, and Yelich all go in the offseason. Real Marlins fans know deep down inside that Jeter means well. But Loria already burned away any patience they had left. Sorry, Jeets!
9. You're pretty sure Charlie Hough was exactly the same age when he threw out the first pitch in 1993 as he is today. Hough pitched for the Marlins as a 43- and 44-year-old man. He was the last player born in the 1940s to retire from Major League Baseball. He's a walking, talking Topps baseball card. He might be 70 now, but it seemed like he was 70 in 1993 too.
10. You're glad Jeffrey Loria is gone, but you always imagined life without him being so much better than it is now. Marlins fans waited with bated breath for Loria's regime to topple. They imagined the day they would receive that "Loria sells Miami Marlins" message alert on their phones. When it actually happened, though, it was somehow anticlimactic.
Yes, Jeter and his team had to do some tough business this fall when they traded away most of the team's stars, but it was more than just that. This was about Loria having kicked Marlins fans while they were down so many times there was almost nothing left once he was gone. We always imagined a world without Loria, but so far it hasn't been what we wanted.
KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE...
Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ryan Yousefi is a freelance writer for Miami New Times, a lover of sports, and an expert consumer of craft beer and pho. Hanley Ramirez once stole a baseball from him and to this day still owes him $10.