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http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/stor..._ray&id=2082888

 

Good feelings are fading in MiamiBy Ray Ratto

Special to ESPN.com

Archive

 

If you like the Florida Marlins today, you're just a natural-born sap. Pure and simple.

 

I mean, it is amazing to see how many times your team, and the town in which it labors, can knee you right in the nethers before you get the point, which is this:

 

This team's only, and I mean only, function is to set you up for misery.

 

Let's examine last week alone, then we'll broaden the search, and if by the end of our little screed you haven't become a Devil Ray fan, then you're just asking for it.

 

Okay, the team has hit the wall after a marvelous start. No big deal. Happens to the best of them. Happens to the worst of them, too, only more often.

 

But here's where it gets diabolical.

 

It seems that, at least according to the Palm Beach Post, some players are sick to death of manager Jack McKeon, his style, his language and his biting critiques.

 

 

 

McKeon is a crusty baseball lifer from the old school.This comes approximately 15 minutes after McKeon was declared the most lovable old man in America, and half an hour since the Marlins won the 2003 World Series.

 

But wait (heh heh heh). There's still the stadium issue, which is no closer to solution than ever, because owner Jeffrey (I Carpetbag, Therefore I Am) Loria and county officials (known as the Chamber Of Poisonous Toads, or some other damned thing) have come to an ironclad agreement on who should pay for the park, to wit:

 

"You should, because I'm not gonna."

 

In other words, the fuzzy-cozy-giggly-feel-good story of 2003 is over, and replaced by the "What-the-hell-was-baseball-thinking-when-it-came-here?" postscript.

 

This is much like 1997, when then-owner Wayne Huizenga could be seen in the world champions' champagne-soaked clubhouse writing down a list of celebrants who would be gone by the end of the week. No Series champ had ever been broken up quite so fast ? "You can hold the trophy for five minutes, and then I want you to clear off" ? and the next several seasons reinforced the local feeling that the Marlins were just cheap heartbreakers.

 

Well, they're at it again. The players are drifting off Trader Jack's reservation, if the Post is to be believed, the stadium is a pipe dream (and you know what's in the pipe, doncha?), and the good feelings of 2003 are dissipating yet again.

 

And all this while the team, which has lost 12 of its last 16 games through Friday, is a whole 3? games out of first place in the Bizarro-World NL East.

 

Now I ask, what message should you, the devoted Marlin fan, take from this?

 

Well, let me help you. The message here is that you are once again being strung along. You're given a joyful moment, heroes are made and extolled beyond all reason, and five minutes later, the team is eating itself alive and the dream of a new ballpark is simply and solely a hoax.

 

So the questions here are these: Are you going to sit there and take it? Are you going to have your pants yanked off again? Are you going to get played one more time? How much unrequited love do you have in you?

 

And if the answers to the above questions are "No," "No," "No," and "Sorry, all out," do you have the nerve to raise your gaze northward to Tampa and St. Petersburg, where the local ballclub needs all the love it can get?

 

Consider what the Devil Rays have to offer ? which is basically nothing at all.

 

But at least they don't make a big pretense of saying otherwise. They have won 70 games once, and that was supposed cause for great civic rejoicing. Their Opening Day starter took a powder for a few weeks. Their manager is getting that "Now which one of you treacherous weasels told me this was a good idea?" look in his eyes again. The owner is still ? well, the kindest thing to say there is that he still is capable of ownership.

 

But again, their fans expect nothing more. They know what they buy in for when they take out the checkbook. The Devil Rays do not lie to them, or promise them things they couldn't deliver with pistols and ski masks. They go out, they lose, and then they retreat until the next day, when they do the same dance again.

 

It's a monotonous life, but there is no heartbreak ? just a dull sort of white-noise hiss that never abates.

 

But for Marlin fans, who have been strung along like the most gullible carp in the lake, you may want a little relief from all that jerking and twitching. You may want the sweet release of predictable daily underachievement as a refreshing change from the short-attention-span-theatre life of a Marlin fan.

 

In Tampa, you can catch a nap on demand. In Miami, you're thrown in the rosebushes every other week.

 

Conversely, in Miami, you can know the joy Chicago cannot have. But in Tampa, the lows are everyday stuff, hardly worth the stress.

 

As they say in those extra-long commercial breaks, you make the call. But don't blame us if you stick with your team and discover one day that your head is on backwards, just so you can look out behind you at a moment's notice.

 

Ray Ratto is a columnist with the San Francisco Chronicle and a regular contributor to ESPN.com

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Sounds to me like an article from a guy who's jealous of a team that has won 2 World Series titles in its 12 years of existence where his local team hasn't won a World Series since......oh wait a minute, the San Francisco Giants have never won a World Series.

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Sounds to me like an article from a guy who's jealous of a team that has won 2 World Series titles in its 12 years of existence where his local team hasn't won a World Series since......oh wait a minute, the San Francisco Giants have never won a World Series.

805635[/snapback]

:owned

 

someone should knee him in the nethers

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We know that Miami fans have been awful but I know exactly what baseball was thinking by putting the Marlins here- This is a latino community and look at how many baseball players come from the Dominican now!

 

The guy who wrote this is a loser. Kind of like when Ken Rosenthal said the Marlins suck and what the hell are they doing by trading for Urbina in 2003 when the Marlins are a pretender. I dont pay attention to these

"so called" experts.

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it really is amazing the mileage that everyone gets out of 1998. YES, it was reprehensible the way that this team was disassembled after the World Series. But not everything that happens to the Marlins is about 1998. every time a player leaves the Marlins to go sign with another club, every reporter in America writes the same article about 1998. Are we the ONLY club in America that does stuff like this? Where are the articles about the Oakland A's, who have let TWO mvp's walk away from their team since 2001, AND traded away their two top starters before this year?

 

Here are the facts:

1) 1998 was an atrocity, but it was a one-time reaction to Huizinga's foolish (yet successful) plan to purchase the title (and through it, a fan-base) in 1997

2) Pudge and Pavano left to sign contracts that no one else in the league would give them. it wasn't like Pavano signed with the Brewers. he went to the YANKEES. and pudge wanted $10 million dollars per year. he got one bidder at that price. that means 29 out of 30 teams thought his price was too high.

3) We outspent everyone just this summer for one of the best free agent bats on the market.

 

so, essentially, Ray Ratto can go f*** himself. let's write an article about the Oakland A's, or the Toronto Blue Jays, or the Pittsburgh Pirates, or all of these other teams who let their big players go sign with the high-payroll teams. the only difference between us and them is that at least when we have the players, we win.

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it really is amazing the mileage that everyone gets out of 1998. YES, it was reprehensible the way that this team was disassembled after the World Series. But not everything that happens to the Marlins is about 1998. every time a player leaves the Marlins to go sign with another club, every reporter in America writes the same article about 1998. Are we the ONLY club in America that does stuff like this? Where are the articles about the Oakland A's, who have let TWO mvp's walk away from their team since 2001, AND traded away their two top starters before this year?

 

Here are the facts:

1) 1998 was an atrocity, but it was a one-time reaction to Huizinga's foolish (yet successful) plan to purchase the title (and through it, a fan-base) in 1997

2) Pudge and Pavano left to sign contracts that no one else in the league would give them. it wasn't like Pavano signed with the Brewers. he went to the YANKEES. and pudge wanted $10 million dollars per year. he got one bidder at that price. that means 29 out of 30 teams thought his price was too high.

3) We outspent everyone just this summer for one of the best free agent bats on the market.

 

so, essentially, Ray Ratto can go f*** himself. let's write an article about the Oakland A's, or the Toronto Blue Jays, or the Pittsburgh Pirates, or all of these other teams who let their big players go sign with the high-payroll teams. the only difference between us and them is that at least when we have the players, we win.

805685[/snapback]

 

I completely agree with everything you've said. The fan base was kind of lost though after the fire sale but the current ownership seems to be more focused on long term than Huizenga. I say we all email the author [email protected] and complain. Tell him to f*** off and stay on that coast of the country.

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lame. when other teams have a bad streak, people criticize the players, manager or ownership; when the marlins hit a slump people say the franchise shouldn't exist.

 

this team is turning it around on the field, and the stadium issue is just $30 million's worth of disagreement.

 

overall i like ratto's stuff on espn.com but this is a pointless article.

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I don't even get it. The players suddenly are "sick to death" of McKeon (exaggeration), fans are miserable (despite 2 world series titles) and the team has fallen on hard times (even though they still have a winning record). And still the Loria "Carpetbagger" comments. Does this guy write for the National Enquirer?

 

I do congratulate him though, on convincing himself that it's somehow easier to be a Tampa Bay fan because the losing is expected.

 

Hey that's fantastic. :plain

 

I love how in the phrase "in Miami you know the joy that Chicago cannot have" he forgets to include San Francisco too.

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He makes a good point. Often times when people ask 'why are you a Marlins fan?' or 'why haven't you adopted the Nats or O's yet?' I give them this answer. The Marlins have gone through as much drama on and off the field as any other major league team. I'd argue more than all post-'61-expansion teams.

 

The inaugural season was promising, then baseball went on a strike a year later. 1997 a WS was won, and H-Bomb cooked the books and sold off players. The Henry administration signed players to long term deals, and immediately after they sucked. 2003 was followed by a disapointing 2004. We sign Carlos Delgado and are struggling. The ever-changing ownership groups, and the crooked Huizenga and Henry, hasn't to led itself to developing a organizational plan. So it's a lot of hit or miss.

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