What if the Marlins stink?
If you were to look at the standings today, you’d see the Marlins in fourth place. Not fourth place in Major League Baseball, not fourth place in the National League, but fourth place just in the NL East alone, three and a half games back of the first place Washington Nationals. (Yes, those Washington Nationals.) The team rebranded with not only a new logo and new ballpark, but with renewed hope and optimism after having one of the best offseasons in baseball, after thirty games, continues to hover somewhere around .500 in what looks to be the most highly competitive division in the National League.
I suppose you could argue that a .500 record isn’t terrible for a team that’s seen some of its best players suffer extended slumps this early in the season, and you’d have a point. However, I’d also point out that it took seven straight wins, a Hanley Ramirez hot streak, complete games by Mark Buehrle and Carlos Zambrano(!), surviving a couple of Heath Bell meltdowns, and five home runs in eight games for Giancarlo Stanton just to get the Marlins to a place in the standings where they’d be considered merely average.
In an article written by Sean Gregory on Time Magazine’s website, Ozzie Guillen professed his love and respect for Fidel Castro. Or something like that. The details never seem to be all that important for anyone trying to hastily scrap together an opinion piece.
Gregory knew this. He knew exactly what he was doing when he opened with, “‘I love Fidel Castro,’ Blurts Ozzie Guillen…” before launching into two full paragraphs of fluff before finally returning to add context to the opening sentence, burying any explanation for Guillen’s strange comment behind a paywall that few would ever bother opening their wallets for. And they shouldn’t have. Outside of the Castro comments, there was exactly nothing in that entire Time piece that would be considered interesting or revelatory. Without manipulating that one quote, Sean Gregory basically wrote nothing, and nothing doesn’t get headlines or mouse clicks.
So, then, it’s understandable that this is how he would write his first three paragraphs:
“I love Fidel Castro,” Blurts Ozzie Guillen, the new manager of the Miami Marlins, in his Jupiter, Fla., spring-training office before an early-March team workout. During a typically stream-of-consciousness Ozzie oratory, he has covered some favorite topics, such as his passion for bullfighting (“You’re giving the animal an opportunity to kill you”), disdain for sports shrinks (“You’re 4 for 4, you don’t need psychology. You’re 0 for 4, you… need a f—ing guy to get you ready to play?”) and the benefits of brutal honesty (“I told my wife, ‘I don’t like the perfume you’re wearing.’ She was mad, but meanwhile, I don’t have to sleep with her every night and smell that s—”).
Now he is riffing on politics. And yes, the new jefe of the Miami baseball team, which will start playing in a sleek new stadium in the Cuban community of Little Havana on April 4, just professed his adoration of the leader reviled by his new neighbors.
After a second of reflection, the most unfiltered figure in baseball, if not sports, wants a do-over. “I respect Fidel Castro,” says Guillen, a Venezuela native who also says he respects Hugo Chvez. “You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that mother—— is still here.”
Sure, it’s ultimately the reader who’s charged with understanding what he/she has just read, but after distracting the reader with an overabundance of asides and parenthetical quotes in the first paragraph, Gregory uses the entire second paragraph to hammer home a point that, by the third paragraph, is already proven to be untrue, anyway.
If you had asked me a few short days ago how I felt about the Marlins offseason, I would’ve high-fived you and screamed like a little girl. After all, it’s kind of hard to not like the best closer on the market and one of the top three free agents in baseball. It’s even harder to not like it when it seems like your team is willing to spend an exorbitant amount of money to get it done, something nobody expected at the end of last year. Oh, and did I mention they were also on the verge of signing possibly the greatest player in the history of baseball? You could understand my enthusiasm.
But, here we are, just forty-eight hours later, and I find myself sinking lower in my once-comfy chair, broken, defeated, a strange mix of confusion and depression oozing from my pores.
So, what the heck happened?
If you can ignore Jeffrey Loria’s unintentional patronization of the Latin community and the never-ending Pitbull concert that held your ears hostage, Friday night’s official unveiling was a surprisingly refreshing beginning to a new era of Marlins baseball. But, now that it’s all out in the open and the uncertainty of each new dreaded leak is behind us, we can get down to the business of figuring out what it is we just witnessed and whether or not we’re comfortable with it.
There’s obviously no shortage of opinions on the internet, but most of those are focused on one of two things: “I love it!” or “I hate it!” Hopefully, I can give you something a little more substantial. You see, aside from being an amateur blogger here at Marlins Daily, I also lead another life, one that takes up the majority of my time, pays the bills and keeps my internet connection turned on. I’m a professional graphic artist. And rather than bore you with an oversimplified opinion, I thought I’d take you deep inside the mind of a designer and hopefully give you a more detailed look at the rebranding of the Miami Marlins.
So, pull up a chair, fire up that bootleg copy of Photoshop (I won’t tell anyone you have it. Promise.) and follow along, after the jump, as we take an in-depth look at the new Marlins logo and uniforms and maybe answer a few of those nagging questions you have about this design.
It was the summer of ’88, while my family was on vacation in New York, that I found myself at my first baseball game. It was at Shea Stadium. I was six. And it got rained out before it even began.
The next morning, Saturday, July 23, 1988, my father and brother decided to head back out to the park to see the Braves take on the hometown Mets. I chose, instead, to go shopping with my mom. No big deal. The Mets wound up losing, anyway, to some rookie pitcher making his first ever start. Some guy nobody had ever heard of. John Smoltz or something. I didn’t miss much.
It would be five long years before I’d ever get to attend my real first baseball game, but on May 1, 1993, at the age of eleven, I sat in the upper deck, behind home plate, five rows back, with my father, my brother and my mother, and watched twelve innings of Rockies-Marlins inaugural season baseball. We ate peanuts and hot dogs and scooped ice cream out of those tiny little baseball helmets. We did all of the things you’re supposed to do at your first game. My dad made sure of it. I couldn’t tell you who won (Baseball-Reference suggests it was the Marlins.), but I’m not even sure it mattered. From that point on, I was a fan.
As a blogger, my job is, basically, to complain about things. So, I might very well eviscerate the Marlins this weekend, after watching them unveil a logo made entirely of Fruit Stripe gum wrappers. And I’ll probably run every joke into the ground when Mike Stanton hits a homer and that ridiculous contraption, that looks like it was stolen from the It’s A Small World ride at Disney World, begins spinning. Because these are the things I do around here.
But, in six or seven years, when I’m a father, when my kid is old enough to appreciate things like cotton candy and foul balls, I’ll take him (Or her!) out to a ballgame. To experience what I experienced. To feel what I felt. To become a fan.
A fan of the Miami Marlins.
Now, please, try not to make these jerseys too ugly. My kid’s going to want to wear it one day.
Earlier this morning, I wrote that I’d believe the Marlins were for real when they signed their first big-name free agent of the off-season. Later in the day, word spread that Jose Reyes and Marlins management dined at Joe’s Stone Crab. Well, tonight, according to a source with insider knowledge, whom I trust:
Reyes should be happening.
When pressed, the source followed it up with:
Wouldn’t say it’s done yet, but sounding good.
Two hours later, I received this message:
Yeah, they think it’s a lock. F—— crazy.
Of course, until that contract is signed, anything can happen. But, this news is even better than the earlier news and it comes from someone I trust, as opposed to some random guy tweeting things on the internet. I’ll continue to keep you updated, giving you the info as it hits my phone, but for right now, what you see above is what I’ve got. And even though there are no financial details and it can’t technically be considered concrete, it’s certainly something for Marlins fans to be excited about.
AP Photo/Paul J. Bereswill
Depending on whose sources you trust – if you trust any at all, and I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t – Jose Reyes should become a member of your soon-to-be Miami Marlins at some point today. Or maybe he won’t.
So, should you be getting excited or should you be expecting another let down of Manny Ramirez proportions?
Maybe I’m cynical, but if you’re asking me, I’d say my feelings on the Marlins free agency experience fall somewhere in line with this guy’s:
On Friday night at an invitation-only shindig, the team officially will change its name to the Miami Marlins and introduce a new logo and new uniforms. At 11 p.m. on the 11-11-11 event, they will open a team store at the new ballpark to peddle new apparel. Turning a uniform unveiling into a Friday night celebrity bash is so Miami. And just to make sure the occasion is worthy of paparazzi, they are talking up the chances of signing Reyes or Pujols in the preceding days.
But, maybe, hopefully, I’m wrong, and the Marlins make a big splash this offseason, signing a guy like Reyes, Wright or Fielder. (My “sources” tell me there’s a 0% chance they land Pujols.) I just wouldn’t get too giddy about anything until it happens. Once this team proves that it’s willing to do more than just get its name in the headlines, then we can reassess future excitement.
After months of speculation and internet leaks and rumors and denials and other such nonsense, the Miami Marlins logo is set to unveil…
But, not until November 11, so, hey, there’s still time for one more set of leaked photos before the official release date! Which is good, because George Richards, who covers the Florida Panthers for The Miami Herald, spotted (and purchased!) that hat you see above in a store with a name that, according to Richards, “rhymes with ‘New Terra.’” (Modell’s?)
Word is, this may not be the finished product — the Marlins won’t unveil any of this stuff until Nov. 11 when the transition to Miami becomes official.
Could be the Marlins will have numerous hats; one is said to have the Montreal ‘M’ minus all the colors and the Dolphins Stadium fish.
Which is how, I suppose, David Samson can deny that the logo that originally leaked is the new logo of the Miami Marlins. Because there might be some variations, which would technically make Samson not the biggest liar in the world, although it certainly wouldn’t help his Marlins Daily Weasel Rating™, which, at the moment, is a lofty 92.7 out of 100.
The hat certainly looks official, though, unless some New Era employee is going to great lengths to troll a fan base that’s generally pretty apathetic in regards to its Major League Baseball franchise. But, hey, just in case you’re someone who does care, and you feel like that logo might be growing on you now that you’ve seen it on a real life product, there’s this:
Also heard the Marlins new uniforms are, to be nice, quite hideous.
Shocking, I know.
Could there be an all orange uniform for the Fish?
No, George, there’s nothing shocking about the team with the futuristic logo and gaudy home run contraption making another stupid decision in regards to jersey color. This is what we’ve come to expect. Maybe this organization knows how to evaluate talent (and I cannot emphasize that “maybe” enough), but when it comes to design, the billionaire art dealer keeps showing himself to be a typical billionaire art dealer, someone whose artistic sensibilities are tied directly to a price tag and the probability of someone noticing that particular piece of artwork. It’s sort of amazing that Jeffrey Loria doesn’t walk around the new Marlins ballpark with the Mona Lisa hanging from a 24k gold chain around his neck, while a neon arrow flashes from a sign above his head that reads, “LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME!”
I’m actually surprised that the new logo isn’t more in-your-face.
But, what I think doesn’t matter. On November 11, 2011, the Miami Marlins will unveil something we’ve already seen – and maybe some things we won’t ever want to see again – and that will be that. We’ll have time to complain, but ultimately, what’s done will have been done. And when the season starts, much like the billionaire art dealer, our opinions of the artwork will be directly related to something, as well…
Winning. The cost of a corn dog.
Every once in a while, I like to dive into the internet’s swimming pool of useless junk (eBay!) and see just what kind of ridiculous Marlins merchandise people are asking you to pay money for. Well, today, I found all sorts of stuff you would only buy if you were drunk at three in the morning with nobody to prevent you from doing something stupid. Let’s take a look. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be tempted to get an early jump on your holiday shopping…
8. IT’S DAVE MAGADAN’S FACE…ON A BASEBALL!
If you’ve been looking for a baseball with a black and white photo of a player who played 140 total games for the Marlins, boy, are you in luck! For the low, low price of $3.79 (plus S/H), you too can own one of the most awkward item in Florida Marlins history. There’s also the odd–yet so very wonderful–bonus of
possibly most likely engaging in a bidding war with Dave Magadan, himself!
7. “TEAM OF THE AMERICA’S[sic]” MIGHT BE A BIT OF AN OVERSTATEMENT
One day, someone’s going to have to sit me down and explain how “El Equipo de las Americas” never managed to become the Marlins official team slogan. It just rolls off the tongue.
6. IS SANTA STEALING THAT KID’S GLOVE?
Nothing says Christmas like an oddly-dressed Santa Claus hovering over a young boy who fell asleep with his hand in his crotch. But, don’t let that deter you. This is more than a Christmas gift. When you give this to someone, “you are giving the gift of Baseball to you Little Little Leaguer.” And maybe when you’re done, you could give the gift of literacy.
5. IF YOU BUY THIS, I HATE YOU
True story: The Marlins gave away these stupid cowbells on a night when Cody Ross hit a game-winning home run and Willy Chirino performed for Super Saturday. It was also the night I dropped and broke my Blackberry when some dolt began ringing this ridiculous thing in my ear. If you buy this, please also buy a Florida Marlins toaster, plug it in and jump in the shower while hugging it.
4. SHOW YOUR TEAM SPIRIT WITH YOUR CROTCH
Remember when giant belt buckles were in? (Yes, Texas, those things did go out of style across the rest of the country.) Well, now you can attempt to bring it back with this oversized Florida Marlins belt buckle! You’re now just one black and teal Affliction t-shirt away from completing your Dan Uggla Halloween costume!
2. IT’S A HOT DOG… AND A PIN… IT’S A HOT DOG PIN
What? You thought I was making that headline up? I’m not entirely sure the purpose this pin serves, or why anyone would have thought to combine these two things, but I’m kind of glad they did. This pin is all sorts of wonderful. It’ll go great next to my Miami Dolphins/plate of nachos pin.
1. THE MOST MIAMI THING IN THE HISTORY OF MIAMI THINGS
You know those hats they give out to a team the moment they win the World Series? This isn’t one of those. This is something somebody created on their own. And it’s amazing. The poor stitch job. The inexplicable colors. You can almost picture a guy selling this hat at a red light somewhere in Hialeah across the street from the lady selling shrimp. Or at Bayside.
There you go, folks. Your Marlins Daily Late-October Early-Shopper Holiday Gift Guide. Don’t say we never do anything for you!
In an article titled Top 5 worst teams in history to win the World Series, Andrew Mindzak ranks the 2003 Marlins as the third worst team in the history of Major League Baseball to ever win a World Series. Or the second worst, depending on whether you’re reading from the top or the bottom. No worries. His reasoning gets no more intelligent, either way.
Not that it matters, or that I particularly care one way or the other, where some writer on the internet ranks a baseball team in a generic category made up entirely in his own mind, but if he’s going to do it, he should at least make an attempt to not sound stupid. Or, at the very least, try to sound like someone who knows what he’s talking about. Unfortunately:
2003 Florida Marlins: The Marlins finished the season 91-71 and then beat the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS before beating the Chicago Cubs in the infamous “Bartman NLCS” before taking home their second World Series title after beating the New York Yankees. Their offense was decent, but let me read off their starting pitchers: Carl Pavano, Brad Penny, Mark Redman, and Dontrelle Willis. Sure, Josh Beckett was a beast in that World Series, but Carl Pavano?
If you want to make fun of Mark Redman, I’m not about to stop you. He’s fair game. (Although, he was a monster whenever I used him in video games!) It’s the inclusion of Carl Pavano, Brad Penny and Dontrelle Willis that annoys me more than anything.
Look, I know it’s hard for the kiddies to remember Pavano and Penny for anything other than stealing a combined $80 bazillion from an assortment of teams over the last five or six years, but there’s a reason those other teams kept throwing boatloads of money at them. At one point, they were pretty good. And that point happened to be around the time the Marlins won the 2003 World Series.
As for Dontrelle Willis, well, I guess it’s hard to look back and remember that high leg kick going 46-27 in his first three years in the league, tricking the Marlins into holding onto him two years longer than they should have. You know, those first three years in the league, around the time he placed second in Cy Young voting. But, that was, like, almost six whole years ago. Who can remember that far back?
Sure, if you were to put those same names into a starting rotation today, you’d win six games over the course of a season. Maybe seven. But, I don’t imagine the 2003 Marlins trotted out 2007 Carl Pavano, 2008 Brad Penny and 2010 Dontrelle Willis. Over time, players change. Sometimes they become better and sometimes they become worse. But, confusing the past for the present and/or the present for the past is, at best, an idiotic way to put together an idiotic top-5 list.
It is, however, a great way to land a job with the New York Mets scouting department.