Save Baseball

Marlins are history, Lets move on with a better baseball plan

Let’s face it. South Florida is not a Major League Baseball Market. Despite two thrilling World Series victories the team has just not caught on. The fan base, or at least those who will show up at a game is minimal. Season ticket sales have never been anything for the Fish Front Office to brag about. In 2006, with an exciting team, only 1.2 million fans pushed through the turnstiles. The good crowds come when the Mets, the Braves, the Phillies, or the Cubs come to town. Most of these folks are South Florida transplants who frankly come to see their “home team” play ball. Meanwhile local and state lawmakers have demonstrated a determined reluctance to help fund a new roofed stadium, a stadium with roof that the current team ownership is adamant must be part of the package. Name a person who has 100% confidence in the Marlin’s ownership. Business is business and my opinion is if they feel they’d do better by moving out of town they’d sign up Mayflower so fast ink would not be dry when the first van pulled into Dolphin Stadium
Baseball ain’t working so its is time to think out of the box or maybe in the box. Maybe we should just let Jeffery Loria move on. Take the team to Monterey Mexico or some other exotic local that major league baseball might determine. Then let’s design a plan for baseball in South Florida.
I am a baseball fan, a season ticket holder with some pals who have struggled to hug up to the Marlins through two World Series wins, two fire sales, more twists and turns in the stadium saga than a Russian novel. So I want baseball to succeed. Here is my plan.
Let’s take advantage of our strengths. They are: we are a major tourist destination, our weather, except for the mid summer rainy season and late summer hurricane threats, is terrific, we have a population that is built with people from “somewhere else,” we know how to promote South Florida and Major League baseball wants baseball to succeed in Miami.
While it is cold up north during early spring, Major League Baseball would, under my plan, schedule three game series each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoon with National and American League teams in the months of April and early May in Dolphin Stadium. Eight weekends of Baseball, the weather would be great, no need for a roof, the convention and visitors bureaus in Miami-Dade and Broward could promote baseball weekends in South Florida, and the local fan who have long supported the Braves, the Cubs, the Yankees, the Mets could go to the ball park and root with out the guilt of going against the so called home team. The beauty of the plan is we do not have to build a stadium. Rainy season is not till much later in the year. I can’t speak for Dolphin Stadium owner H. Wayne Huizenga but it would seem to me that eight weeks of baseball would not be too hard to swallow.
Can’t you just see South Beach Hotels, Restaurants, teaming up with airlines to promote “A Miami Baseball Weekend Package” in Chicago or Boston in January? It could become a huge marketing ploy and by the way it is the same scheme Las Vegas movers and shakers consider when they offer up their city as the potential home of a major sports franchise.
This plan works for South Florida where residents have the attention span of a kindergartner, and the loyalty of an alley cat. No weekday ballgames, “the season” is over with quickly so South Floridians can move on and focus on the Dolphins and the Hurricanes. And for the die-hards who want a summer of baseball. I suggest putting a Triple A International League Team into Fort Lauderdale Stadium.
Is the plan practical? Maybe. I am sure that some teams would object, especially fans in say Boston or Cub fans but then a package deal on a trip to South Florida as part of a season ticket plan just might smooth out opposition, especially if you promote in the midst of winter!
So chew on that one for a while. I have been brewing on this idea for the last couple of years while being surrounded by die hard Cub, Met and Braves fans at Dolphin Stadium. I like my plan because it is better that my other far more intriguing scheme which involves limiting the American and National League to eight teams each and putting the smaller market and under achieving teams in what I call the World Baseball League. That league could include Miami, Seattle, San Diego, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Mexico City, Monterey, San Juan, Vancouver, Tokyo, Soul and Sydney. How’d you like that?

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