Blog Entry

Large-market Marlins? It's entirely possible

Posted on: December 5, 2011 11:12 am

By Matt Snyder

DALLAS -- Remember back when the Marlins pushed their chips to the center of the table, going large for free agents and eventually winning the 1997 World Series?

Remember the following season, when the Marlins decided they couldn't afford the high-priced talent and went firesale, leading to a 108-loss season -- the most losses ever for a team coming off a World Series championship?

Of course you do. That's why it's easy to see the reactions to the Marlins signing Heath Bell and Jose Reyes (and maybe a few more big names).

It won't last. This is window dressing. They'll be having another firesale in two years.

I'm not so sure. Granted, it's entirely possible. After all, if the attendance continues to be lackluster, the Marlins can't afford to operate at the level they're hoping to reach. But there are two reasons to believe this time around it's actually legitimate.

Hot Stove Season
1. Market size. The Marlins don't play in Omaha or Albuquerque or Boise or Raleigh. There's nothing wrong with those places, but they are small markets. The Miami metropolitan area is not a small market. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach metro area population is surpassed by only seven other metro areas: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, Houston and Washington/Baltimore. And four of those seven areas share two ballclubs. Notice Boston, Detroit, San Francisco/Oakland, Minneapolis, Phoenix and St. Louis -- among many others -- are behind the Miami area. So this is absolutely an area with the tools to sustain a successful large-market baseball team.

2. The new stadium. Last time the Marlins went on a spending spree, there was no new stadium anywhere on the horizon. Owner Wayne Huizenga declared his intent to sell the team before the World Series run. There just wasn't enough revenue coming in to maintain one of the higher payrolls in baseball. Hence the 1998 firesale.

Now, here is the big question: Will the new stadium and new signings be enough to keep fanfare steady throughout the entire season and for seasons to come? We don't know the answer to that. If the Marlins average 30,000 fans per game -- as management believes they will -- they will become a large-market team for the long haul. It will be difficult to start thinking in that mindset, but that's the truth.

Of course, if attendance can't survive the initial expected bump in 2011 and dwindles back down to around 20,000 fans per game, having a payroll in nine figures simply isn't realistic. In that case, we'd be liable to see another firesale.

So what'll it be? Small-market or large-market Marlins? Time will tell. But it's at least interesting to imagine the latter. And it's finally realistic, too.

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Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: December 7, 2011 10:17 pm

Large-market Marlins? It's entirely possible

Lack of a middle-class will keep the Miami from going bigtime with the bigboys.

Since: Dec 24, 2008
Posted on: December 6, 2011 5:48 pm

Large-market Marlins? It's entirely possible

They have to outdraw the Hurricane baseball team before they can be considered anything but an afterthought in Miami

Since: Jul 30, 2008
Posted on: December 6, 2011 10:26 am

Large-market Marlins? It's entirely possible

We all were wondering if the owner would let go of his money when the new stadium was built...and he is. I'm stoked about the new stadium it really is awesome and will be a landmark for Miami when you leave the Miami Airport heading toward the  City it's where the Orange bowl use to be...It couldn't be placed in a better Area and I believe lit will put Miami in the Major Baseball Picture.  Pujols would put us over the Top in attendance and  the owner is doing what all us hoped he would spending Big Bucks to build the team frankly I'm stoked and ready to play baseball at what will surely be a Major Baseball Venue in the near future...

Since: Dec 5, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 2:09 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Aug 31, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 12:45 pm

Large-market Marlins? It's entirely possible

Check out Pujols before steroids in the picture!  The Marlins are making a push and spending some money.  I like it.  Much better than when they won it in 1997 and then got rid of everybody...and then again in 2003.

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