The Marlins Are Trying to Lure Fans in With More Home Runs
The Miami Marlins have had their share of poorly attended games and are the butt of a lot of MLB jokes. A lot of people think their stadium is trash (though when I visited it with my husband, father-in-law, and then-four-year-old son, I thought it was pretty cool/quirky). They lost over 100 games in 2019 with a bunch of guys that nobody even knows outside of Miami (with the exception of Curtis Granderson). When Derek Jeter took over as CEO in 2017, he basically dismantled the team and pissed off all the season ticket holders.
In what one can only assume is a desperate attempt to fill some seats, the Marlins announced today that they’ll be moving in the walls in center and right fields. They’ll also be switching from natural grass to synthetic turf. This, plus recent acquisition of 24-home-run-hitting Jonathan Villar (and Jesus Aguilar – though his 2019 was garbage compared to his All Star 2018), is part of the plan to fill some of those empty seats. They already lowered ticket prices in 2019, but losing game after game with a team nobody cared about wasn’t exactly a big draw for people to buy tickets.
It will be interesting to see what happens, now that the year of the juiced ball is over – MLB is reportedly going to remedy the drag issues that caused the balls to fly out of the park at record pace. By moving the fences in, it seems that the Marlins are hoping they can get some extra help in the offense department, even if the balls do go back to having a bit more drag to them. The change from real grass to turf is probably a wise one from a grounds crew standpoint. With a retractible roof and unpredictable Miami hot and rainy and then hot and then rainy again weather, it just makes sense to make the switch.
Who knows, maybe they’ll surprise us all and be good in 2020. Or maybe, they’ll continue to be a dumpster fire that wasted a boatload of cash updating a park that nobody goes to. I guess only time will tell.