An Interview With A Florida Marlins Fan

This interview is with Ohad from Fish@Bat which can be found by clicking this link or you can catch him here at BallHype. My idea was to see the reaction of a Marlins fan to the recent trade with the Tigers, their two World Series titles and how they later dismantle the teams after they win. I also threw in a few other questions that were relevant to the conversation. Enjoy!

Baseball Reflections: What are your thoughts on the Cabrera/Willis trade with the Tigers?

Fish@Bat: It was a difficult trade and I think most in the Marlins fan base are upset.  It’s not about trading Cabrera or Willis, it’s about trading both. I think people were ready to lose Dontrelle (despite him being the nicest guy in baseball).  Miguel was a different story.  He feels like a once in a generation franchise player.  But, when you see the kind of deals that super stars are signing these days, it’s hard to image the Marlins giving him $200MM.  That’s just an astounding number.  I will say that unfortunately many Marlins fans have turned on Loria, rehashing some of the misleading arguments made against him in Montreal and arguing that he is pocketing all the money.  The good news is that there are enough front running Fish fans who will jump back on board when the team wins again.

Baseball Reflections: What are your thoughts on the Marlins in 2008 and beyond?

Fish@Bat: It’s an interesting year because we are handing the team over to Hanley Ramirez.  He has had two tremendous years without a real slide.  If he slows down this year, the impact could be huge.  That being said, there is something to build on (including the pitching).  I think the single most important thing to happen this year is the decision on the ballpark.  If it goes through (and it feels like it will happen in a matter of weeks) then everything changes about the future.  If not, things will stay the way they are until the next round of arbitration.

Baseball Reflections: Do you think that getting a new stadium will provide revenue enough to stop this revolving door of salary dumping that the Marlins management has been doing?

Fish@Bat: Yes, I think it will make a difference.  They are not going to spend like the Mets, but they will invest and keep good players.  I will say the Beinfest proved that you can build with young talent so I still think they will trade away older talent for younger talent if it makes sense.

Baseball Reflections: Do you think that the owners are just penny pinchers (no pun intended) or are they truly handcuffed by poor revenue streams?

Fish@Bat: I think they’re trying to run the company like a business with a strict P&L.  They’ve splurged on players before and sometimes it worked, sometimes it failed.  I won’t be surprised if the ownership is “saving” money right now so they can pay their portion of the upcoming stadium deal.  Contrary to what some fans think, I do think that the ownership is not pocketing the money.

Baseball Reflections: As a fan of the Marlins, would you trade one or both World Series

victories if that meant that the team would avoid all these salary dumping they keep doing? Why?

Fish@Bat: No, would not trade the championships for anything in the history of the team.  Yes, I lose my favorite players every few years but nothing beats the joy of winning.  Ask Cub fans.

Baseball Reflections: As a follow up question, are you less loyal of a Marlins fan because of this ownership/method of dumping salary and loosing good players to other teams?

Fish@Bat: No, I’m always loyal.  I love the team and have been through these kinds of difficulties before.

Baseball Reflections: How hard is it to watch players like Beckett, Renteria, Burnett, Lowell and Penny all having successful careers elsewhere, seeing that they were basically salary dumps?

Fish@Bat: I think we’re proud of the players.  Not all trades were painful.  In retrospect, people feel more comfortable about the Beckett and Lowell trade because of Hanley Ramirez and the potential that we may seen from Anibal Sanchez.  In Burnett‘s case, he left on bad terms.  As long as the trade pays off people get over it.  Do a quick search and see reaction when the Marlins traded Matt Clement and Antonio Alfonseca to the Cubs.  People slammed the new Loria ownership.  Now, it looks like a great trade because we picked off a double-A pitcher named Dontrelle Willis.

Baseball Reflections: Does the salary dump experience get any easier to swallow the second time around or does it pretty much suck whenever it happens?

Fish@Bat: Much easier.  The first one was tough because we were left with no one (team president tried to gut the team so he can reduce the cost and buy the team). Since then, it’s been with the goal to rebuild and frankly Larry Beinfest has done an incredible job.

Baseball Reflections: What are your views on Joe Girardi as a major league manager?

Fish@Bat: Hard to read.  Some loved him, some hated him.  He’s a smart baseball guy, but his attitude may be risky.  He should never have challenged Loria in the middle of a game.  You don’t do that to your boss anywhere.  Hopefully he learned his lesson because that won’t fly with the Yankees.

Baseball Reflections: Do you think that Girardi will be a good manager in NY? If not, will his downfall be not being able to cope with the media frenzied NY fans, the frenzied NY media itself or the egos of so many high priced players?

Fish@Bat: If he does well, they’ll celebrate him; if they lose, they’ll hate him.  I’m focused on Fredi Gonzalez and hoping he can make the right choices for the Marlins.  The Fish need to improve their defense and they need to work on their starting pitchers lasting more than 5 innings a game.

Thanks Ohad, we’re glad to have you back online as one of the voices of the Marlins!


  1. Ken X

    February 7, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Dude, this was EXCELLENT. It’s like you’ve been doing it all your life!

    I can honestly see this taking off some day, seriously. If it hasn’t already. It’s just a matter of time before you start getting calls from WEEI and FoxSports.

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