This is a real article. It was written by a real writer for the Associated Press, a real news-gathering organization. It's about Marlins team president David Samson wanting the Marlins to play faster.
"Pace of game is about our fans," Samson said. "It's very much a TV issue and an in-game-experience issue. No one is complaining about pace of game where it goes 12 innings and it's 3 hours and 20 minutes and it's a 5-4 game. That's not the issue. If it's a 3-1 nine-inning game that goes 3 hours and 12 minutes, that's not enjoyable."
Yes, the Marlins are 12 minutes away from being popular again. Shave those 10 or 20 minutes off, and watch the ratings jump up. When the ratings jump up, that means more money for the team. This country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the 20-foot-tall spinning demon fish. That's why you gotta make your own moves.
But are slow games the most important problem the Marlins face today? Let's see if we can find other reasons why people aren't tuning into Marlins games. Maybe there's something more than long games. Here's a quick list off the top of my head.
Casey McGehee is the starting third baseman.
Rafael Furcal is the starting second baseman.
Adeiny Hechavarria is the starting shortstop.
Garrett Jones is the starting first baseman.
- The rotation and outfield are kind of interesting! But the fans can't trust the team to build anything lasting or permanent with them, which absolutely crushes the spirits of loyal fans. There's a history of neglect coming from the top down, a short-sighted pattern of toying with emotions, leading to a best-case scenario of isolated magic for one season out of every decade, and nothing more. There is no chance of a Harmon Killebrew or Willie Mays, Tony Gwynn or Cal Ripken, a player to define the franchise eternally. Baseball in Miami is transient, with a poison future lurking behind each positive event on the field. Any passion invested in the Marlins brings a blackened return, and fans don't see the point of trying again after being humiliated for a third time.
- And slow-paced games. Really, that's probably #1. Fix that, and, boy, people will get jazzed about this team.
- Also, seriously, Casey McGehee is the starting third baseman.
The Marlins have priorities. Adjust fewer wristbands! Run in quicker from the bullpen! Don't step out so much! The brass has spoken, and now it's up to the players to adjust. Then comes the ratings. Then comes the interest in the team. Then comes the ticket sales. Then comes the money. It's Business 101, people.
The Marlins are on it.