Derek Jeter and the Marlins held a season ticket holder town hall on Tuesday night to hear concerns about the team and hopefully assuage any fears that this rebuild is a complete sham that won’t actually turn the team around and is only to save money (it is). Media was invited, but wasn’t allowed to record any of the proceedings or take photos.
It’s a good thing, then, that the mania that ensued once Marlins Man took the mic could be perfectly construed through Tweets. No audio or video needed to witness this mess.
Apparently, Marlins Man (the guy that sits behind home plate and takes pictures with fans) is fed up with this new ownership group and was voicing his displeasure before Jeter even arrived. But after Jeter got there and Marlins Man stepped up to the hot mic, it was the beginning of a wild ride.
He apparently came prepared with documentation to support his argument, which is a tantalizing start.
I can confirm Marlins Man is in attendance and he came prepared. Has a stack of papers in his hand.— Aram Leighton (@AramLeighton8) December 19, 2017
Marlins Man then tried to lay out his central argument (if he had one) that if a team doesn’t win the fans don’t come.
Groundbreaking stuff here. Absolutely groundbreaking. Although, Jeter might not be aware that fans could choose not to go to a game based on his time with the Yankees, so this could have been an important thing to let him know before moving forward with his speech.
He also broke the news that he hasn’t even renewed his season tickets yet, and may not if the team doesn’t improve. Of course, he reportedly has season tickets to the Mets and Yankees too, so there are other teams he could bother ... I mean, enjoy ... for the season.
Apparently, he threatened to support other teams if the Marlins don’t do what he asks.
Marlins Man, season ticket holder since 1993, hasn't renewed and is furious with prospect of paying big league prices "for Triple A team."— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) December 19, 2017
Marlins Man claims that he has been offered by 4 other MLB teams to sport their jersey. Claims the prior ownership was not grateful for his free advertising, but he continues to wear his Marlins jersey despite that.— Aram Leighton (@AramLeighton8) December 20, 2017
And what is he asking for exactly? Well, funny you should ask.
Marlins Man basically tried to make himself even more of a promotion for the team during his four-plus minute speech, with guarantees that he could throw out the first pitch and a request for Jeter to drive around in a Marlins Man car with him as “advertising.” Jeter was not having it.
Marlins Man talks for 4 straight minutes and Jeter looks confused when he’s done and pauses and says...— Will Manso (@WillManso) December 20, 2017
“I’ll let you throw out the first pitch with a 10 year plan.” To lots of laughs and cheers
Jeter adds, “I’m sure we’ll talk later.”
In the possible best moment of the entire night though, Marlins Man tried to pull a “do you know who I am?” on DEREK JETER.
Marlins Man now addressing Jeter. Asks Jeter, “do you know who I am.” Jeter says, “I’ve heard of you.”— Will Manso (@WillManso) December 20, 2017
If you had told me a year ago that this exchange would happen in this setting, well, I would have had a lot of questions but I also would have laughed for 10 straight minutes. As I am doing right now. What the heck?! This entire conversation was bananas.
Using that as his opening gambit probably served as a warning to Jeter about just what kind of person he was dealing with, even if Marlins Man didn’t mean it that way.
Other fans didn’t go easy on Jeter either when they got the chance to speak. They brought analogies. Not the dreaded analogies!
Great analogy by #Marlins fan:— Chris Fischer (@ChrisFischer07) December 20, 2017
"It's like I signed a lease on a Camaro and come Monday they give me keys to a Volt, and the dealer says don't worry it will run like a Camaro in 3 years"
Jeter- "The Camaro wasn't Working"
Fan-"The Camaro was a flat tire away from contending"
Fan tells Jeter it’s ironic that town hall meeting is being held behind Budweiser Bar in left field, because there won’t be a ball hit in the area by the home team next year. #marlins— Andy Slater (@AndySlater) December 20, 2017
One fan angry about delinquent ushers at stadium tells Jeter: "I emailed you!"... Said Jeter: "You don't have my email address!"— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) December 19, 2017
There were raw emotions.
Marlins fan now crying at podium asking why didn't add pitching and keep top offensive players. Jeter asks what pitchers could have signed?— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) December 20, 2017
Then things got morbid.
Jeter asks fans to be patient. One older man tells him he doesn't have that many more years.— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) December 20, 2017
While a smart front office would have been prepared for this type of reaction at a season ticket holder town hall, that type of credit might not be applicable in this particular situation.
At least it seems Jeter put Marlins Man in his place for a few minutes and didn’t give in to his ridiculous requests. If he’s really being fought over by multiple MLB teams, and he doesn’t want to root for the Marlins as they are currently constructed, then he can go wear another jersey. “Mets Man” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it though, and “Yankees Man” just describes every Wall Street bro with season tickets who wears an expensive game-worn jersey to a game on a Tuesday night.
Marlins Man might have to stay Marlins Man, for branding purposes alone! We’ll see if he and Jeter come to some sort of agreement over the next few weeks, or if Jeter just continues to ignore him. Whatever happens, another public face-off like this would be more than welcome.