At the end of January, MLS announced that David Beckham would finally be getting his long-desired and long-rumored expansion team in Miami. Since it was only announced a week ago, the team obviously does not exist yet.
It does not have any players attached, there’s no way to handicap it in respect to the rest of the league, and guessing the team’s chance of early success is a fool’s errand right now. The only thing about the team that exists is a stadium plan and a placeholder name. It’s a ghost team.
Derek Jeter thinks that the Marlins — a team with players, new owners, and a fancy stadium — are in worse shape than that team.
While speaking to the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Jeter said that there has to be some patience with the team as it turns around and that a successful franchise would happen “sooner rather than later.” All things that you would say if the first months of your ownership were laden with questionable moves and you’re trying to calm down fans who are spending nights and weekends sharpening their pitchforks.
So that’s all fine, it’s business platitudes and he’s at a Chamber of Commerce meeting. It can be expected.
After that though, when he was asked whether he’d make a gentleman’s bet with Beckham on who would win a championship first, his answer was depressingly indicative of where the Marlins stand right now.
According to Miami Herald beat writer Clark Spencer, Jeter said, “We’re in deeper hole than he is.”
Part of me wants to give Jeter the benefit of the doubt and say he has a point. That a fresh team could get off the starting blocks in much better shape than a team that is bogged down with (alleged) debts, fan exasperation, and a gutted roster.
But saying the Marlins are in worse shape than a team that quite literally does not even exist enough to have a real name yet is astonishing and hilarious, despite the probable accuracy. Somehow watching the Marlins’ rebuild is getting more depressing every day.