Greg Cote wrote a good commentary in Today’s Miami Herald asking why South Florida fans are not coming to ball games.
South Floridians were able to cheer a division-leading, first-place professional sports team at home Tuesday night. Ordinarily, this would not qualify as news, let alone a revelation, but the recent rarity makes it so.
Considering how bad South Florida teams were this year (except for the Panthers but they still didn’t make the playoffs) it’s legitimate to ask why people aren’t showing up to watch a first place team with an 8-5 record who is playing entertaining baseball. You can make excuses about the payroll but it’s on the field performance that matters and unlike the Dolphins, who won 1 game all year long, and the Heat, who will likely end up with 15 wins, the Marlins are winning more than they are losing.
Cote points out that rather than complain about the low payroll, shouldn’t South Florida appreciate that the winning team is an underdog that doesn’t waste money on a $20MM fat useless center or millions of dollars on cornerbacks who get burned every time?
Yes, the Fish are far from perfect: they don’t hit for average, they don’t have a major superstar (although Hanley is getting there), their starters have a high ERA and can’t seem to make it to the 6th inning, and their defense is scary at best. But they are trying really hard, having fun, and winning.
So is South Florida so lame as to ignore something good simply because they are not happy with the payroll? Do you really skip a game because you don’t like the ownership? (really? then why do you go to Dolphins games?)
Regardless, this commentary (Cote’s and mine) says alot about South Florida sports fans.