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Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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The Miami Marlins Are the Worst Collective Entity Ever

If you’ve been with us a while, you’ve probably noticed that I hate the Marlins. As in, I really, really, really hate the Marlins. Every three months or so, I have a frothing-at-the-mouth tantrum about them. Since this will be the third of 2012, I’ll keep it fairly short.

To review, though: Back in April I anointed the Marlins the tackiest franchise in the history of sports, taking aim at everything from their horrible owners to their cynical fire sales to their nonexistent fans to their ghastly rodeo-clown uniforms.

Then, at the beginning of September, I’d once again had enough, ripping Jeffrey Loria and his little friend Bud Selig, who collaborated on the shameful destruction of the Montreal Expos and then held Miami at gunpoint for a new stadium, which might be the worst thing ever made by human hands. Amazingly, Loria couldn’t make it through the new park’s inaugural season before having a fire sale; more amazingly, he’s now doubled down, sending Jose Reyes and Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle and Emilio Bonfiacio to Toronto for a bundle of kinda-sorta-maybe prospects. It doesn’t matter what the Marlins got, because anyone good will get sold before he matters.

Incredibly enough, the problem with my earlier freakouts about the Marlins weren’t that they were overly cynical and built from sentiments generally suitable for the interior of a blast furnace — it’s that I wasn’t nearly cynical or vicious enough.

So let’s make this plain.

Jeffrey Loria? I used to think Loria was a dead-eyed grave robber, a fit replacement for that scabrous garbageman Wayne Huizenga. But it’s much worse. Loria is a shambling colony of amoral excrescence disguising itself with the skin of a human being. It no longer eats, as it gains all the sustenance to perpetuate itself from the ruined dreams of children.

Bud Selig? He will inspire arguments for a generation about his tenure as a commissioner, with every pro being met with a con and vice versa, until you get to contraction and the shameful starving and execution of the Expos and how he rewarded Loria’s dirty work by giving him a new franchise to despoil. At which point it’s game, set, match to the Selig haters. If Selig had an iota of shame, he’d contract the Marlins on the spot; ban Loria, David Samson and the next five generations of their descendants from any major-league stadium; and forbid anyone from ever mentioning the Marlins again in any context. But ask anyone in Montreal if Selig has an iota of shame.

The Marlins? They are the worst collective entity ever. They are flesh-eating mosquitoes surrounding an orphanage in some ruined part of the world, bred by cannibals laying land mines. Not only that, they are the worst collective entity the world will ever see.

In fact, the Marlins are…

…worse than the New York Yankees.

Yes. It’s true. They are.

The Yankees have values, and a code built from those values that they live by. To be sure, they’re twisted and evil values, ones that teach their fans that the appropriate soundtrack for the death of decency and fair play is laughter echoing throughout the icy halls of an empty palace. But, well, they’re values. The Yankees stand for something, however reprehensible that something is to good-hearted people.

The Marlins? They stand for nothing. They embody the void — nihilism given terrible shape as a franchise, devouring everything touched. The Marlins are the entropic cackle that greets the death of everything.

In matters unrelated to ravening hate:

• Identify our Fifty Sheas of Krane and win the greatest Mets DVD set ever.

• The Mets’ food drive to help victims of Sandy (the storm, not Alderson) takes place tomorrow at Citi Field; details here.

• David Cone lends his mixology talents to storm relief at Foley’s Thursday night; details here.

30 comments to The Miami Marlins Are the Worst Collective Entity Ever

  • srt

    Jason, tell us how you really feel? hahaha

    Hard to argue with you though. When you’re right, you’re right.
    I guess the circus has now left Miami? Or maybe it’s just pulling in.

  • Z

    I do respect and appreciate your contempt for the Marlins, but I find it hard to take the next step and *resent* them since (a) they seem committed to serving as our doormats even in down years and (b) they have considerably strengthened a team that might now effectively keep the Yankees and, less urgently but still importantly, the Red Sox and Orioles out of the playoffs for the next few years.

  • Andee

    OMG this is just hilarious. “Loria is a shambling colony of amoral excrescence disguising itself with the skin of a human being. It no longer eats, as it gains all the sustenance to perpetuate itself from the ruined dreams of children.” BAHAHAHAHAHA.

    Actually, I have an alternate view: Jeffrey Loria is not actually a team owner. He is a performance artist trolling the entire league and his entire city and multiple star players and their agents into doing ridiculous things they’d never do otherwise, just to prove it’s possible. And the Marlins are not actually a team, because if they were, they’d have actual fans pissed off enough to murder him by now.

    And now poor Jose Reyes will pay the price for not getting a no-trade by having to play 90 games a year on artificial turf. At least it will be fun seeing him and the rest of his fellow escapees make life (more) difficult for the Yankees.

    Still, I wouldn’t be so quick to ask Selig to take over the Fish. Isn’t it nice to have a permanent cushion from fifth place?

  • Wheeler for Stanton. Strike while the iron is hot, Sandy!

    • Andee

      Heh. In a year, that could happen. The only reason they’re not trading Stanton now is because he’s still pre-arb.

      But think about it. I think I read that the Marlins’ payroll is now $16 million. We’re paying Jason Bay more than that NOT to play for us. And Loria is about to demonstrate for the world that you can’t cut payroll enough to turn a profit if nobody shows up to watch.

  • I’ve always defended the concept of baseball in Miami if not the reality. But now? Screw it. Award this franchise to somebody somewhere who’ll want to build a major league team, not just continually tear one down.

  • dmg

    chillingly cynical. i wonder if loria bleeds. i’d like to find out.

    • ToBeDetermined

      As Tommy Lasorda and others reportedly “bleed Dodger blue”, I strongly suspect that Loria bleeds… well, that entire color scheme, whatever you want to call it.

      Would explain a lot.

  • Dave

    While I could never agree that any entity is more soulless and despicable than the Yankees, I can certainly understand where you’re coming from. I’m pissed that the Marlins sold Jose the snake oil (although had the Mets kept him, we’d be reading about the debate as whether or not to trade him AND Dickey). But the silver lining; even if the Wilpons own the Mets forever (shudder), the Mets won’t even be the most clueless team in their own division.

  • 9th string catcher

    So here’s the question – who will win a world series first? Marlins or the Mets?

  • Stavros

    “They are flesh-eating mosquitoes surrounding an orphanage in some ruined part of the world, bred by cannibals laying land mines.”

    Bravo!

    “[Values] that teach their fans that the appropriate soundtrack for the death of decency and fair play is laughter echoing throughout the icy halls of an empty palace.”

    And again!

  • Jimmy

    But don’t they take all those sorta prospects and every decade or so build a winner? I mean, they DO set fire to their own garage to collect the insurance money but they’ve had good results doing that which would explain why they still do it. 2 World Series wins, same number as my Cubbies, in 117 fewer years of existence.

  • Dr. Met, Ph.D

    Thank you. Thank you for putting beautiful descriptors to the feelings of baseball fans everywhere. Damn, you’re an excellent writer. To quote the eminently quotable Mel Brooks classic “Blazing Saddles”, “You use your mouth purtier than a $2 whore”.

    It’s never going to end, is it? Doesn’t this undercut the value of baseball universally? How can no one else see it as well as you do, and express it even half as well.

    Please, please, please send the Marlins to Portland, OR. We desperately need a NL/MLB team. Call us the Portland Roses, or the Beavers, or the Hipsters. We’d actually appreciate a team. Whatever happens, please don’t send Loria with them.

  • Joe D.

    I’m wonder if Miami can do something to get back some of the public financing based on promises Loria must have made about his own commitment to improving the team. Doubt it, but wonder if there is legal predecent in this.

    The Blue Jays are now my favorite American League team and I will be rooting for them hard except those times they play the orange and blue.

    • Dave

      Yeah, never mind the fact that the stadium warrants its own edition of The Encyclopedia of Bad Taste, if I were a taxpayer there I’d be pretty pissed off that it’s now going to be home to a AAA team with a payroll that equals about what the Yankees are paying for their 4th and 5th outfielders.

    • No such guarantees, alas. Read Jonah Keri at Grantland and Darren Rovell at ESPN for some excellent explanations of Loria’s twisted genius. (Sorry I don’t have links handy.)

      If I were splitting lunch with Loria, I’d insist on a contract about 350 pages long. This man has demonstrated over and over again that he neither recognizes nor is bound by restraints on behavior that the vast majority of us regard as basic decency.

  • Marlin Fan

    The Marlins’ policy of rebuilding, going for it, rebuilding, and going for it, actually works. The fans may not like the rebuilding part, but they have won 2 World Series over the past 15 years. How many have the Mets won? At least you have David Wright for eternity, though.

    • Depends how you define “works.”

      Someone asked me about this on Twitter: Would I accept the Mets operating this way if it meant two World Series titles over 15 years? I said no and I meant it: I would rather have a team with continuity and feel like I’m in the hunt more often than not than get two titles and 13 years of misery. Granted, as a Mets fan I’ve had neither, but that’s because of our own unique problems — which I’ll take over yours.

      The downside of the Marlins approach? It’s that it absolutely destroys and makes a mockery of the idea of having a stable fanbase. Not that we should always think of the children, but how the hell do you raise a kid as a Marlins fan with this kind of cynical bullshit being the norm?

      • Marlin Fan

        Thank you for responding politely. I thought I was going to get a tirade of insults after my post. Unfortunately, as we all know, baseball players are no longer loyal to their teams, and most of them will go wherever the money is. Your argument would be valid if this was still the 1960s when players were on teams for entire careers, but there is no loyalty any more. Not among players, and not among owners. The Mets are seriously thinking of trading fan favorite R.A. Dickey. How do you explain that to your child? IMHO, baseball is no longer a place where you can teach your kids about loyalty. I root for the Marlins, regardless which players are on the team this year, or this week. It doesn’t matter. And, in a sense, if the Mets trade Dickey, aren’t you just rooting for a logo?

        • The last couple of years have been hard on my kid, for the reasons you note — the fact that the Mets might trade Dickey is a sign of a franchise in serious distress.

          What I’d say is that while there certainly is much more player movement and much less loyalty, ideally players stay long enough that there’s some stability — a core, though one that will certainly change and shift as a team’s fortunes ebb and flow. I can root for that. I can teach my kid to root for that, and explain the hard lessons along the way.

          What the Marlins are doing, though, is pressing fast forward, with eyes only on the owner’s bank balance: What the Mets face now with Dickey is the norm in Loria-land. There is no core, no plan, no loyalty. It’s like the baseball version of slots. I admire you if you can root for that, but I wish you didn’t have to.

          • sturock

            What if the Mets could get a star outfielder or two or three good prospects for Dickey? If they can make a good deal, then they should trade him. I love R.A., too, but the goal should be to build a strong long-term team. Isn’t that why you’re angry on behalf of Marlins fans, because they made this big deal that doesn’t look to benefit them in the long run? If trading Reyes, Buerhle, and Johnson made the Marlins’ future brighter, wouldn’t it actually be a good trade?

          • Trying to address Stu, our comment system is behaving strangely: Hey, as I said on Twitter, if the Mets can trade Dickey for Trout I’m all for it. But that seems unlikely given where he is in his contract etc.

            So do the Mets pull a Beltran-for-Wheeler type move with him? Maybe. But again, different parameters. Beltran was in all likelihood not returning to an organization that had treated him abominably and had health questions, so getting a blue-chip prospect back for him struck me as a good deal. A very good deal, in fact. Dickey wants to stay, has no particular health issues we know about, and should be able to pitch into his 40s. Sending him off for a single blue-chip prospect would strike me as being more about the Mets’ financial mess than a sound baseball swap.

            Or to put it more simply: The guy just won 20 games and the Cy Young award, is beloved by fans, and should have 5-6 more good years in him. You better be knocked over to move someone like that.

  • Rob D.

    Yes, as Jerry Seinfeld said, we’re all just rooting for laundry.

  • kjs

    —I hate the Marlins. I enjoyed your insults. I hate all teams except for the Mets (except for the ones that eliminate the Yankees).
    —However, being in NYC, I seen how the Wilpons are holding the lone NYC NL franchise hostage to the point that they’re irrelevant and I wish Wm. Shea were alive to start a third-league threat. This is disgusting. Baseball generally means crap in Miami. In NYC, it’s sacred.
    —I find Queens-headquarteredBank Field just as tacky as Miami’s, but at least Miami’s field isn’t another cookie-cutter Camden clone. The Wilpons pricing plans makes Loria seem like he’s running a charity.
    —I believe WE, as fans, have to get our own house in order and by hook or crook eliminate the Wilpons or Selig or whomever before we can even critique another organization.

  • Lenny65

    It pained me greatly to have to pull for them against NY AL in 2003, but I did. Some things you just have to do, lesser of two evils was how I saw it. But yeah, they’re detestable, especially now. That “ballpark”, those uniforms, that line-up: it had “doomed to fail” written all over it from day one.

    When I think of the Marlins, I usually imagine a drizzly night in early September, an especially aggravating 11-8 loss and Jeff Conine having something to do with it. They’re really quite a pain in the ass, actually. Since they’re a division foe, it sometimes seems like we’re always playing them in a four game series. There’s always that vague disappointment when you check the schedule to see who the Mets are playing next…”oh, the sh*tty Marlins again?”.

  • Will in Central NJ

    I’ve always despised the Marlins since they had the gall to finish ahead of our Mets in 1993. I’ll also never forget that the Marlins had a hand in the Mets’ failed stretch runs of 1998, 2001, 2007 and especially 2008.

    Now, when they fail, the actions of their ownership has negative repercussions for the game and its economics far and wide. Jason is right: they’re bad for baseball, and the institution itself is damaged as a result.

  • Scott M.

    “Going forward, I will continue to monitor this situation with the expectation that the Marlins will take into account the sentiments of their fans, who deserve the best efforts and considered judgment of their Club. I have received assurances from the ownership of the Marlins that they share these beliefs and are fully committed to build a long-term winning team that their fans can be proud of.” – Bud Selig on the Marlins-Jays ‘trade’ Hmmm… Switch Marlins for Mets in his statement and then Bud can monitor our ‘Club’ as well…