So you’re the execs of the Miami Marlins, and you can’t sell out your opening game despite discounted tickets because everybody hates your owner’s guts after he demanded taxpayer money for a new stadium so he could keep his good players then went and traded all his good players. What else can you do to drive away your few remaining fans? How about, I dunno, physically ejecting them from the ballpark?
One fan identified himself as Dan Barton, 25, of Fort Lauderdale. He wore a shirt that read: “Marlins baseball – helping other teams get better since 1998” – a reference to the franchise’s first roster purge.
Barton and four or five of his friends showed up on the main concourse above the first base line in the second inning and were approached by two reporters, from The Palm Beach Post and South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
They posed for photos and talked about their anger over Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria. One fan, who did not give his name, would periodically say out loud to fans passing by, “Free the Marlins,’’ which was also written on a sign…
About an hour later, Barton contacted a reporter via email to explain that they had been ejected from the ballpark not long after they finished being interviewed.
“They kicked us out. We didn’t even make it to our seats,’’ Barton said in a phone interview as they drove back to Fort Lauderdale.
He claimed that one officer told them their sign was blocking the view of other fans. “My friend offered to turn his shirt inside out and they said no,’’ Barton said.
As Deadspin notes, “that seems like some pretty bogus reasoning for ejecting fans from a baseball stadium. I mean, it’s pretty hard to block someone’s view from the concourse, and fans bringing signs to the game is only something that has happened at every single baseball game ever.”
Marlins president David Samson later insisted that the group was ejected for “drawing some attention to themselves” and refusing to show ID. Now there’s a marketing slogan: Come out to see your Miami Marlins, shut up, and sit down! Oh, wait, Jeffrey Loria used that one already.