Should The Miami Marlins Be Forced To Field A Competitive Baseball Team?
Good news, New York Mets fans (myself included): Your team isn’t going to finish in last place next season! And, how in the world do we know that? Well, we know that because the Miami Marlins made themselves the frontrunners to finish in last next season (wait a second, isn’t that an oxymoron? D’ah well!) earlier this week when they traded away shortstop Jose Reyes, pitcher Josh Johnson, and just about every other player of any value to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for some prospects and a few guys who probably won’t make a big impact on the field next year. They did it in order to dump a lot of their big salaries, just one year after signing a bunch of splashy names in order to make a push towards the 2012 World Series. It was enough to make at least one of their remaining players pretty angry.
“Alright, I’m pissed off!!!” Giancarlo Stanton wrote on his Twitter page shortly after the trade went through.
And, can you really blame him for being upset? By making the deal with the Jays, the Marlins essentially guaranteed that they’ll field one of the worst teams in the league next season. Their owner Jeffrey Loria screwed over both the team and the team’s fans and made it virtually impossible for the Marlins to compete next season. It’s already being called one of the worst trades in the history of Major League Baseball. So, should the league step in and nix it? Or, better yet, should they implement some sort of “basement” salary cap system that forces dreams like the Marlins to at least try to be competitive?
Well, not necessarily. You see, the argument against both of those arguments is that: A) The league shouldn’t be allowed to intervene in specific trades in order to decide who is getting the better end of a deal, and B) The league is also entering murky waters if they pull the trigger on any kind of salary cap system. So then, what should be done?
Well, first and foremost, the few Marlins fans who were attending games last season (the Marlins consistently rank near the bottom of the league in terms of attendance year in and year out) should boycott the team. Secondly, the diehard fans of the Marlins (we know you’re out there!) should put pressure on Loria to either put a competitive squad together—or sell the team. And, finally, MLB should say something—anything really!—to discourage the kind of behavior that’s being displayed by the Marlins right now. If nothing else, MLB needs to embarrass the Marlins ownership through a statement of some kind so that that they don’t simply think it’s okay to make deals like this.
Ultimately, the Marlins will probably be fine. They’ll regroup in a few years, some young talent will come up through their farm system and replenish their big league team, and they’ll become at least somewhat competitive again. But, this is turning into a trend for the Marlins—a trend that’s forcing many people who might be Marlins fans otherwise to steer clear of cheering for the team. So, someone needs to step up and tell Marlins management that this kind of reckless abandon is not acceptable. Who’s it gonna be?