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SBD/September 28, 2011/Franchises
Ozzie Guillen's Move To Marlins Would Make Him The New Face Of The Franchise
Published September 28, 2011
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WELL WORTH THE RISK: ESPN’s Bomani Jones said fans will "have more interest in the Florida Marlins than they have, even with two World Series,” with Guillen joining the team. He instantly makes the Marlins more "relevant moving into this ballpark. ... You put him there, they have something to focus interest on around that team. And he can manage" ("Jim Rome Is Burning,” ESPN2, 9/27). SportsNet N.Y.’s Marc Malusis said Guillen “is going to raise the Q-level for the Marlins going into a new stadium” ("The Wheelhouse," SportsNet N.Y., 9/27). ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said Guillen will “put people in there, fannies in the seats. He’ll make money, which is all he said he cares about” (“PTI,” ESPN, 9/27). MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez wrote signing Guillen is a "risk, no doubt, but it's a risk worth taking." Gonzalez: "The Marlins are all about creating a buzz, generating interest and ultimately selling tickets in this stage of the franchise's existence. And Ozzie, more so than any other manager, can help do all that" (MLB.com, 9/27). Comcast SportsNet Chicago's Todd Hollandsworth said, "They’re saying, 'We want to make this guy the face of our franchise.' How many managers out there today are truly the face of their franchise? Typically it’s a player. ... The community is going to rally around him, and they’re going to love him” (“Chicago Tribune Live,” Comcast SportsNet Chicago, 9/27).
BUSTING THE BUDGET: In West Palm Beach, Joe Capozzi reported the Marlins "plan to look at top free agents this winter as they tinker with their roster," and the team is "poised to have a franchise-record payroll next year." The team would not disclose the amount, but a source said that it "could be nearly twice its present $58 million." Marlins President David Samson is "encouraged that season-ticket sales are ahead of their budgeted pace." While Samson did not disclose any figures, he said that "many new customers have never attended a game at Sun Life Stadium." He added that the Marlins are "seeing increased group sales from Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast as well as the Florida Keys and Naples." Meanwhile, Samson said, "The whole organization views the new ballpark as having a honeymoon period of about five innings in the first game. So, in order to keep fans coming from Year 1 to Year 30 is a combination of game-day experience and on-field performance" (PALM BEACH POST, 9/27).