SBD/November 22, 2011/Franchises

Marlins Look To Become Latin America's Team As They Move Into New Ballpark

Hiring Ozzie Guillen as manager gives Marlins famous Latin presence
The Marlins are “looking to become Latin America’s team, catering to the fastest growing minority in the United States, throwing unprecedented dollars at an experiment that will prove, once and for all," whether MLB can work in Miami, according to Dan Le Batard of the MIAMI HERALD. It “isn’t merely that a franchise that has a local and national reputation for being cheap is pushing mountainous millions toward Hispanic faces.” It is that, even “outside the dollars, the Marlins are doing things they never would have even considered previously, things that don’t even make sense until you realize that the international business plan takes precedence over the local baseball plan.” The hiring of manager Ozzie Guillen “gives them a famous Latin face and accented, foul-mouthed Hispanic voice.” It gives them “the kind of buzz and momentum and credibility they are looking to build, piece by piece, just like they built" their new ballpark in downtown Miami. Le Batard wrote the “crown jewel on this construction, of course, is named Albert Pujols.” The Marlins “believe they can sell his face and name all over Latin America in a way they can’t sell, say, Prince Fielder.” If this were “strictly about baseball, not business, Fielder fits Florida’s philosophy a lot better than Pujols because you don’t have to give him as much money or years.” But “you can’t sell Fielder to Goya and Cafe Pilon before your new park has even opened.” Pujols “starts paying for the investment in him before he even takes the field -- in everything from priceless credibility, which can’t be quantified, to international corporate sponsorships, which can be.” Le Batard: “Clumsy and cold as the Marlins have been over the years, give them this: They are very good at the business part of this game, very good at making money” (MIAMI HERALD, 11/21).
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Franchises, Miami Marlins, Baseball

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