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SBD/April 16, 2012/Franchises
Protesters Largely Absent At First Games At Marlins Park Since Guillen's Comments
Published April 16, 2012
MARLINS MAKE NECESSARY MOVE: Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan said of Guillen's comments, “We’re talking about a speech infraction here that the Constitution supposedly covers, but we do understand why the team had to react.” Ryan noted the Marlins have "never tapped into that fan base in terms of being paying customers." Ryan: "They were hoping by building a new ballpark in Little Havana, bringing in a Latino face such as Ozzie and importing some other players they would succeed. The fact is now finally he’s got their attention, and it’s negative.” ESPN’s Howard Bryant said the “real conversation here is whether or not the Miami Marlins have the stamina to stand by their manager and whether or not they’re going to ride this out along business lines.” Bryant: “What Ozzie Guillen’s got to do is win.” N.Y. Times’ Judy Battista said, “I can’t imagine a worse thing he could have said to that customer base than what he said about Fidel Castro.” If there are "significant protests and people really boycott the stadium, don’t show up, then this continues.” Battista: “In the week since he apologized, things seemed to have calmed down” (“The Sports Reporters,” ESPN, 4/15).
MERCHANDISE MANIA: Marlins Senior VP/Marketing & Event Booking Sean Flynn said that sales of Marlins shirts, jerseys and hats at the first three games in the new ballpark “eclipsed total sales last season.” MLB Senior VP/Licensing Howard Smith said that Sports Authority reported that sales of Marlins gear nationwide has “outsold all other team merchandise this quarter, including that of teams from other sports.” Smith said that Marlins merchandise historically has “fallen into the lower half of sales when ranked against that of other major-league teams.” He added that since December, Marlins merchandise sales “have skyrocketed, and the team is now one of MLB's top sellers.” Smith: "This is one of the hottest re-image projects I've ever worked on" (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 4/14).