The Marlins Friday unveiled their "colorful" and "distinctive" new look to an invitation-only crowd in their new ballpark and on a live stream on Marlins.com in a "glitzy presentation that featured a performance by rapper Pitbull," according to Craig Davis of the South Florida SUN-SENTINEL. The team "revealed four uniforms: The home white, road gray and alternate black each have MIAMI in beveled, block-lettering across the chest, with the logo M larger and accented by the leaping marlin." The home whites have "orange piping around the collar, sleeves and down the pants leg." Only the orange alternate "varies with MARLINS across the chest and the abstract fish leaping from the middle of the name." Marlins Owner Jeffrey Loria said that the primary colors are "symbolic of the sunsets and the citrus industry, sunshine, the sky and sea." Loria: "We are unique, we're sleek and different, and we are the colors of Miami." Davis noted while the uniforms are "nontraditional for Major League Baseball, they fall well short of extreme." Marlins 1B Gaby Sanchez: "All the players like them. We think it's a cool uniform. It's something different, it's something of its own" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 11/12). MLB.com's Joe Frisaro noted the team's new colors are "black, yellow, orange and blue" (MLB.com, 11/11). In Miami, Adam Beasley wrote, "The Miami Marlins' future is bright -- bright blue, bright yellow and bright orange." Loria at the unveiling "simply beamed, soaking in the realization of a vision he has fought for since buying the team" in '02. Marlins P Ricky Nolasco said, "It feels real. everybody's excited about it." Beasley noted opinions on the new uniforms are "mixed." One online critic said, "Halloween was last week" (MIAMI HERALD, 11/12).
VARYING OPINIONS: The SUN-SENTINEL's Davis notes of more than 5,000 votes cast in a poll on Sun-Sentinel.com, 59% rated the uniforms as "awful," while only 14% "gave them high marks." Still, there were "200-300 fans lined up waiting for the first chance to buy merchandise" at 11:00pm ET Friday at the ballpark, and "some waited more than an hour and a half." Most were "buying multiple items" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 11/14). Marlins VP/Marketing Sean Flynn said "there was a long line running down the street" about an hour before merchandise went on sale at the ballpark. The Marlins on Saturday "set up kiosks at select locations in South Florida" (MLB.com, 11/13). In West Palm Beach, Joe Capozzi noted a survey of his Twitter followers found that about 75% were "liking the uniforms" (PALMBEACHPOST.com, 11/12). The debut of the uniforms was "upstaged when a photo began circulating early Friday afternoon of two players modeling the new brand began circulating on Twitter" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 11/12).
FISHING FOR FREE AGENTS: The PALM BEACH POST's Capozzi cited an MLB source as saying that the Marlins "have made 'substantial offers' to a trio of free agents" -- 1B Albert Pujols, SS Jose Reyes and P Mark Buehrle. There was "speculation the Marlins' offers were meant solely to generate more publicity to the club's rebranding," and the news "injected more buzz to a rebranding ceremony that shattered the thrifty image of the old Florida Marlins." Loria said, "We've made offers but I'm not going to discuss them" (PALM BEACH POST, 11/12). In Miami, Greg Cote wrote the team "upstaged itself" Friday. The new uniforms, colors and logo "were meant to own the marquee but were relegated to mere window dressing." Loria "was undertaking a transformation as stark as the change in uniforms but in some ways even more stunning." He "was unveiling himself as a man at long last prepared to spend hugely to field a winning team" (MIAMI HERALD, 11/12). ESPN.com's Buster Olney wrote, "The Marlins are working from a well-worn playbook as they prepare to open a new ballpark. The theory is that if they invest in big names, fans will be inspired to fill the place." But if "no offers are substantial enough to actually entice the players to South Florida," the Marlins' "great experiment would tell us, once and for all, whether the area can support baseball." Loria "deserves credit for trying to make it work for his franchise, for attempting to alter perception of his club and excite a fan base that has been disinterested to this point" (ESPN.com, 11/12).
SPEND MONEY TO MAKE MONEY ESPN.com's Christina Kahrl wrote, "With a new park and a new identity, it seems like the [Lorias] are setting down roots and the Marlins are gearing up to become a Miami institution. They seem to have money to spend, creating the additional expectation is that they’ll be able to make a play for major free agents for extended stays" (ESPN.com, 11/11). In Boston, Nick Cafardo cited MLB sources as saying that the Marlins "plan to increase their payroll to more than $80 million and could go as high as $100 million" (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/12). However, YAHOO SPORTS' Jeff Passan wrote, "There can be streams of revenue when moving from old football haunt Sun Life Stadium to a baseball-only jewel." But "rarely is it franchise-changing money, at least in the long term, if recent history is any indication" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 11/12).