Guillen Says Marlins Park Dimensions Not The Cause Of Team's Struggles
Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen has spoken out against players who have “grumbled amongst themselves all season” about the dimensions of the new Marlins Park, according to Joe Capozzi of the PALM BEACH POST. Guillen said, “We’ve got to deal with the ballpark, and we’re going to be negative coming in here every day, ‘Oh, this ballpark is too big’?’’ He added, “We’ve got to play in this ballpark 81 games and I don’t want to hear any more (from) my players, my hitting coach, nobody with this uniform worry about this place (being) too big. If they think this place is too big, let me know. I’ll put somebody else in who can hit bloopers behind shortstop.” Guillen said, “We are not in last place because this ballpark is big.” He “dismissed the suggestion that the dimensions will make it hard for the Marlins to sign free-agent power hitters.” Guillen: “That’s a bunch of crap. I guarantee you, you give them $100 million, they will play here” (PALM BEACH POST, 9/19). In Miami, Greg Cote grades the Marlins, giving the franchise a “C-minus.” Cote writes Owner Jeffrey Loria, President David Samson and Guillen “lead the major leagues in ego and noise.” In “on-field results, not so much.” Cote: “The Marlins have a beautiful new stadium and therefore a solid, long-term future in Miami, and for that this regime deserves credit. It is the only reason our grade isn’t appreciably lower” (MIAMI HERALD, 9/19).
IMPROVED ATTENDANCE: In West Palm Beach, Capozzi noted the Marlins will “end their first year at Marlins Park with attendance of at least 2 million,” a mark they reached Monday. The Marlins have reached 2 million fans “just twice in franchise history," and this year's current mark of 2,002,047 is the "most since they drew 2,364,387 in 1997 at Sun Life Stadium,” the season in which the Marlins won the franchise's first World Series. The first season at Marlins Park still has been “somewhat of a disappointment because team officials had predicted average crowds of at least 30,000.” Through Sunday, the Marlins are “averaging 27,482, 12th among the NL’s 16 teams and 18th among 30 major-league teams.” However, this season has been a “huge success compared to the crowds they drew at Sun Life, where the Marlins were frequently last in the league in attendance.” Last year they averaged 19,747 (PALM BEACH POST, 9/17).