Marlins See Record-Low Crowd At Ballpark, Down More Than 20,000 From Opening Day
The Marlins' announced crowd of 14,222 for the team's game last night against the Braves is the "smallest since Marlins Park opened last year," according to Dave George of the PALM BEACH POST. That comes after the team drew more than 34,000 fans for its first home game of the season Monday. Marlins Owner Jeffrey Loria last night "came walking unnoticed through the seats in the second inning," and he "settled inconspicuously in the seventh row near the Miami dugout, not at his customary second-row location, and pulled a baseball cap onto his head." George writes Loria and his "low-budget club are just trying to find ways to feel comfortable in their own home again," but the first two games at Marlins Park "have been nasty." George: "Realistically, in this market, not much short of a World Series run ever will" fill the ballpark (PALM BEACH POST, 4/10). In Ft. Lauderdale, Craig Davis notes the crowd was the "smallest since the stadium opened by more than 4,000." At one point, a fan "with a paper bag on his head appeared briefly on the video board between innings" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 4/10).
YOU'RE OUTTA HERE: NBCSPORTS.com's Craig Calcaterra wrote there could be some "he-said, she-said" behind two Marlins fans being ejected Monday, and maybe they "truly were being disruptive." But it "sure as hell sounds to me that the Marlins simply didn’t like the fact that someone was criticizing them in their own (tax payer-funded) house." One of the ejected fans held a "Free the Marlins" sign, while the other wore a T-shirt which read, "Marlins Baseball Helping Others Get Better Since 1998" (NBCSPORTS.com, 4/9). BUSINESSWEEK's Ira Boudway wrote the incident is "yet another example of the team’s spectacular ability to create bad publicity" (BUSINESSWEEK.com, 4/9). But in Ft. Lauderdale, Dave Hyde noted Marlins President David Samson said that a meeting Monday "stressed not to kick anyone out for signs or wording." The "last thing the Marlins want" is a story of fans getting ejected. Hyde noted he talked with the fans early on at the opener and "unless they changed their methods -- again, that’s possible -- they weren’t causing a loud scene" (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 4/9).