Jeter To Be More Hands-On With Marlins In Year 2 Of Rebuild
As Derek Jeter begins his second year as CEO of the Marlins, a franchise that has "gone 10 years without a winner on the field and ranked dead last in attendance" in '18, the immediate prospects are "bleak," according to Clark Spencer of the MIAMI HERALD. Jeter yesterday "refused to put a timeline" on how long the rebuild process might take. He said, "If you come out and say it’s going to take us five years, 10 years, 15 years -- you’re saying it’s okay to lose. But that’s not the case. I have no patience. I have zero patience. I’ve been preaching it. But I don’t have it." Jeter since joining the team has "gone about distancing the franchise from its not-so-successful recent past." But while the Marlins' four NL East rivals have "spent the offseason strengthening their teams in bids to win now, the Marlins have continued the methodical process of building for the future by acquiring young prospects." Jeter "spent much of his first year observing." He said that he will "take a more visible role this season." Jeter: "I kept a distance, so to speak because I wanted to learn about the players last year, the ones who were in the organization that I didn’t know. I used last year as sort of a learning experience" (MIAMI HERALD, 2/12).
HIGHER EXPECTATIONS: The AP's Tim Reynolds noted Jeter is "being tested in ways now that he never was during his playing days," when competing for titles "seemed like an annual occurrence." But after hinting he will be more involved with players, "people are buying" what he is selling. Marlins President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill said of the message from Jeter’s office to players, “You’re either going to be on board, or you’re out.” The Marlins also "vow they’re going to make the experience" at Marlins Park "better this year." The team is "trying to better embrace the Latin flavor of Miami, and want fans to even feel comfortable bringing instruments to games if so inclined" (AP, 2/11). In Miami, Jordan McPherson noted even Billy the Marlin "became part" of the Marlins’ rebrand this offseason, as the mascot "received a hefty makeover" (MIAMIHERALD.com, 2/11).
WINNING SOLVES EVERYTHING: In Ft. Lauderdale, Dave Hyde notes some "obvious" changes at Marlins Park this year are the "home run sculpture (gone), the outfield fence (blue, not green), the team logo" and uniform colors. But "no one cares about" former Owner Jeffrey Loria’s fingerprints being "wiped clean as much as when Jeter’s team wins." Hyde: "If it does." Losing like Loria is what Jeter "really needs to separate himself from, and no one knows when that will happen." Hyde: "Patience is the only approach this season. And most fans are out of patience" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 2/12).