Here, MetsBlog’s Vinny Cartiglia talks with Ted Hill from marlinsdiehards.com to get a sense of how Marlins fans feel about their team heading into tonight’s game against the Mets:
Ted Hill: I think it’s mostly positive. Reyes got off to a slow start this year but has really turned it on as of late, hitting over .371 since the All Star Break. I think the departure of Hanley Ramirez and the general sub-par performance of the team has made him one of the bright spots (which isn’t saying much) this year. Fans are less concerned that he will be a big bust and an enormous wasted contract and are seeing the potential of what he can bring to a team over the course of a season. Obviously some will still worry about his injury history but he’s been pretty healthy this year.
Vinny Cartiglia: You mentioned Hanley Ramirez, how did fans feel about trading him?
Ted Hill: Good riddance is what most fans would say. He really fell out of favor down here. The attitude and loafing was one thing when he was hitting .330 with 25 homers a year, but he really declined into an ordinary player. And when you’re performing just above an average ballplayer, fans don’t like the me-first arrogance he carried himself with. I wouldn’t say I’m happy or sad to see him go, but it was a good trade to restock our bare farm system and unload that contract, which he’s not living up to.
Vinny Cartiglia: With the organization trading some key players, what is the fan sentiment surrounding the club? Do they still feel the Fish can make a run at the playoffs?
Ted Hill: Definitely not. The team is looked upon in a very negative but comical way these days. It actually all seems ‘very Marlins’, and makes it easier to write and blog about them. But most fans are pretty fed up with how the season has gone. Some things were unforeseen (Heath Bell’s terrible year, Giancarlo Stanton injury, etc.) but to go into a season with at least some founded hope and to perform so poorly is disappointing. I’m glad though that Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and the team didn’t falsely convince themselves this year’s team could contend and make foolish trades to buy. The mini ‘fire sale’ (I hate that term, but whatever) to unload some guys and restock with young talent was an excellent play for the future.
For an on-field look at the Marlins, here is SNY.tv’s Pete McCarthy’s chat with FishStripes.com‘s Michael Jong: