Miami Marlins fans have plenty to be unhappy about right now. The team is coming off a 69-93 season after opening a $515 million stadium funded mostly by local taxpayers. To boot, owner Jeffrey Loria just shipped much of the club’s best talent to Toronto in an apparent fire sale.
A poll published by the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald on Sunday revealed as much, with Loria posting a paltry 6 percent favorability rating. To put in perspective just how low that is, similar polls showed Cuban dictator Fidel Castro holds a 1 percent rating in the same community, which boasts a large Cuban population.
The survey was made up of 400 baseball fans in South Florida, with 89 percent of the respondents describing themselves as Marlins fans before the trade of Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle to Toronto. Of that majority, 10 percent no longer identify themselves as Marlins fans.
Some other interesting results of the survey:
• 95 percent of those surveyed thought the trade was a fire sale, not a genuine attempt to improve the team.
• 89 percent think Loria has no moral obligation to field a good team because the new stadium was built mostly with public funds.
• 18 percent think that Bud Selig should have blocked the trade.
• 85 percent think the trade will benefit the Blue Jays more than the Marlins.
Perhaps the most damning result of the poll was that 61 percent of those surveyed who identified themselves as season ticket-holders would support a boycott if it would force Loria to sell the team.
With a new ballpark this year and a new-look team coming in next year, maybe what the Marlins really need is a new owner.