On May 31st, the Marlins were 31-22, 2 games out of first and not only did they lead the wild card race, but they had the 4th best record in all of baseball. Obviously, that was a small sample size. June corrected that as the Marlins lost 19 of 20 games in the first 24 days of the month. By the time it was over, they had dropped from the wild card lead to last in their division behind the Phillies, Braves, Mets and Nationals. It was fucking brutal.
At the halfway point of the season the Florida Marlins are 43-48, 14 games out of 1st place and 10.5 games out of the wild card. Things are looking up though. Heading into the All-Star break, the Marlins had won 5 in a row and 9 of their last 11. That’s a damn good stretch for a team that had losing streaks of 8 and 11 last month. Despite that hot stretch, the Marlins aren’t selling many tickets.
I know that’s shocking since professional baseball in South Florida is synonymous with the words “sell” and “out.” The Marlins currently rank last in baseball in attendance at just over 18,000 tickets a game. It is not known how many of those tickets are comps given to dogs.
With those sad numbers in mind, the Marlins have decided to close their upper deck for the last 31 home games of the year. The organization will upgrade those tickets at no additional fee. They hope that it will create a better atmosphere for the Marlins’ last couple months in Sun Life Stadium before moving to New Florida Marlins Ballpark in 2012. (They should keep that name. It’s as catchy as You Will Soar.)
While a wild card run might out of the question, getting out of the basement would be nice. Hopefully, the Marlins will take this insane new home atmosphere and keep their momentum going in the second half. With Hanley Ramirez starting to swing the bat well and Josh Johnson planning on returning at some point, the Mets and Nationals had better watch their asses.
[Miami Herald VIA TWITTER, Getty, Scott Stapp at the request of Tim Ryan]