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Friday, March 15, 2013

John David: Not Calling the Marlins Disingenuous

Abracadrastic! The Incredible Oren Wunderman!

Aside from all the rich material here, I was struck by the word choices and tone taken by Marlins President David Samson in a recent story in The Miami Herald: “I’m not going to say Miami is not a sports town,’’ he said. “Or that there is something wrong with the fans? I would never say that.”

Oh you wouldn’t, would you? I think you just did.

I find this type of language fascinating. A former client once said to me: “I’m not trying to tell you how to do your job, but I think…” Guess what? He was telling me how to do my job, just as Samson is saying there’s something wrong with the fans in Miami.

Given my fascination for this “saying it but not saying it” tactic, I decided to seek an expert opinion. I called my friend Dr. Oren Wunderman, a psychologist who also serves as CEO of Miami’s Family Resource Center, a wonderful non-profit group that helps foster kids get adopted. Oren has forgotten more about psychology than I will ever know.

He called Samson’s language a “paradoxical assertion,” where a person asserts a point in one part of a statement and then negates it in another.

“State it and withdraw it,” said Wunderman. “Very sneaky.”

For some of his adolescent patients, Wunderman says such language is unconscious, and he doesn’t hold them accountable for it. With adults, he sees it as a form of manipulation.

Stop being so disingenuous. Right now, all fans hear is whining and double-talk. Saying that the team is better off now because it has improved its farm system doesn’t play at all in “win-centric” South Florida. My suggestion would be for the team’s executives to sit down with fans and season ticket holders and get their feedback. Listen to your base of support and hear them out. Take your medicine, then explain your decisions and be honest that you believe this strategy gives you the best chance to get back to the World Series. Next, develop a long-haul position that focuses on what fans will see on the field this year. Lastly, get your promotions team working on plans to put some butts in seats, so you can start genuinely re-earning faith.

The Marlins face a long rough road to improve their on- and off-field performance. If they back down from the negative messaging, and take a long-term and genuine approach, then they can win back South Florida fans. If not, expect the chilly relationship to continue.

Repoz Posted: March 15, 2013 at 06:01 AM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: marlins

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   1. Bobby Savoy Posted: March 15, 2013 at 07:14 AM (#4388788)
   2. Rants Mulliniks Posted: March 15, 2013 at 08:05 AM (#4388793)
I'm not saying Samson is an ironic name for someone who's 5'2", but....
   3. Howie Menckel Posted: March 15, 2013 at 09:22 AM (#4388821)
I am comfortable saying that Miami is not a sports town.
   4. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: March 15, 2013 at 10:33 AM (#4388851)
It's funny. The Marlins were actually 18th in attendance last year. Even though they had only half a season or so before they went all Loria and dumped everybody. That might indicate there's potential for a fanbase there.
   5. JE (Jason) Posted: March 15, 2013 at 10:41 AM (#4388856)
Right now, all fans hear is whining and double-talk. Saying that the team is better off now because it has improved its farm system doesn't play at all in "win-centric" South Florida.

Show me a region of the country that isn't "win-centric" ... whatever the hell that means.
   6. JE (Jason) Posted: March 15, 2013 at 10:45 AM (#4388860)
It's funny. The Marlins were actually 18th in attendance last year. Even though they had only half a season or so before they went all Loria and dumped everybody. That might indicate there's potential for a fanbase there.

Is 18th out of 30 in attendance in a year when you christen a ballpark something to be proud of? I bought tickets to two games in early September and paid less than $10 per seat on StubHub for field level seats.
   7. Swedish Chef Posted: March 15, 2013 at 11:51 AM (#4388913)
I bought tickets to two games in early September and paid less than $10 per seat on StubHub for field level seats.

Would it have been that much more in most other ballparks, weren't there plenty of cheap seats in NYS available last year?
   8. JE (Jason) Posted: March 15, 2013 at 12:37 PM (#4388946)
Would it have been that much more in most other ballparks, weren't there plenty of cheap seats in NYS available last year?

Sure, but NYS and Citi opened in '09.
   9. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: March 15, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4388962)
BREAKING: 09:45 @joecapMARLINS: No lie: #Marlins president David Samson and Jose Reyes shared a hug http://shar.es/eG0Pz via @sharethis

Anti-disingenuosity fevah!
   10. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: March 15, 2013 at 02:07 PM (#4388984)

Show me a region of the country that isn't "win-centric" ... whatever the hell that means.


Wrigley Field.
   11. Karl from NY Posted: March 15, 2013 at 02:15 PM (#4388988)
It's funny. The Marlins were actually 18th in attendance last year. Even though they had only half a season or so before they went all Loria and dumped everybody. That might indicate there's potential for a fanbase there.

The tickets for the second half were already sold by the dumpoff. If only MLB reported actual attendance instead of inflating the count with no-shows, we'd see the reality here.

And yes, 18th in a new stadium year is downright horribly embarrassing.
   12. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: March 15, 2013 at 04:03 PM (#4389040)
What's the usual boost in attendance due to a stadium? The Marlins went from perennial bottom-three to 18th, a nine-spot jump at worst.
   13. cardsfanboy Posted: March 15, 2013 at 04:50 PM (#4389063)
And yes, 18th in a new stadium year is downright horribly embarrassing.


I agree, but not based on the raw ranking, but based upon the history, the Marlins have proven that they can get 3mil in attendance, the fact that a new stadium, and a team that generated positive reviews going into the season could only muster 2.2mil has to be disappointing. If they get to 3mil, they might have broke into the top 10 in attendance.

   14. BrianBrianson Posted: March 15, 2013 at 05:37 PM (#4389083)
Show me a region of the country that isn't "win-centric" ... whatever the hell that means.


I suppose the Air Canada Centre isn't part of the country. Neither was Maple Leaf Gardens, when they sold out every game they played through the 70s, 80s, and 90s without a cup to show for it.
   15. Swedish Chef Posted: March 15, 2013 at 05:49 PM (#4389090)
I suppose the Air Canada Centre isn't part of the country. Neither was Maple Leaf Gardens, when they sold out every game they played through the 70s, 80s, and 90s without a cup to show for it.

Everybody is probably scared of being the one who gives up their season ticket just before the Maple Leafs turns good and win it all.
   16. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: March 15, 2013 at 05:53 PM (#4389093)
What's the usual boost in attendance due to a stadium? The Marlins went from perennial bottom-three to 18th, a nine-spot jump at worst.


Looking at teams with new stadiums from 2000 to now, leaving out the New York teams and the Cardinals, with rough numbers:

Houston +300K
Nationals +350K
Tigers +400K
Reds +500K
Marlins +700K
Pirates +700K
Twins +800K
Phillies +950K
Padres +1 million
Brewers +1.3 million
Giants +1.3 million

The Marlins gains, in absolute numbers, were at about the median. The big thing is that they started from a very low base.

That Padres team improved by 23 wins, and Giants were coming off of a 97-win season and moved out of a famously unpleasant ballpark. The real outlier are the Brewers. The team declined by 5 wins (73 to 68), and yet they had a huge attendance gain.
   17. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 15, 2013 at 05:56 PM (#4389096)
apophasis

Not to be confused with Apophis.
   18. 'Spos Posted: March 15, 2013 at 08:45 PM (#4389192)
I'm not saying Loria's more of a crook than Madoff.
   19. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 15, 2013 at 09:52 PM (#4389246)
The Marlins had the largest attendance increase in MLB last season, 8628 per game, and I think they were up around 11,000 per game when they gave up on the season. Loria doesn't seem to understand that building the fan base is a multi-year process that gets short circuited when he pulls the plug.
   20. TerpNats Posted: March 16, 2013 at 05:31 PM (#4389573)
Show me a region of the country that isn't "win-centric" ... whatever the hell that means.

Wrigley Field.
To a point. Even Cubs fans aren't that gullible.
   21. Howie Menckel Posted: March 16, 2013 at 07:28 PM (#4389612)

I've noted that I've been making pilgrimages to Wrigley most summers since 1986, because 750 miles isn't so far.

I think it was about 5 years ago that a few fans had placards in the bleachers that said something like "This is our year."

To which even the 20-somethings asked, "our year for WHAT?"

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