DECLARATION OF MARLINS FANS INDEPENDENCE

When in the Course of professional sports, it becomes necessary for one fan base to dissolve the emotional and financial bands which have connected them with their franchise, and to assume among the powers of professional sports, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s Governance entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all MLB Fans should be treated equal, that they are endowed by the Laws of the lands they live in, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are The Right to the Game, A Fair Approach to Competitive Balance, and The Pursuit of Winning. –That to secure these rights, Government is instituted among Franchise Owners, deriving their just powers from the support of their Fan Bases,–That whenever any Form of Ownership becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the Fan Base to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Ownership, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their ability to Compete, and pursue Happiness. History, indeed, will dictate that Ownerships long established should not be changed for light and transient causes: and accordingly all experience hath shown, that fans are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and injustices, pursuing consistently to the ends of Profit alone evinces a design to reduce a fan base to complete submission and acceptance of an inferiority status, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Ownership, and to provide new Guards for the future Security of their franchise and Wellbeing. Such has been the patient sufferance of the Fans of the Florida/Miami Marlins; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Ownership. The history of the Florida/Miami Marlins is a history of repeated injuries and abuses to its fans, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over them. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

  • Our home ballpark from 1993 – 2011 was a football stadium with nothing around it, with no roof, and no AC, for a game played in the continuously rainy, hot, humid, muggy summer of the sub tropics.
  • The weather created conditions for the first 19 years of existence that easily can be defined as torture, and the fans were forced to pay money to attend the torture, not to mention the play on the field was often torturous in itself.
  • In 1993 the team went 64-98 going below .500 in their first season ever.
  • In 1994 the second year of existence all MLB players went on strike and the season ended with the marlins at 51-64 going under .500 for the second time in two tries.
  • In 1995 the marlins went 67-76 going below .500 for the 3rd time in 3 seasons.
  • In 1996 the marlins went 80-82 going below .500 for the 4th time in 4 seasons.
  • In 1997 the team was upgraded considerably with high priced talent before the season and went 92-70 culminating with the winning of the World Series. Management then purged all of the high priced players in the offseason and throughout the coming year.
  • On October 26th 1997 the Marlins won their first World Series Championship. Despite drawing over 500,000 fans for the postseason on November 11th 1997, a full sixteen days later they started their first fire sale trading away Moises Alou, the NLCS MVP, and who many thought should be the World Series MVP to the Houston Astros for prospects.
  • By opening day March 31st 1998 the marlins had gotten rid of Kevin Brown, Al Leiter, Devon White, Jeff Conine, Moises Alou, Darren Daulton, Jeff Cook, and Rob Nen for prospects.
  • Six weeks later they traded Bobby Bonilla, Gary Sheffield, and Charles Johnson to the La Dodgers for prospects and Mike Piazza.
  • Mike Piazza was only on the team for nine days before he was traded to the NY Mets for prospects.
  • In 1998 in defense of their first World Series a bunch of prospects who hadn’t been on the team the year before went 54-108 a full 38 less wins than the championship season before. This marked the 5th time in 6 seasons the team finished below .500.
  • In 1999 the purge continued as Manager Jim Leyland got off the sinking ship, and they traded away Edgar Renteria, and World Series MVP Livan Hernandez for prospects. The team won 64 games and finished below.500 for the 6th time in 7 seasons. Wayne Huizenga also sold the deflated franchise to John Henry.
  • In 2000 the marlins went 79-82 going below .500 for the 7th time in 8 seasons.
  • In 2001 the marlins won 76 games going below .500 for the 8th time in 9 seasons. MLB also allowed for John Henry to leave the floundering franchise because he too could not get a publically financed stadium. He then went on to buy the Red Sox, while MLB convinced Jeff Loria the owner of the Montreal Expos, another floundering franchise known for always trading away talented players for prospects, to sell his team to the other owners and buy the Marlins.
  • In 2002 the Marlins trade away budding starts and fan favorites Ryan Dempster and Cliff Floyd following the all star break and the team went 79-83 falling below .500 for the 9th time in 10 seasons. The Marlins and their fans are also one of a couple teams who had to deal with rumors of contraction that arose throughout the season.
  • In 2003 the Marlins magically shocked the world by winning 91 games and the World Series for the second time. Marking just the second winning season out of 11. This joyous season that most would point to as giving the franchise real legitimacy in the baseball world was once again marred by management getting rid of top players in the offseason for cost cutting reasons.
  • In the offseason before the 2004 season the Marlins traded away key players in Derek Lee, Ivan Rodriguez, and also traded Juan Encarnacion. Due to these losses the team was not able to recover and finished a disappointing 83-79 missing the playoffs. This marked the third winning season in franchise history in 12 tries and back to back winning seasons for the first time ever; however it was still regarded as a failure considering they had won the World Series the year before.
  • In 2005 the team went a disappointing 83-79 and missed the playoffs again despite brining in Carlos Delgado. Another stadium proposal was shot down, forcing another round of fire sales following the season.
  • In the offseason before 2006 the Marlins parted with Josh Beckett, Aj Burnett, Mike Lowell, Carlos Delgado, Paul LoDuca, Luis Castillo, Juan Pierre, and Juan Encarnacion again for prospects in their second major fire sale. Alex Gonzales was also traded later as the payroll plummeted to $14.3 Million. The team actually did surprisingly well considering they had six rookies in the opening day lineup. Rookie manager Joe Girardi won the manager of the year title, and they ended up finishing 78-84 going below .500 for the 10th time in 14 seasons.
  • In the offseason following the 2006 campaign, the Marlins became the first team in history to fire the Manager of The Year firing Joe Girardi on October 3rd 2006.
  • In 2007 the Marlins went 71 and 91 going below .500 for the 11th time in 15 seasons. In the offseason they continued their ways of trading their best talent before they were forced to pay them real major league money.
  • In 2008 before the season the Marlins traded Miguel Cabrera, the eventual Triple Crown winner in 2012, and Dontrell Willis to the Detroit Tigers for prospects. Despite this devastating setback the team’s young core rallied to an 84-77 finish. Recording the fifth winning season in team history while still missing the playoffs.
  • In 2009 it seemed as if things were changing the Marlins improved upon the previous season going 87-74. Completing back to back winning seasons for only the second time period in franchise history, but once again failed to make the playoffs.
  • In 2010 optimism was high as construction on the teams new publicly financed stadium began, and the team finally started to sign players for more than one year deals. However the dream was not real and the club struggled to an 80-82 finish going below .500 for the 12th time in 18 seasons. The illusion was even further marred when a fan favorite Cody Ross was allowed to be outright claimed off waivers at the end of the season by the SF Giants for cost cutting measures. Not only did the team not get prospects this time, but Cody Ross went on to help lead the Giants to the World Series title that year, while winning NLCS MVP honors as well.
  • In the offseason before the 2011 season the Marlins decided to not pay fair market value for Dan Uggla and traded him to the Atlanta Braves in a cost cutting measure. From a fans perspective at least it wasn’t for prospects this time. The Marlins also traded Cameron Mayben and Andrew Miller, meaning they effectively got nothing for the Miguel Cabrera trade, poking a huge hole in the argument that top talent for top prospects is a viable way to continue. The team struggled to a 72-90 finish marking the 13th time in 19 seasons they finished below .500
  • At no time in these 19 years did attending a Marlins game in person ever become less torturous, or miserable due to the extreme heat, humidity, and constant rain showers.
  • Before the 2012 season the Marlins decided to make good on their long standing promise that if they got a new publically financed stadium their payroll would increase significantly. The team hired World Series winning manager Ozzie Guillen, and then acquired high priced talent in Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Heath Bell, while publically pursing CJ Wilson and Albert Pujols, who they were not able to acquire. This legitimate behavior would not last through the season.
  • In 2012 he new high profile team struggled to adapt to the cavernous and glitzy new stadium, unconventional uniforms, volatile manager, and each other. All was not a total loss with the team setting a franchise record for wins in a single month, with 21 in May. They were the best team in baseball in the month of May, and many believe that if they had just been left alone and recovered from injuries, and statistical outliers in many players’ careers, they would have rebounded to be a top team again in 2013. However. the team finished 69-93, with 21 wins in May and 48 for the other five months combined, finishing below .500 for the 14th time in 20 seasons. One of the main reasons for this is because by July the team was not doing well and the apprehensive management decided to once again trade Hanley Ramirez, Anabal Sanchez, and Omar Infante for prospects. The moves were initially seen as the removal of dead salary weight that would be reinvested into new quality players later. As it was promised the organization was going to give a serious 2 or 3 year run at trying to do things legitimately. This notion was shattered in the offseason with the Marlins firing Ozzie Guillen, outright releasing Heath Bell and trading Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck to the Toronto Blue Jays for Yunel Escobar and Prospects.
  • Less than one month later the Marlins traded Yunel Escobar to the Tampa Bay Rays for prospects.
  • The Marlins payroll going into the second season in their new publicly financed ballpark is projected to be a league low $33,000,000.
  • Most people polled before the construction of the new stadium abhorred the idea of putting it in Little Havana. Difficulty in getting there and safety issues made most think that it was a horrible idea to put a stadium there. Management didn’t listen and railroaded everyone because they finally found a deal they could make.
  • If the Marlins had stuck to their word and continued to put together high priced talent the new stadium could have been successful. Instead they decided to do what they are most comfortable with and what was is deemed most profitable for themselves and have created an atmosphere where people no longer want to make the effort to support them anymore.
  • Finally with no open books, and actual MLB revenue sharing going on, no one can trust that the ownership is not just making big profits off their very own MLB exploitation model while just sitting around waiting for the time that they can sell the team and stadium free and clear of the county of Dade. Meanwhile destroying the atmosphere for baseball in South Florida for everyone and perhaps permanently.
  • The hardworking people of South Florida do not deserve any of this, Major League Baseball does not deserve this, and the Players and their Union do not deserve this.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms as feasibly possible for fans to do: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. An Art Dealer, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the owner of a Major League Franchise.

Nor have We been wanting in bringing attention to our Ownership. We have warned them from season to season of attempts by their management to extort our money for the gain of their pockets only. We have reminded them of the circumstances upon which they have tried to force our loyalty, first a sweat box in the middle of nowhere that was angled for football, second a space ship in the middle of Little Havana which offers little more than difficulty for the majority of the paying fan base to get there. We have appealed to their pocket books by refusing to attend games in large numbers, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common love of the game to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our crucial support and negatively affect the team we so dearly love. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and the will to win. We must therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold all non Marlins fans, Enemies in Competition, in Peace Friends.

We therefore, the Representatives of the Rage Against The Marlins, in General Congress. Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Logic of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of this Fan Base, solemnly publish and declare, That these Fans are and of Right Ought to be Free and Independent; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the current Miami Marlins Ownership, and that all Political, Financial, and Emotional connection between them and their former owner, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that As Free and Independent Fans, they have full power to levy a Nonviolent War against the Owner Jeff Loria and his Representatives, conclude Peace, sue through the legal system, boycott the games TV broadcasts and merchandise, Verbally Rage Against The Marlins and their Representatives through all forms of media possible, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent Fans may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection and sanctity of Professional Baseball, we mutually pledge to each other Our Love Of The Game, Our Unyielding Support For Our Team, and Our Sacred Honor.

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