The Miami Marlins’ Winter Warmup (formerly Fan Fest) took place over the weekend, an affair the Palm Beach Post’s Tom D’Angelo described as “sparsely attended” (kind of like a Marlins game). Team President David Samson sat atop several Dade-County Yellow Pages to declare to D’Angelo that the ballclub isn’t for sale (despite reports of Jeb Bush making a bid), promising “We love Miami. We love this ballpark.” Alas, the feeling might not be mutual.
Samson said he had “nothing but pleasant reaction” from the fans he encountered Saturday. But he apparently didn’t see the handful of protestors.
Gary Cooper and Jorge Hidalgo of Miami wore custom-made matching protest shirts that read “Marlins need a new owner!” on the back.>
“We love our Marlins,” Cooper said. “We just hate Jeffrey Loria.”
Don Chase, a lawyer from Fort Lauderdale, wore a Blue Jays cap to protest the Marlins’ controversial November trade that sent Johnson, Jose Reyes and three other players to Toronto.
“I’m supporting the Marlins North,” Chase said. “We need to trade the owner.”
Just a handful of people were in line about 20 minutes before the ticket windows opened.
“One fan at a time,” Samson said when asked how the team will win back the fans.