The Major League Baseball season is barely a week old, but these Miami Marlins fans already are embarrassed enough to wear disguises. These two people pulled paper bags over their heads at Miami's home opener against the Atlanta Braves on Monday.
This photo was snapped in the fourth inning, so perhaps the home team allowed the civil disobedience to continue for the entire game and didn't snatch the bags away under some baloney pretense. Other fans protesting the state of the team, however, made big headlines down in south Florida after they were ejected from the ballpark for disagreeing with the way the team is being run. The story was first reported by Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post.
According to Rat Marlins, this group of fans below was thrown out of Marlins Park for failing to produce ID after being confronted by police. As you can see, they were also carrying protest signs and wearing shirts critical of owner Jeffrey Loria:
Dave Hyde of the Sun-Sentinel was part of the media crowd that met with the group of rebel fans on the concourse (here's a video), which maybe seems like part of the reason they got the boot. But Marlins team president David Samson later told Hyde that wasn't the case.
"They were drawing some attention to themselves, making some noise later in the game, which is not uncommon," Samson said. "As per standard operating procedure, the police go up, try to calm them down and they did not."
Barton said police escorted them to meet a Marlins representative. Before the representative arrived, Barton said they refused to give identification to the police and were escorted from the ballpark.
"It was unbelievable," Barton said in the sixth inning on the drive back to Fort Lauderdale. "It was a punch to the gut considering I've been a Marlins fan all my life."
Apparently Loria and Samson want their remaining fans to be sitting silently behind grocery bag masks like the folks up there. Fans putting bags over their heads goes back, at least, to the darkest days of the New Orleans Saints. It's Guy Fawkes meets "nobody can know I was here."
But all fans, regardless of volume or transparency, aren't upset simply because the Fish are 1-6, but because of the manner in which Loria conducts experiments on his own team. Fire sales, bait-and-switches, cynically bad stadium deals, boldly wrong pronouncements, etc.
Yahoo! Sports' own Eric Adelson captured the sentiments of other fans in attendance, which was inflated to near-sellout status because of a Groupon giveaway that provided deep discounts. But there are reasons to see Marlins games. Giancarlo Stanton is one, and the ballpark bartenders at the Clevelander will tell you the others:
This should cover at least some of the team's demographic.
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- David Samson