Report: Former Marlins exec David Samson threatened firings over botched mascot race

Chris Cwik

The latest Miami Marlins casualties have been announced, and they are probably not who you expect. It’s believed the team will do away with their mid-inning mascot race, according WINZ host Andy Slater.

Didn’t know the Marlins had racing mascots? Well, you couldn’t be blamed for that. The sea creatures who raced in Miami aren’t nearly as popular as the Racing Sausages, Racing Presidents or Racing Pierogis.

Don’t tell that to former Marlins president David Samson, though. Samson reportedly once got so angry over a botched mascot race that he threatened to fire every single person wearing those costumes.

At least, that’s what SiriusXM host Craig Mish said Monday.

The Miami New Times had to be sure that really happened, so they got in touch to with Mish to see if it was really true. Mish stood by it, proving that we can never write off any seemingly ridiculous thing that happens to the Marlins.

According to Mish, the race always had a pre-determined outcome. Julio the Octopus acted as the Marlins version of Teddy Roosevelt. His job was to keep losing races. The team, like the Nationals, came up with plenty of ways to make sure that didn’t happen, some of which involved Billy the Marlin sabotaging Julio at the last second to give another mascot a win.

That was the case during a May game in 2015. All the mascots were bunched at the finish line, and Billy the Marlin was supposed to take out Julio the Octopus. But Billy mistimed his move and wound up taking out another mascot. Julio won for the first time, and Samson was reportedly furious.

The Marlins mascot race reportedly made David Samson angry one time. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
The Marlins mascot race reportedly made David Samson angry one time. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Maybe the whole thing is overblown. Maybe it never happened. But the Miami New Times makes a good point. Why would the Marlins suddenly allow Julio to win during a random May game in 2015? It’s a strange time to end that gimmick, lending credence to the notion that the whole thing was a big mistake.

Should that have led to Samson threatening to fire everyone involved? Probably not, but this is the Marlins. It doesn’t take much for the organization to get rid of entertaining things.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik