In the latest episode of “what has Derek Jeter said or done to dishearten Marlins fans,” the team’s new part owner officially set the bar for expectations exceptionally low with his most recent comments.
According to Christopher Stock of Inside the U, Jeter spoke to the media after meeting with University of Miami president Julio Frenk on Tuesday. During the session, Jeter touched on several subjects, including the future of the Marlins Park home run sculpture and the arrival of Miami’s expansion soccer team headed by the legendary David Beckham.
Of course, the Marlins short- and long-term future were also discussed, and it was then that Jeter actually made a startling comparison to Miami’s incoming soccer team.
Derek Jeter on if Marlins will win a title before David Beckham's MLS team. "We are starting from a deeper hole than he is."
— Christopher Stock (@InsideTheU) February 7, 2018
As sports fans are well aware, expansion teams essentially start from scratch. They’re allowed to select players from existing teams in a special expansion draft, though more times than not the pool they’re selecting from doesn’t include many appealing or valuable players.
The Las Vegas Golden Knights of the NHL were able to put together an immediate contender from their expansion draft and early signings. The Arizona Diamondbacks won a World Series in their fourth season, so there are exceptions to the rule. But for the most part expansion teams have a long run ahead of them to become championship contenders.
For Jeter to suggest his Marlins are behind even that curve indicates he doesn’t see Miami in contention for a good long while.
Perhaps the most troubling aspect for Marlins fans to accept is that their team appeared to be headed in the right direction last season. The hole they’re in was created when Jeter’s group elected to cut payroll, rather than investing in and adding to a possible contender. After trading Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich and Dee Gordon during the offseason, the budget cutting was accomplished, but now the outlook is bleak going into 2018 and beyond.
It seems like Marlins fans get a reminder of that reality nearly every day. And, truthfully, every time Jeter himself reminds fans of their predicament, or even portrays it as something that had to be done, it becomes more difficult to find any reason for Marlins optimism.
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