Derek Jeter touting gameday experience over winning ahead of season?
Derek Jeter is entering is second season presiding over the Miami Marlins organization, and comments the chief executive officer and part owner made Tuesday might leave some of the team’s fans scratching their heads.
It’s been well-chronicled that the Marlins have long experienced great difficulty filling up Marlins Park, mostly due to the substandard product that has been put on the field in recent seasons.
Jeter is well aware of the fact the Marlins will be confronted with similar attendance challenges this coming season. After all, the team is coming off an NL-worst 63-98 record in a season the team averaged only 10,014 fans a game, worst in Major League Baseball.
So, Jeter elected to highlight efforts to ensure fans who visit the ballpark are at least provided with an enjoyable gameday experience.
Marlins CEO Derek Jeter says fans may not remember the final score of game — but they will remember the experience pic.twitter.com/yPGDcCPhHG— WPLG Local 10 Sports (@Local10Sports) March 6, 2019
“This is professional sports, and I feel bad for even saying this, but it’s impossible to win every single game,” Jeter said, as transcribed by the New York Post. “But one thing you always remember is the experience you have while you’re at the park, and we want it to be a positive experience and we want people to enjoy themselves. And look, a lot of times people come, they don’t know who won or lost, sometimes they don’t even know who was playing, but they do know if they had a good experience, and that’s what we’re focused on.”
Jeter is absolutely correct that a lot of people who attend MLB games have little actual interest in the outcome. Instead, these attendees are far more focused on gameday amenities and the like, so there is perhaps nothing wrong with Jeter highlighting improvements the organization has made to improve their home ballpark.
That said, Jeter’s decision to focus on the gameday experience instead of the team’s commitment to fielding a quality team arguably will rub the diehard fans — what’s left of them — the wrong way.
To be fair to Jeter, however, he did stress in February that he has “zero patience” when it comes to developing the Marlins into a winning franchise. Until those plans come to fruition, though, there’s nothing wrong with making sure fans can enjoy themselves while watching the team pile up losses.