The Book of Mike

"This is no junior college. This is the notorious University of Miami.” -- Marlins starter Dontrelle Willis, after getting knocked around for six runs in 2 1/3 innings by the Canes.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Merchandising Mavens

After driving around town this morning in search of a World Series hat, I'm a little frustrated. In the Marlins seemingly endless attempts to turn people off of the franchise, I think they have reached a new low today.

I visited two malls and two surrounding Sports Authority franchises today in search of a fitted Marlins hat with the World Series logo. At the second Sports Authority one of the sales people told me that those hats have been selling out nearly instantly whenever they arrive (although I was hoping they'd be stuck with one or two to fit my oversized melon). This didn't surprise me, and was in fact, understandable. Marlins fever has reached a fever pitch here in the magic city, and it seems that if it says Marlins on it, it's selling.

On my way home though I stopped by the Marlins in Miami (Marlins en Miami for those of you scoring at home in Spanish) to see if they would have any of the hats. Now I learned long ago that the store is usually closed on Sunday, but since this is kind of a special occassion, I thought they might make an exception. When I arrived at the store, there was a crowd outside and the parking lot was nearly full. There were also three people inside plus a police officer. It looked like they were getting ready to open up - but they weren't. The Marlins store is staying closed today.

Why make it difficult for people? The store is open for a few hours on Saturday and during normal office hours during the week. This is about the first chance the Marlins have had since 1997 to get people behind the team and make a few bucks at the same time. But they're not capitalizing on it. Despite the fact that the store is staffed and there are people outside with money in hand.

So I'll save my $25 or $30 on a hat and save it for the Hurricanes or someone who at least pretends to care about me. Or maybe I'll buy some (probably) knock-off merchandise at a gas station. It seems that at about half of the gas stations in town someone's set up a tent in the corner and is selling all sorts of Marlins garb... most of it teal interestingly, which hasn't really been seen anywhere since it was phased out of the team's gear over the last few years.

Oh well. More on more opportunities that the Marlins have missed in a post-season wrap up... back to the World Series...


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