After the offseason purge of Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and others, some Marlins fans are incredibly angry with the front office. And these fellows wore some T-shirts and held up signs at Monday's home opener in order to express their dissatisfaction.
Those fans did not, however, get the chance to watch the Marlins lose to the Braves. They were ejected from the stadium, Dan Barton told reporters (he's the one with the "Helping other teams get better since 1998 shirt in the above video).
Here's their side, via Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post:
“They kicked us out. We didn't even make it to our seats,'' Barton said in a phone interview as they drove back to Fort Lauderdale.
He claimed that one officer told them their sign was blocking the view of other fans. “My friend offered to turn his shirt inside out and they said no,'' Barton said.
He also said an officer asked them to wait for a Marlins representative, but no representative showed up.
“We asked police what we were doing wrong. And he said, ‘They want you to leave.''
By ‘they,' Barton assumed the officer was referring to the Marlins.
And now here's the Marlins' side, again, thanks to the fine work of Mr. Capozzi:
After the game, team president David Samson addressed the incident.
“We got information from the police that they'd run into a couple of fans who were walking around holding signs that were fine. That was not the issue. 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 tell them to calm down and they did not. Then the police said, ‘Show me ID' and they did not. And that was it. You have to show ID when asked. So they were ejected.
“We go through games during the course of a season, it is not uncommon to have ejections of people who drink too much, do too much. Overall it is hard to, even for certain people, it is hard to put a negative spin on tonight's game other than the fact that we did not win and got two hits.''
Samson said he was told that two fans were ejected from the ballpark. None were arrested.
“They were walking around just trying to create a, there's a police term for it that I am not familiar with. It has to do with disturbance, creating a disturbance. I don't exactly know what it means but it is their job to make sure everything is safe for everyone.
“Our security people are consulted. But it's a pretty simple thing: When police ask for ID and you don't show it, that's it. No other questions are asked. You are escorted.''
And here's where, in my humble opinion, the Marlins front office just doesn't get it. If only two people are ejected from the park -- which had over 34,000 people in it, according to the announced attendance for the game -- and they just happen to be the ones protesting the actions of the front office, it just looks bad. If these fans were doing anything real bad, they'd be headed to jail.
Instead, it just looks petty on the part of the Marlins. Then again, they've been a PR machine (please note sarcasm) for years, so I'm not sure why any of us should expect them to change.