Year 1 of the Derek Jeter era did not go well for the Miami Marlins. They traded away their best players (Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, Dee Gordon) in an effort to save money last offseason, then went on to lose 98 games in 2018.
Year 2 may be even worse. J.T. Realmuto was traded away a few weeks ago and low-cost veteran pickups like Curtis Granderson, Neil Walker, and Sergio Romo don't move the needle much. Jeter and the rest of the new ownership group are trying to get the team's debt under control and essentially rebuild the franchise from the ground up.
Given the team's current state, it is no surprise Jeter & Co. are focusing on the fan experience at Marlins Park rather than the quality of the roster. The Marlins will probably be bad,, but they want fans to enjoy themselves.
"This is professional sports -- I feel bad for even saying it -- but it's impossible to win every single game," Jeter said. "One thing you always remember is the experience you had while you were at the park. We want it to be a positive experience. We want people to enjoy themselves. And look, a lot of times people come and they don't know who won or lost. Something they don't know who was playing. They do know if they had a good experience and that's what we're focusing on."
First of all, imagine Jeter saying "it's impossible to win every single game" during his playing days. Never would've happened. He wasn't wired that way -- or at least didn't want anyone to know he was wired that way -- and I reckon fans and the media would've been taken aback to hear the longtime Yankees captain make such an admission.
Secondly, Jeter's comments are so perfectly emblematic of baseball in 2019. The team is completely indifferent to winning, but they still want you to go to the park and give them your money. Promoting the fan experience over quality of play is no longer limited to minor league and independent league teams, it seems..