Sunday, April 02, 2006

A piece of my mind

I've been debating whether or not to post this because this is supposed to be a fan blog, but I think it deserves to heard. When the Marlins arrogant management bamboozled me into renewing my season tickets then conducted a repeat of the 1998 fire sale while treating us season ticket holders like crap, I decided to fight back. I disputed my charges on American Express on the grounds that I had been the victim of a bait and switch. Some people at thought I deserved what I got and that I was an idiot if I didn't see it coming. It was obvious who had $1200 of their own money tied up with the club and who didn't.

Anyway I lost my dispute. American Express called me to say that all the Marlins have to do is play the games. I figured I was going to lose the dispute but what was telling was the letter the club sent AMEX in defending themselves. It basically said we were spoiled fans that cared more about the names on the back of the jerseys than the one on the front.

Below is my response to them:
Messrs. Derek Jackson and Michael Bussiere
Florida Marlins L.P.
2267 Dan Marino Blvd.
Miami, FL 33056

Dear Sirs:

I am writing in response to the letter you sent American Express regarding customer disputes about season ticket purchases. You have won your dispute but you have lost a fan. Your response to American Express was very cynical and I find it personally insulting. I became a season ticket holder BEFORE the 2003 regular season. If the Marlins were going to move, I didn’t want it to be because of my apathy. I had no expectations of that 2003 team in terms of wins and losses and like everyone else was exhilarated when the Marlins won it all.

As an educated fan I am quite aware of the club’s financial situation. I don’t have a problem with the personnel moves. My being a fan of the club is not contingent on Ws and Ls or on the “names on the back of the jerseys.” My being a fan IS contingent on mutual respect. The reason I asked American Express to intervene was that I felt that, as one of the people that has been supporting this club, I was grossly disrespected.

If I had been offered an opportunity to opt out of my plan given the drastic nature of the changes, I would have most certainly appreciated the honesty and transparency of the club and not cancelled my plan. But the Marlins message to its fans was frankly along the lines “Tough luck, you bought it and now you’re stuck with it.” This approach tells me that the Marlins really have NO INTENTIONS of sticking around South Florida. After all, you “got” me (and so many others) this year but next year you’ll be able to fire a cannonball through the stadium and not hit anybody.

Since Mr. Loria purchased the team I have always defended the club’s actions. My friends thought I was crazy but I noticed early on that Mr. Samson had a way of delivering what he promised. In the beginning he said it was a year of evaluation. And so it was. Then he said they would spend the money to be competitive. And so it was. But I believe Mr. Samson and Mr. Loria broke an unspoken pact with the fans when they crudely told them that the only obligation they have is to provide games. This is how we were repaid for our loyalty. Perhaps your conscience is clear, but it shouldn’t be. You have been a part of grand bait and switch that cost me more than $1,000. Whenever you order a product from a reputable company and it’s not available the seller offers you the option of accepting a substitute or a refund. Again I had no expectations of the entire team coming back, or of any specific payroll target. I didn’t expect to be slapped in the face and then be told to like it or shove it.

I grew up a Phillies fan and I will be again starting in 2006. Aside from a couple of players that I’m fond of, I’ll be rooting against the Marlins. You made that decision very easy.

You two, along with David Samson And Mr. Loria, are responsible for killing the Florida Marlins. I hope you are proud of yourselves.

Henry Gomez

cc: Orestes Hernandez

1 comment:

Robert said...

I know exactly how you feel.

I'm sticking with the Marlins because, honestly, I can't root for any other team. It's either the Marlins or drop baseball totally which I have a hard time doing.