Out of everything that’s happened in Derek Jeter’s first season as Miami Marlins CEO, this might just be the weirdest: Marlins Man, who started the year by publicly beefing with the Jeter regime, will sign a one-day contract with the team on Sept. 17, as he returns to Marlins Park for the first time this season.
The “news” comes to us from Andy Slater at Slater Scoops, who adds that Marlins Man’s return will also include an official press conference and a chance to attend Don Mattingly’s coaches meeting. He will also shag balls during BP, present the lineup card and have an on-air interview.
This is happening because he outbid everyone else at a Marlins charity auction for two fan experiences: to be a broadcaster for a day and a player for a day. So don’t interpret this as a full-on reconciliation between the two sides.
Who is Marlins Man?
Marlins Man might just be the most famous fan in sports these days. You see him at all kinds of big-attention sporting events always wearing his orange Marlins jersey and visor, which have become his “uniform” as a superfan. It started with Marlins games years ago (he’d been a season ticket holder with the team since its inception until this season) and he usually travels to the World Series, All-Star Games, big college football games and lots more.
His real name is Laurence Leavy and he’s a lawyer in the Miami area, who has the means to both travel to big games and often bring along an entourage of women he calls his “Mermaids.”
What is Marlins Mans’ beef with the Marlins?
Like some people, Leavy didn’t immediately take to the plans of new ownership, which shipped off the Marlins’ best players like Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna. Soon enough, Leavy had entered into an official War of Pettiness with the Marlins.
The timeline of said war goes like this:
• December 2017: Jeter meets with Marlins fans at a townhall, which was pretty disastrous and included Marlins Man asking Jeter, “Do you know who I am?”
• March 26, 2018: The Marlins reject Marlins Mans’ $200,000 check for season tickets behind the plate for 2018-2020. The two sides attempted to negotiate a deal for tickets but it never happened.
• March 29, 2018: Marlins Man denounces his Marlins fandom and says he’s actively looking for a new team to support. He’d continue to wear the jersey and visor, however.
• April 14, 2018: Marlins Man and Slater, a Miami TV/radio personality, went to the British Virgin Islands looking for the Marlins office after a Miami Herald story says the Marlins claim British Virgin Islands citizenship as a way to avoid going to court with the city of Miami. This resulted in Slater having his Marlins press credential temporarily revoked.
So are Marlins Man and the Marlins friends again?
The news of Marlins Man’s one-day contract doesn’t explicitly say that the two sides have kissed and made up, so it’s tough to say whether he’s doing this as a full-blown troll job of the Marlins’ front office or if he’s trying to make amends with the team.
All we know for sure is that he won the fan auctions and the Marlins haven’t yet put a halt to his attention-seeking plan.
At the very least, Marlins Man was the most complimentary he’s been in a while toward the Marlins in his announcement of the event.
Recently, the new Marlins president of business operations, Chip Bowers, said the team is lowering ticket prices because they “screwed up” initially. “We weren’t very smart, so we had to take a step back and say everything needs to be scrapped,” Bowers said.
“I’m ecstatic that the Marlins brought Bowers on board, a man with experience who gets it,” Leavy says.
Instead of committing to the Fish this season, Leavy has spent his time and money traveling around the country watching games in his now-iconic orange jersey.
As part of what is essentially Unofficial Marlins Man Day on Sept. 17, he’s also also giving away 300 tickets to fellow fans, who can enter to win on SlaterScoops.com. Marlins Man will buy the tickets himself and include free food and drinks.
That part, however, did come with one swipe at the Marlins:
Given that the team’s average attendance per game is 10,000 people, Leavy’s purchase should be met with open arms by Marlins management.
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