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50 shades of grey: A depressing Marlins soap opera

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Did you know that Grey's Anatomy is just starting its ninth season? Of course you don't, because you're people of taste and discernment. But I assure you it's true. Grey's Anatomy, which my wife demanded we watch together while we were in graduate school and I was still interested in impressing her, is still plugging along in spite of having already burned through basic soap opera tropes like affairs and romantic betrayals, amnesia, suicide attempts, sudden-onset lesbianism, a ghost story, windfall inheritances, long lost relatives, and a ferry accident. There's nothing this show can do at this point that it hasn't done before.

I feel that way about the Marlins these days. There's nothing they can show us that they haven't already done several times over. They've sent off troublemaking characters like Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla. They've brought in special guest stars like Carlos Lee and added new characters like Ozzie Guillen, Mark Buehrle, and Jose Reyes. They've had loud, public disagreements and said things they can't take back. Heath Bell betrayed his manager and earned the cold shoulder from his team. Hell, they even picked up the whole club and moved to a new home. And, of course, the entire fanbase has been largely betrayed by the club's greedy and power-hungry owner.

So what's the point? Soap operas get boring, and then they get bad, and people stop watching. I lasted two seasons with Grey's Anatomy before I couldn't take the angst anymore. No one was ever happy, and nobody accomplished anything. Instead, all the characters moped around and pined for each other, and slept with someone else, and stabbed each other in the back. Aside from their hair color and gender, you really couldn't tell the major characters apart. It all became one big jumbled mass of miserable fictional humanity. And I'm not alone. Grey's Anatomy's ratings are less than half of what they were at its peak.

And so it is in Miami, where even from afar I'm tired of this act. We've already seen every plot twist the Marlins can dig up, including the surprise triumphant championship (which, like Grey's high point, was a long freaking time ago), and then the betrayal and reset to where the club was years before. It's just not interesting anymore, and it's not even vaguely watchable. No one even wants to go to the brand new sparkly park.

You know what I'd like to see? I'd like to see the Marlins build smartly from the ground up. I'd like to watch them eschew quick fixes and gimmicks and stunt casting and build a strong club around a good and likable cast. That's the one thing we haven't seen from these Marlins. Not ever. The people of Miami deserve a club that respects them and doesn't think they're stupid (Fans of the Marlins deserve a club that's worth watching and worth rooting for. It will take a fresh start unconcerned with short-term performance and a lot of time to build the trust back up that's been destroyed by Wayne Huizenga and Jeffrey Loria. But as long as Loria (a man who cultivates this dysfunction, manufactures this drama, and reaps the profits from it) is the show-runner in Miami, I feel like we're going to be stuck seeing the same old plots play out again and again, until absolutely no one is tuning in.

As part of SB Nation United, you’re going to be seeing some new voices at Daily Dish, SBN “Designated Columnists” writing about issues both local and national. Think of them as guests in the community. We’re beginning this week with Michael Bates, better known as one of the minds behind The Platoon Advantage