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The Miami Marlins ticket office people are total professionals

Nov 14, 2012, 11:44 AM EDT

Marlins Miami new logo

Out of pure curiosity and, I will admit, an impish desire to stir up trouble, I called the Miami Marlins season ticket office a few minutes ago to see what, in light of the latest fire sale, the party line is among people trying to sell Marlins season tickets.

Figuring it has to be a rough morning for these guys, I played it straight up, merely inquiring about tickets, ticket prices and the like and didn’t try to give anyone a hard time. I wasn’t wanting to fool anyone, either. Just to see what sort of pitch was ruling the day.  I did claim that I was interested in getting information about ticket pricing and availability, but did not say I was poised to purchase. I mostly just wanted to hear what they’re telling people today.

The upshot:  the folks in that office are total pros. Honest. No baloney, but still doing their jobs and anticipating what is bound to be a lot of negative fan reaction.

The woman I spoke with was very pleasant. She talked up the ballpark and the experience of going to Marlins games and the enjoyable nature of baseball in general.  There were no over-the-top claims of team quality or hard sells to be found.

Towards the end of the call I said that I noticed the news about the trade last night and asked if that had led to a lot of negative reaction. She was honest and said, yes, they’ve gotten some angry calls today and that some people were not renewing tickets (though this was not connected to the trade; just that, in general, not everyone was renewing, which is obvious). She mentioned that there was a staff meeting about the trade this morning to let everyone know about the latest news.  She said that it’s understandable that some people are going to be upset, but that there were some good young players coming over in the trade so that, from a baseball perspective, there is a lot to be optimistic about.

And all of that was true.  It was quite refreshing actually. No b.s. coming from them at all.  She followed up with a friendly email, again, noting that while some people are understandably having a hard time getting enthused, it’s a good time to get tickets.

If only the top of that organization was so honest, professional and pleasant.

  1. historiophiliac - Nov 14, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    Those people should get hazard pay.

    • henryd3rd - Nov 14, 2012 at 1:11 PM

      Sadly; but if things hold to form those people will soon be collecting unemployment checks.

      • Old Gator - Nov 14, 2012 at 1:41 PM

        Yeah, and knowing the Chihuahua, he’ll probably claim it’s because Obama was re-elected.

      • aiede - Nov 14, 2012 at 5:00 PM

        If they’re lucky they can get jobs selling tickets in Toronto, which will send down hot dog vendors to make corporate sponsorship sales calls for the Marlins.

    • shynessismyelguapo - Nov 14, 2012 at 1:50 PM

      I would be inclined to agree, but after reading some of your other comments, as well as your blog, I think I should hedge my points and just run on the assumption that everything you say is wrong.

    • Loose Changeup - Nov 14, 2012 at 3:26 PM

      On days like today, sure. But for most of the year, it sounds like a cake job, just wait for the phone to ring occasionally.

      • baseonmyballs - Nov 14, 2012 at 4:47 PM

        It’s about as far from a cake job as you can get. If they are sitting and waiting for the phone to ring, they won’t make it long in the sports industry. The average sales person is expected to make a minimum of 100 outbound calls a day.

        Professional sports sales people are expected to work crazy hours (especially in baseball). Not only do they work the normal work week, they are also working every single home game. In baseball they can go 15-20 days in a row without a day off. For all of this, most of them don’t make much more than minimum wage.

    • stex52 - Nov 14, 2012 at 3:46 PM

      Never yell at the young lady at the Help/Sales/Service desk. It’s not her fault, and she is probably working near minimum wage. You may want to, but it doesn’t help and it’s not nice.

      I think a lot of corporations put her there for that reason; to deflect the anger. That’s tough for how little she is getting.

  2. sknut - Nov 14, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    It’s amazing because Loria being the horrible owner he is puts so many more people in the difficult position or representing the Marlins. Those are the people that lose, they need this job they have families and they are put on the front lines to try to be professional for a clueless owner.

  3. philcokesbrain - Nov 14, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    …but then I played her comments backward and it revealed a satanic message of death from the front office!! mu uh ha ha!!

    Just thought I could help spice it up a little.

  4. ireportyoudecide - Nov 14, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    So did she convince you to buy?

  5. chill1184 - Nov 14, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    Its just like when one finds out that the company is going bankrupt, you still have a job to do.

  6. APBA Guy - Nov 14, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    After 20 years in sales, I’d suggest calling back in January to see if the message has “evolved”. Two months of watching your commissions shrink to vapor can have an effect on the message and the tone.

    • heyblueyoustink - Nov 14, 2012 at 12:19 PM

      I think the inside folk involved with individual ticketing are hourly if i’m not mistaken. Group seat sales might be different, I looked into it about a decade ago, before I settled into my current gig.

      The marketing department certainly has their work cut out for them, though.

  7. cur68 - Nov 14, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    The thing is Da Feesh got some talent going into their team for the talent they lost. Escobar will never replace Reyes with a bat or base running but he can handle himself at SS. Hechevarria, whom not many have heard of, is not chopped liver. He came up late last season and unlike the other AAA kids was getting on base regularly and making the most of his time up. He’s probably going to be very good one day. Possibly even this next season. As for Alvarez, well almost the entire Beaver starting rotation suffered under Farrell last season, Alvarez & Romero most of all. Whatever advice he was giving them made them worse (the one guy who didn’t was Morrow and that’s because he’s coached by Bruce Walton). Alvarez has mid 90’s stuff, and when encouraged to mix it up with breaking stuff and off speed, is very effective. Once it was apparent that Farrell had stopped managing (the Escobar eye-black fiasco is where that really showed up) and he left the pitching staff alone, Alvarez showed his old self late in the season, as did Romero though neither received much run support from the AAA lineup behind them. The AAA kids that came along with Alvarez & Hechavarria are highly regarded as well. Florida just got younger and faster. They might surprise in some areas. What they plan to do for a starting rotation remains a mystery, though.

    • indaburg - Nov 14, 2012 at 12:53 PM

      Sure, you tell yourself all that so you can sleep at night. The Blue Jays made Old Gator cry. Meanies.

      • cur68 - Nov 14, 2012 at 12:59 PM

        Well, we took advantage of Loria making OG cry, its true. Would you rather it was The Empire in there ahead of us? He’d have committed seppeku if The Borg had been the recipient of Loria’s fire sale.

        Oh, and I kind of lost my train of thought on what I posted. Having the flu has made me really vague in some respects. I meant to finish with a word to the effect that ticket sale staff actually might have a better product than many might think. The Feesh could actually be better next season than this past season.

      • indaburg - Nov 14, 2012 at 1:30 PM

        Saying that the Marlins might be better next season isn’t saying much.

        Viewed in a vacuum, the deal is actually not terrible for the Marlins. Viewed in context with Loria’s macabre baseball history and the new stadium, it is Machiavellian in its duplicity.

      • Old Gator - Nov 14, 2012 at 1:42 PM

        Not cry.


        It makes you feel better than crying.

    • buddaley - Nov 14, 2012 at 2:36 PM

      “He came up late last season and unlike the other AAA kids was getting on base regularly and making the most of his time up.”

      If you mean Hechavarria’s play at AAA, you are right, but once in the majors, his OBP was .280, walking in 2.9% of his PAs. Even in AAA, his decent OBP in 2012 (.363) was more BA driven than due to patience. Although he may be an impact defensive shortstop-and that should not be dismissed-there are serious questions about his offense.

      It is only fair to note that the sample size in the majors is very small and that the AAA sample over two seasons is significant. But other than those 627 AAA plate appearances, he has never shown much ability to get on base.

      • cur68 - Nov 14, 2012 at 3:36 PM

        As you note, he barely got a chance to play in the Bigs. I saw his outs in the majors. He hit the ball a lot. I liked what I saw. Of all the guys shipped out, I’m going to miss him the most. Those AAA stats and my eyes-on assessment of his small sample size in the majors indicate to me he’s a really good ballplayer in the making.

  8. Ben Cerow - Nov 14, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    Good for them – that’s a tough job, nothing worse than angry fans calling and yelling at their ticket representative for moves they have nothing to do with.

  9. willclarkgameface - Nov 14, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    The Marlins are puke.

  10. heyblueyoustink - Nov 14, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    Did you tell them your name was “Frank Rizzo”.

    • Hunter Pence's Eyes - Nov 14, 2012 at 12:52 PM

      Hey Frank, you need an order of fava beans? Best Jerky Boys call ever.

      • antifreeze27 - Nov 14, 2012 at 3:08 PM

        “Sir the fava beans are good, everything is good.”

        Jerky Boys quotes are always appropriate for every situation.

  11. mj1818 - Nov 14, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    As a professional that makes a living selling baseball tickets, you are an A hole to pretend to be interested in tickets.

    • rollinghighwayblues - Nov 14, 2012 at 12:35 PM

      Lighten up, Francis.

    • indaburg - Nov 14, 2012 at 12:51 PM

      Wow, with that kind of attitude, you probably shouldn’t work with the public.

      This is called investigative bloggerism. Besides, the salesperson he spoke to was probably relieved to speak to someone polite after the negative calls she’s been fielding.

    • papalurchdxb - Nov 14, 2012 at 1:01 PM

      It’s a job in sales, people kick tyres the whole time, if you haven’t figured that out yet well, perhaps you are in the wrong profession.

    • Gobias Industries - Nov 14, 2012 at 1:05 PM

      Craig is the Woodward and/or Bernstein of our generation and you shall respect him!

      • Old Gator - Nov 14, 2012 at 1:46 PM

        And with just a little intervention from the Ancient Old Ones, he could easily evolve into the next H. L. Mencken.

    • stlouis1baseball - Nov 14, 2012 at 1:50 PM

      Really MJ? He was curious (with the recent events) what the company line entails.
      As a result, he called to check.
      Look…it is widely documented that I don’t agree with Csquared on a number of isses.
      Additionally, I frequently look for said issues and call him out on it. But you are flat wrong here.
      The dude gave your peers props. Numerous props.
      Specifically said they were professional.
      Top notch even.
      No need to thank him for this as this isn’t why he did it.
      But you damn sure missed a golden opportunity to thank someone for holding your Colleages in the highest regard.

      • mrwillie - Nov 14, 2012 at 2:17 PM

        He must work for the Toronto AAA team that just got unloaded on Miami.

    • a125125125 - Nov 14, 2012 at 6:36 PM

      Mj1818 dead on…and anyone that’s done this type of work would agree with him. Craig was obviously trying to, at best, waste these people’s time to write a nothing story….and at worst, trying to goad them into saying/doing something rude so that he could write a story about “what a joke the Marlins organization is.” Just journalism at its worst. And a pretty bad example of humanity too. These are people that work hard for little pay, just received a huge challenge to overcome (explaining the trade to fans), and don’t deserve to have their time wasted by some jerk who’s deceiving them in order to write a pointless blog post. Shame on you, Craig.

      • cur68 - Nov 15, 2012 at 12:59 AM

        Seriously? He gave them good press. People might be motivated to buy tickets now. Get real.

  12. hammyofdoom - Nov 14, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    ” I did claim that I was interested in getting information about ticket pricing and availability, but did not say I was poised to purchase. I mostly just wanted to hear what they’re telling people today.”

    He said he was interested in info, not in tickets. He pretended nothing, he called and asked how the trade effected ticket sales.

  13. 12strikes - Nov 14, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    They better not be to good at their job, Louri will trade them to the Blue Jays.

  14. canuckinamerica - Nov 14, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Once Loria hears about this professionalism, he will most likely fire the entire sales staff. He just continues to screw people. See: Montreal

  15. lew24 - Nov 14, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Buy low! Its a great time to buy tickets I guess.

  16. mj1818 - Nov 14, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    It was merely a sarcastic comment because now he got that sales person all jacked up. Now he’s not buying season tickets.

    • cur68 - Nov 15, 2012 at 1:02 AM

      But someone might. Someone who was looking for a bargain might just buy now. Plenty of people are put off by having to deal with pushy or obnoxious sales people. Happens all the time. Its why internet sales and self checkout are so big: no people to deal with. Craig just let it be known on a pretty good sized platform that Marlin’s sales people are pros, they are kindly, and they are decent to deal with. That is good press. And its free press. It will not hurt ticket sales at all and might even get a few.

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