It’s well-established that the Miami Marlins have made some mistakes in recent years. Saddling the city they play in with billions in bond debt to build a mostly-empty stadium is a pretty rough start, but then they went and sold the team to Derek Jeter. Getting rid of the hilariously garish home run sculpture in centerfield at the publicly-financed boondoggle is simply the next step in a series of losing efforts.
The latest misstep starts, as it often does for Miami’s baseball team, with a series of losses on the field. The Marlins were swept in an interleague, inter-Florida two-game set against the Tampa Bay Rays, a team likely headed for a Wild Card spot in the American League. They’ve been on a roll lately, sweeping the Red Sox and winners of six straight. And it seems the ever-struggling Marlins are a bit frustrated by the success of their in-state rivals.
It’s been well-established that the Brands are never not At It, and sports franchises are brands and absolutely no exception to this. Every team feels the need to be persnickety and obnoxious on social media, and losing a pair of games to a team they never play was simply too much for the Marlins social media team. They simply had to respond in the most over the top way possible. That’s right: they blamed the Tampa Bay Rays for the death of Steve Irwin.
This all started because the Marlins posted a video of an RBI in the eighth inning of a game they eventually lost. The Rays responded to the tweet, saying that they should show video of “the final out.”
show the final out
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 4, 2019
Things got testy from there.
yOU'RE LITERALLY THE ANIMAL THAT KILLED STEVE IRWIN LOG OFF
— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) August 4, 2019
The Rays then told the account to “log off,” and they essentially did. But on Monday, hours later, they issued an apology for claiming the Tampa Bay Rays employed the same stingray that killed zoological and television legend Steve Irwin.
JUST IN: Marlins statement.
“This was a regrettable exchange by our otherwise creative social media team. Unfortunately, in this medium, sometimes we swing and miss, and this was definitely a miss.”
Spokesman says “the matter has been addressed internally.” pic.twitter.com/W5mKgyUonI
— Andy Slater (@AndySlater) August 5, 2019
Obviously, the Marlins’ tweet was in poor taste. But this is all, when your brain is completely internet poisoned, hilarious. For starters, the tweets are all still up. And on Monday the team account simply added a tweet apology that said, in part, that they “miss Steve,” who died off Batt Reef in Australia on September 4, 2006 when a stingray attack triggered cardiac arrest in the 44-year-old.
Hi, guys. Like everyone who grew up watching him, we miss Steve. We’re so sorry to have made light of his passing.
— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) August 5, 2019
None of that is funny, of course. But what is funny is that the Rays mascot, Raymond, looks like this.
Not exactly the killer stingray that tragically ended the life of a man who was a globally-known environmentalist with a passion for all of Earth’s creatures. That an ultimately meaningless (for the hapless Marlins) game caused the team to evoke a nearly 14-year-old death to be witty on Twitter just shows you how dumb all team social media often is, whether you’re winning or losing on the field.
It’s notable that the Rays franchise took the Devil out of the team’s name a while ago, and maybe it was to prevent baseless attacks about former reality television stars like this. Unfortunately, an angry member of the Marlins social media team refused to respect Raymond and the rest of the Rays currently inhabiting this slowly boiling planet.