Empty Jeet seats: Marlins outdrawn by Double-A affiliate

The Miami Marlins, who lost 4-1 to the New York Mets on Wednesday night, were outdrawn that day by their Double-A affiliate, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.

The Marlins drew 6,150 fans. The Jacksonville team brought in 6,960 for its home opener Wednesday night.

For the three-game series against New York, the Marlins -- who lost Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna as part of a rebuilding plan by the team's new ownership -- drew a total of 19,669 fans.

Through nine home games, the Marlins are averaging 12,641 fans per game, which includes an Opening Day crowd of 34,000. That's compared to a reported average attendance of 24,996 for their first nine games last season.

But it might not be apples to apples.

Before the season, the new Marlins management said it would announce only sold tickets for a particular game, which is one reason this season's attendance seems even more paltry. Last season, the Marlins reported a home attendance of 1.65 million fans. However, the Miami Herald later reported that the number of fans who actually paid for tickets was about 820,000. That would put last year's paid average at 10,123 fans per game.

A troubling sign this season is that the Marlins' home games have been against some of baseball's most marketable teams: the Chicago Cubs, the? Boston Red Sox and the Mets, who at 10-1 have the best record in the majors.

The ownership of Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter has been under heavy scrutiny since they agreed to buy the team for $1.2 billion last year. A version of a once-confidential report showed to potential investors how the team would achieve profitability, something that rubbed fans the wrong way, as the Marlins' highest-priced but best talent was sent elsewhere.

More recently, Miami was unable to come to terms with its most famous fan, "Marlins Man" Laurence Leavy, who had Marlins tickets since the team's debut in the league in 1993.

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