Marlins fail to show at charity event

Published 12:34 pm Saturday, May 23, 2015

MIAMI (AP) — Mired in a seven-game losing streak, Miami Marlins players further disappointed their fans by failing to show as advertised for a charity event.

The organization had said players would attend the event to benefit the inner cities baseball program. When no players showed, fans complained on social media, and team president David Samson wasn’t happy either.

“I’m disappointed no players were there,” Samson said before Friday’s game. “Win or lose, what we do in the community matters most. When you have a commitment with the community, you’ve got to do it. The job doesn’t end at the 27th out.”

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The event was Thursday evening at Marlins Park and began 3 1/2 hours after the team lost to Arizona, completing a four-game series sweep. Player attendance was optional, but some players who committed to go did not show, Samson said.

The group absence raised the suspicion players were protesting the recent firing of manager Mike Redmond, who was replaced by Dan Jennings. But reliever Steve Cishek said the losing streak simply left the team in no mood to socialize.

“For this to look like we’re upset with the managerial change, that’s not the case at all,” Cishek said. “We have DJ’s back. It was just bad timing. Everyone is just fed up with how we’ve been playing.”

Samson also said the players weren’t protesting Redmond’s firing.

“I think it’s solely that we’ve lost seven in a row and we’re playing terribly,” Samson said. “I get it, because I’m grumpy also.”

Jennings attended the event. He also blamed bad timing for the players’ absence, saying he wished the event had taken place during a seven-game winning streak.

A handful of players attended the annual event in 2014. Jennings praised the players’ efforts in the community throughout the year.

“I hope our fans will cut these guys some slack on this event,” he said.