Lowell understands fans frustrations

JUPITER, Fla. — Former All-Star and Miami native Mike Lowell understands the frustrations.

Like so many in South Florida, Lowell wants to see the Marlins succeed in their new ballpark. During his playing days with the Marlins, he was asked to go to various commission meetings in Miami in hopes of drumming up support for a new ballpark.

The new building came to fruition in 2012, when Marlins Park opened. A year ago, there was so much excitement and high expections.

Lowell, who retired as a player in 2010, shared in the enthusiasm. So to see the team trade away all the high-profile players after one season was disappointing.

On Thursday, Lowell was back in a Marlins’ uniform, sporting the familiar No. 19 and sitting on the bench during Miami’s 8-2 loss to the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.

Lowell will be in town until Sunday as a guest instructor, interacting with the players.

For a few minutes before Thursday’s game, it was like old times as Lowell talked with Redmond and Lenny Harris, a Minor League hitting coordinator. Juan Pierre, the center fielder in 2003, had a chance to catch up with Lowell.

Regarding the makeover of the roster, Lowell said: “To a certain degree, I almost feel like a fan. I remember the days asking to go to meetings in the city of Miami because the stadium was a possibility.”

The Marlins had big dreams a year ago.

“You just had so much hope that you’ve been wanting this for 15 years, and you get it,” Lowell said. “And it seemed like it didn’t last very long. But it’s not my team. It’s not my money. From that standpoint, they had the right to do what they want.

“But like every decision a ballplayer makes, there is going to be a consequence. I think the ownership has to understand, at least where the fans are coming from. Because I don’t think the fans were totally wrong in that situation. There was so much excitement over the stadium, over the team, over the craze, and it seems like it was just a rental. That is frustrating for fans, because I think, when you win, people get excited.”

Lowell pointed to the hysteria now over University of Miami basketball.

“Thirty people didn’t fill that arena before, now they are filling the place,” Lowell said. “When you win, there is a good vibe in the community. Selfishly, I want the team to do well because I want to be a witness to it in my community.”

Joe Frisaro

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