In their bid to become the shiny and sophisticated Baseball Team of The Americas, the Marlins have reportedly dropped their most charming members off the back of the moving trucks. Perhaps you felt the ground shake?
The beloved Manatees, baseball's only all-male fatty cheerleading and dance troupe, are not being asked to continue in the new Marlins ballpark next season, members confirmed to the Miami New Times.
"It's cold," Angel 'Chubbalicious' Villarreal told New Times. "We stood by them when times were tough and got people to go to the stadium. Now the Manatees are getting the rug pulled out from under them."
It is, indeed, a shame to lose the greatest show on surf 'n turf. Since their debut in 2008, fans arriving at Sun Life Stadium were often greeted by happy Manatees in costume, who were initially only paid in buffett (no, really) and asked to share dressing space with a little person mascot named Lil' Billy and baseball cheerleaders. Apparently, with a backstop of tropical fish, a mountain-sized sculpture in the outfield, and a glam new retractable roof on a Miro-inspired steel gumdrop, the Fish are going less fat -- and more fancy.
"We danced at the groundbreaking of the new stadium," Manatee Wesley 'Mac' Boozer told New Times. "It's interesting now that it's come to fruition, we've been disowned."
At least they aren't alone: the report claims the bootylicious Mermaids are getting the chop, also. But the ladies didn't take off in the same way the novelty Manatees did, cementing their place in baseball alongside racing sausages and free-range chickens, finding a home in the hearts of Derek Jeter and Alfonso Soriano, who spent half an hour with the troupe talking food, and, their Marlins-run website brags, "appearing in almost every major newspaper around the country and on hit TV shows like NBC's Today Show, CNN Headline News, Inside Edition and more."
A Facebook page called Save The Manatees has been set up in protest. "Looks like the Miami Marlins have a new home, but they are going to leave behind the Marlins Manatees," a post reads. "Please show your support and like this page. We want to join the team at their new home...lets get the Manatees in the new ballpark!"
"That's bad business there," responded a fan, Chuy Calhoun. "The Manatees may be a sideshow, but dammit they're our sideshow and a part of the family!"
Somewhere, the 1997 Marlins can only nod and sigh. It's not clear what entertainment might replace Miami's most beloved fatty show (or the Mermaids), but at least Miami can scratch 'trying to kill Satchel Paige' off the list -- and not just because he's been dead since '82.