With offbeat personalities and a penchant for improvisation, Jazz musicians have been misunderstood for decades despite creating music which stands the test of time. Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk left a body of work that has matured over the years, creating fans of all generations. The Miami Marlins already have their choice of the new generation, but it seems some in the organization have tuned out.
Jazz Chisholm has been Don Mattingly’s best player and the only reason worth watching the Marlins over the first quarter of the season. He’s the Bleek Gilliam from Spike Lee’s “Mo Better Blues” of baseball these days. However, after last week’s well -chronicled, 90-minute, private team only conversation, it’s clear that perception carries more weight in the Marlins clubhouse than performance.
There’s something to be said when a team is struggling and they call a meeting to air grievances. It’s another thing altogether when the most productive player is at the epicenter of the controversy. In this case, when parts of the team don’t fit, that has more to do with management than the employee.
Chisholm is balling out for Mattingly, but his teammates are clearly hating on him. He’s the only reason to watch anything going in the National League East division’s bad fish isle. When fish goes bad, it stinks, which is why they are struggling to stay out of last place.
Jazz was reportedly criticized by his teammates for bringing more attention to himself in an hour-and-a-half session to purge the Marlins of what ails them. Mattingly reportedly was – at the very least – concerned about the team talking privately about Chisholm behind his back, so he brokered the meeting to clear the air.
It appears the underachieving overpaid 30 somethings who have stolen money under Donny Baseball’s watch don’t get the style of a new generation in Miami. John Heyman of the New York Post reported that “teammates apparently aren’t always as enamored as fans who love the style and sizzle.”
Heyman also reports that some in the generationally divided clubhouse see Chisholm as a “Dennis Rodman”- type character who is constantly bringing attention to himself, which doesn’t endear him. However, Rodman is a Hall of Famer who won five NBA titles and is considered by many as the greatest rebounder in NBA history. So if that’s the case, Chisholm could be the fish that saves baseball in south Florida. Baseball needs some attention in Broward County and a player with all that Jazz should be a perfect fit.
Miami won four straight games after the meeting and suddenly all is wonderful in Crockett and Tubbs’ old neighborhood — at least temporarily. The success is, however, misleading because they “own” the Washington Nationals and caught the Houston Astros in the midst of a slump.
These are no longer the days of romance and reverence that defined the game of yesteryear. Fans are not returning to the ballpark in droves following the shutdown of the pandemic. Young fans aren’t developing a reverence for the game that created a base to sustain itself as an entertainment product for years to come. Jazz Chisholm is a five-tool player who has must-see talent and should be appreciated. He can turn the masses of fans dressed as empty seats into paying customers who buy overpriced concessions at the stadium if the Marlins franchise catches his vibe.