Mid-week mutterings ...

Trading Giancarlo Stanton had to be tough for Marlins fans to swallow. And, I’m sure there was plenty of gagging going on when Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich followed their teammate and National League Most Valuable Player out the door. But I’m guessing the pain of losing your entire starting outfield is nothing compared to having the heart of your game-day experience ripped from the 2018 schedule.

Players like Stanton, Ozuna and Yelich can and will be replaced by other names in a new starting outfield alignment this upcoming season. But for franchise legends like Bob the Shark, Julio the Octopus, Angel the Stone Crab and Spike the Sea Dragon, there will be no replacements. In all of their infinite wisdom, the Miami Marlins have decided to challenge the allegiance of the Sponge Bob Square Pants faithful and ardent followers of the Great Sea Race by firing the team’s four sea-creature mascots and deep-sixing the event that had been held at the end of the sixth inning at every home game since the opening of Marlins Park in 2012.

It had to be tough supporting a team that finished 77-85 and some 20 games behind the first-place Washington Nationals in the National League East standings a year ago. But I’m guessing very few in the average home crowd of 20,395 left before the start of the seventh inning!

Here’s my advice to the team’s new part-owner and general manager, Derek Jeter.

When you are asking people to pay big money to watch professional baseball and your team is rebuilding from it’s foundation, you don’t replace a popular in-game fan event with a hook, line and stinker move.

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On the other hand, it’s amazing what a winning season can do to a professional team

Take the Jacksonville Jaguars for instance. Over the course of their 23-year existence in the National Football League, the team’s overall record is 165-203 and prior to this past season the Jags hadn’t had a winning record in nine years. So how does the team celebrate it’s 10-6 record and first division championship in 19 seasons? By increasing the seating capacity and raising the price of tickets by an average of nearly 11 percent, of course. And, just when you’re getting used to those gawd-awful, two-tone helmets, the team announces a complete wardrobe change for the 2018 season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers raised their prices for a second straight year following the 2016 season after snapping a five-year losing-record drought and guess what happened? Attendance dropped and the team slipped below the 500 mark for the sixth time in seven seasons. So how did they respond? By raising ticket prices for a third consecutive year. No word about the Bucs altering their ugly uniform scheme for the 2018 season, but here’s my question. The Jaguars or Bucs — which of the two Florida-based teams will be the first to relocate to St. Louis or elsewhere in the very near future?

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Will the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory turn the City of Brotherly Love into a City of Champions?

Since that big Sunday ambush 12 nights ago, sports success is infecting Philadelphia, with the 76ers riding a hot streak that has put them squarely in the hunt for a spot in the NBA playoffs and the Flyers following a similar pattern as they skate toward the playoffs in the NHL. And, when March Madness gets underway on March 13 don’t forget about Philadelphia-based Villanova making a serious run at winning an NCAA basketball championship.

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Where was the “just don’t say no” rule when I was younger?

In case you didn’t hear, a Utah elementary school introduced a policy that forbids a girl from turning down a boy who wants to dance with her. The “policy” was introduced by Kanesville Elementary School and focused on the school’s sixth-grade Valentine’s Day dance. According to a district official, the policy was intended to teach students how to be inclusive. When the parent of a sixth-grade girl argued that the ruling “sends a bad message to girls that girls have to say yes (and) sends a bad message to boys that girls will (or) can’t say no.” The school policy, however, wants “to promote kindness and so we want to say yes when someone asks you to dance.” As of Wednesday, the rule remained in place.

I can’t remember the last time a girl said yes to me!

Buddy Thomas’ column appears on Thursday in The Standard-Times.