Originally posted on MarlinsBaseball.com  |  Last updated 1/18/12

On Wednesday, it was reported by Variety that the Miami Marlins are the team Showtime plans to build the second season of “The Franchise” around.   The Showtime reality show debuted in 2011 when it followed the depending champion San Fransisco Giants.   The show offers viewers a look behind the scenes as cameras are given access normally not seen in Major League Baseball.   MLB and Showtime are close to finalizing the deal at this time according to the report.

With the off-season acquisitions of two very vocal and colorful personalities in Ozzie Guillen and Carlos Zambrano, the Marlins became a natural fit for the reality scene.  Coupled with existing headline makers, Logan Morrison and Hanley Ramirez as well as a new ballpark — the theory is viewers will flock to their televisions to watch.    Throw in a potential position battle between Ramirez and new shortstop Jose Reyes, and that’s just a cherry on top.   New closer Heath Bell has been known to play to the cameras as well in the past and should follow in the footsteps of Brain Wilson in being an interesting personality on “The Franchise”.

In previous seasons, the Marlins were often overlooked by the media and even the idea of a reality show being based on them would seem far fetched.   However now, they are the obvious choice with many baseball fans commenting on the fact they’d be surprised if any team other than the Fish was chosen for the show in recent weeks.

Being featured on a reality show isn’t the first sign of change for the Marlins this off-season though when it comes to national media.   During the Winter Meetings, MLB Network dedicated nearly the first half of the meetings strictly to the Marlins with wall-to-wall coverage all day and night.   Other teams including the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox were afterthoughts all while Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria was followed around by throngs of reporters.    ESPN has also announced that the first two Marlins games of the season will be nationally televised, which had been a very rare occurrence in previous years for Miami.

The Marlins are in the national spotlight which means clearly, it’s a whole new ballgame.

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