Mike Lowell grew up in Miami, helped the Marlins win a World Series and knows all too well about the franchise's tradition of humble payrolls and modest crowds.
Back in uniform this week as a special instructor, Lowell says the team can win again and win back fans, but it will take time. And he sympathizes with South Floridians angry the Marlins this season will be near baseball's basement in payrolls -- again.
The return to a tight budget comes after a brief spending binge and only one year in the long-sought new ballpark that was supposed to transform the franchise.
''You just had so much hope,'' Lowell said. ''You've been wanting for this for 15 years and you get it, and it seemed like it didn't last very long.
''But it's not my team. It's not my money. They have the right to do what they want. But there's going to be a consequence.''
While the Marlins' latest payroll purge will keep disenchanted fans away, Lowell said it might also deter future free agents from considering ...