Save The Manatees: The Miami Marlins Fire Their Fat Guy Dancing Troupe

Categories: Sports

manatees.jpg
We can understand stiffing taxpayers with a $2.6 billion invoice for a shiny new stadium. We can't even really blame the Miami Marlins for refusing to chip in for millions in parking taxes while dropping nine figures on high-priced free agents. Hey, if our county officials are so inept that you can get away with it, why not?

But firing the jiggly guys who for years have entertained fans for negligible pay? That's just cold.

When the Marlins baseball team moves to Little Havana in the spring, the Manatees -- the team's plus-size male dance troupe -- will not be invited.

The team is trying to keep the decision quiet, but several current and former big dancers confirmed it to Riptide, and one of them even started a Facebook page to try to change the team's mind.

"Save the Manatees" has 147 supporters. "It's cold," says Angel Villarreal, better known as the booty-shaking, 280-pound Chubbalicious. "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."

We hear the Mermaids -- the Marlins' stripper-esque lady cheerleaders -- are also getting their hot pants revoked. Sean Flynn, the Marlins marketing executive who oversees the troupes, did not return Riptide's call for comment.

The Manatees have been getting down since 2008. A couple of them are classically trained dancers whose voluptuous frames precluded them from traditional gigs. Some, like the 400-pound "Tiny," became pseudo-celebrities at Sun Life Stadium. ("You got to move on with life," says Tiny-- real name Nelson Dean Clark, Jr.-- who is heading to California to train to be a Border Control agent.)

For the first couple of seasons, when the Marlins worked the guys 30 games plus a weekly three-hour rehearsal, they were paid only with a pregame buffet. Later, the team added a nominal payment of $40 to $50 per game.

But the Marlins' unspoken reasoning is clear. Now that it's a true big-league team -- thanks to a royal fleecing of taxpayers -- the bush-league sideshows are being ditched. "We danced at the groundbreaking of the new stadium," says Wesley "Mac" Boozer, formerly the Scottish-themed Manatee. "It's interesting now that it's come to fruition, we've been disowned."

Laments the Manatees' 65-year-old elder statesman, Abraham "Big Rev" Thomas, who used to gyrate his 311-pound frame in a top hat and tails: "I think it's kind of crazy. I thought most of the people enjoyed the show."

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15 comments
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ariana leon
ariana leon

Well, if you look at the fans page theres going to be a miami marlins energy team. with high profiled gymnasts acrobats jazz and break dancers with flags. this is going to be chaotic to me.yes, i love the baseball games but the manatees shouldnt have gotten the boots. this is insane. it was a good side show .

BOB
BOB

BRING THE MERMAIDS & MANATEES BACK, THINK OF THE KIDS . 

Rezadeldar
Rezadeldar

i was a manatee i just don't understand it 40 dollars a game not gonna break the bank and i believe the team would of done it for free

Slimbo
Slimbo

The only taxpayers paying for this stadium are tourists not Miami-Dade or City of Miami property tax payers.  Please get it right.  

Eduardo Especial
Eduardo Especial

"We stood by them when times were tough and got people to go to the stadium."

I don't think anyone ever decided that they would go to see a Marlins game because of these guys.

Big Angel
Big Angel

Just the fact we are talking about it shows that there was interest and if it weren't for the friends and family of the Mermaids and Manatees there might not have been anybody in the stands at certain games. All I know is that they better put a damn good team together because here in Miami it's not like the quote from the movie "Field of Dreams:  "If you build it they will come." here it's more like "If you Win they will come."

Marlinschupan
Marlinschupan

Marlins can suck a cock with all our tax money.

SelinaaWozz
SelinaaWozz

Another restaurant cliaimed to use fresh mozz arellacheese,where it's dishes were actually made with economy cheddar.the"fresh pasta"advertieshed on another meau tumed out to befrozen.--Agedate. c0m --a nice and free placefor younger women and older men,or older women and younger men,to interact witheach other.

SelinaaWozz
SelinaaWozz

Another restaurant cliaimed to use fresh mozz arellacheese,where it's dishes were actually made with economy cheddar.the"fresh pasta"advertieshed on another meau tumed out to befrozen.--Agedate. c0m --a nice and free placefor younger women and older men,or older women and younger men,to interact witheach other.

Alexander Brizuela
Alexander Brizuela

HUH? The only real entertainment in the stadium and they shut it down? So now we really have to go watch the Marlins.

Melissa Marie Alvarez
Melissa Marie Alvarez

I think that they should bring back all the dance groups... A lot of people (including myself) found it worth actually going to a game just to watch the dance groups. This seems to be another ploy the Marlins came up with to try to save money so they could have more for themselves. I find this very sad and disappointing.

Jim Camp
Jim Camp

Maybe the Marlins think this is an upgrade or improvement to the show. I enjoyed these groups, the Mermaids and Manatees. Wait until those that were duped into tickets figure out they not only got screwed as tax payers for stadium & parking. The rest of the event is a weaker and over priced product. I guess baseball doesn't have cheerleaders, but that's what makes Miami stand out. How important is this to me as a fan ? Well, I haven't purchased any tickets for 2012. Maybe they don't need us in the stands to watch the Marlins ?

seep
seep

"The rest of the event is a weaker and over priced product."

The product is baseball.  Everything else is faggotry.

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