MIAMI — Marlins President David Samson admitted in a story recently published in The New Yorker that the organization lied about season ticket sales while playing at Sun Life Stadium.
The Marlins estimated the number to be about 5,000 in recent years, but Samson said the actual number of season tickets sold was less than half that.
"It was always 2,000," Samson told the magazine, adding that the Marlins were the least popular baseball team and ranked No. 125 among pro sports franchises nationally, below every NHL team and some minor-league baseball teams.
When contacted Friday, Samson declined to comment further.
The Marlins' averaged announced attendance of 19,007 last season was third worst in baseball. The actual attendance on many nights was less than half of the announced attendance.
Miami averaged 29,442 for its first seven home games at 37,000-seat Marlins Park this season, including its lone sellout of 37,442 on opening night.
The Marlins expected about 30,000 a game for the four-game series with Arizona that began today.
Guillen chimes in on Bell: Manager Ozzie Guillen said he is not too concerned with closer Heath Bell venting about the "trainer" Thursday after blowing his third save of the season.
"Is that going to be his excuse? I hope not," Guillen said. "What does a trainer have to do with how you perform? Maybe he can disagree if (pitching coach) Randy St. Claire said something about pitching. But a trainer? I don't know if that's a good excuse or that's the truth. If that's the truth, we have to find out."
Bell allowed two runs on four walks Thursday while blowing his third save and taking his third loss of the season. He has a 9.53 ERA.
Following the game he said in frustration, "Apparently our trainer says I work too hard. I'm out busting my ass every single day on the treadmill, the bike, working, looking at the video. Maybe I need to listen to him and stop working so hard.'
When Bell was asked Friday if everything was OK between him and the trainer, he said, "no comment." Sean Cunningham is in his 11th season as the Marlins head trainer.
Guillen reiterated his confidence in Bell.
"He's my closer and if we want to win this thing we have to count on him. He's going to be there in the ninth inning until he can't do it anymore."
Double marathon man: Samson ran 52.4 miles Friday, starting in Pompano Beach and finishing at Marlins Park, where he arrived about 30 minutes before the first pitch. The run was to honor the construction workers who built the stadium and is expected to raise $500,000 for several charities.
When Guillen was asked the farthest he ever ran, he said: "A triple. I'm not a running guy."
Donations are still being accepted at marlins.com .