This winter has held plenty in the way of absurd news about the Miami Marlins; it hasn’t even been two months since a full news cycle was devoted to Marlins Man complaining on the radio about his lack of invite to a season ticketholders’ meeting with Derek Jeter, ultimately receiving an invite to said meeting, announcing that he would attend only on behalf of the troops, and then using his time at the meeting to hit Jeter with a classic, “Do you know who I am?” But no news from the Marlins this winter has been quite so ridiculous or so beautiful as this—a story claiming that former team president David Samson lost his shit one day a few years back when perma-loser Julio the Octopus accidentally won the sixth-inning sea creature mascot race, thanks to Billy the Marlin making a near-fatal mistake by tripping and falling on Angel the Crab.
Craig Mish of SiriusXM was the first to share this, after fellow Miami radio host Andy Slater reported that the entire race would be nixed this season. (What isn’t being cut under the new regime?) Mish’s story seems so laughable that it reads like it must be a joke:
But the Miami New Times asked Mish some questions, and there’s no joke here. The New Times piece is really worth reading in full; here’s a little bit that sets the scene for the race in question:
The purple, vaguely nightmarish cephalopod had run hundreds of times since Marlins Stadium opened in 2012, and he’d never won. He’d been hacked down by Darth Vader on Star Wars night. He’d been tripped by bullpen doors. And Billy the Marlin had repeatedly stepped in to block his path to victory.
But something very weird happened at this game.
Something weirder than being sliced by a space-opera villain or thwarted by a door or tripped by a fish! Something very weird, indeed: on May 27, 2015, victory finally belonged to Julio the Octopus. It’s true. While Billy the Marlin was reportedly supposed to come in and trip Julio, ensuring another loss for the octopus as per usual, he accidentally tripped Angel the Crab instead:
Samson was not happy about the mascot getting his first win in years via fuck-up, as would naturally be the first thing on any team president’s mind after another loss for his sub-.500 club. “David came in and was livid that Julio won,” Mish told New Times. “He said, ‘That can never happen! He’s never supposed to win!’ And he said that if it ever happened again, he’d fire everyone.”
Manager Mike Redmond was fired later that day, after the Marlins lost 6-0 to the Braves. Did Redmond die for Julio’s (and Billy’s, and Angel’s) sins? It makes you wonder.