Since the Florida Marlins became the Miami Marlins, the name and location haven’t been the only things to change.
The elimination of a group of plus-size performers known as the Marlins Manatees is one of those changes, and their fans are not happy.
The Manatees have been a fan favorite since they began dancing on the diamond in March 2008, so it’s no wonder fans are fighting to “Save the Manatees” as the cause’s Facebook page reads.
As of Tuesday morning, the dance troupe has 200 “likes” and 32 talking about it on Facebook.
In 2008, the Manatees became Major League Baseball’s first all-male dance team, and brought a plus-size twist to the dancers professional sports fans are used to seeing.
The Manatees have performed between innings for the last three seasons, on a number of TV shows, including NBC’s Today Show, CNN Headline News, and Inside Edition. They perform hip-hop, salsa, disco, and rock.
Members of the group go by names like Big Kahuna, Bulldozer, Chubbalicious, Cuban Pete, McLuvin, and Tiny to name a few.
Nelson Dean Clark, Jr. aka Tiny says he’s moving on to California to train to be a Border Patrol agent.
Still, members of the troupe remain stunned and hurt. Angel Villarreal aka Chubbalicious told Miami New Times, ‘It’s cold. 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.’
The fun-loving team is not the only troupe getting cut either, the Mermaids, the Marlins’ signature dance team, has also not been invited to return next season.