Marlins Call Up Big-Time Cheerleaders

Manatees will add weight, if not rhythm, to home games
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2008 3:40 PM CDT
The Manatees, an all-male, plus-size cheerleading squad, pose for a team photo after their audition on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2008 in Miami.   (AP Photo/Florida Marlins, Robert Vignon)
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(Newser) – Weighing in between 225 and 435 pounds, the Florida Marlins' new cheerleaders may take up space better than they dance. But on opening day, the Marlins will introduce fans to the Manatees, baseball’s first all-male, all-plus-sized cheerleading squad, the Los Angeles Times reports. “There are more people who look like them than have those perfect bodies,” says a charter Marlins Fan Club member.

The idea is to connect with the average fan. “I’m doing this for guys like me, the regular guys who haven’t been that active lately,” said one Manatee. Unfortunately, the average fan isn’t going to Marlins’ games. The Fish owned the worst attendance in baseball last season—fewer than 17,000 per game—and that was before they traded their biggest stars this winter.