The Miami Marlins announced today the team is looking to hire a crop of interns who will hit and play the field for the team for the remainder of the season.
"They are unpaid internships, of course, but we are offering one college credit, as long as certain requirements are met," said team owner Jeffrey Loria. "I think this is a great opportunity for some people who are young and hungry to get experience working for a major league team. I'm hoping with school being over for the year, we'll get a lot of interest."
The Marlins, like many other MLB teams, have had unpaid interns work alongside front office staffers for years as media relations assistants or ticket phone sales operators. But the team will now be the first to extend such a program to the field. The cost-conscious Loria said he conceived of on-field internships after watching his bargain basement squad of professional baseball players open the season with a MLB-worst 13-39 record while scoring less than three runs per game.
"I'm paying these guys almost nothing and they're losing," said Loria. "Why can't I pay absolutely nothing to have them lose just as much? I'm disappointed in myself for not thinking of this before."
Several of the Marlins' current players have applied for the new internship positions, but have been turned down due to not having the applicable skills.
"It's disappointing," said third baseman Placido Polanco, who leads the team with a .236 batting average. "But intern programs can be really competitive. Maybe I can get one with the Astros."