Meatloaf sang it, well sort of. The Marlins live it.
Brand new building. STRIKE ONE.
Ozzie Guillen. STRIKE TWO.
Adam Greenberg. GRAND SLAM.
Big and Little Enos (the two idiots that run the hapless franchise) didn’t do very well this year. They really only got one thing right this year and it took them 161 games to achieve it.
Marlins Ballpark is a beautiful building on the outside. Go inside and it’s an interesting mix of modern and bizarre. Baseball shouldn’t be played indoor unless it rains. It’s really that simple. Open the roof boys and let the sun shine in!
Under the roof, things weren’t much better. They lost 90+ games. I’m still not sure what they were thinking putting that ant hill in center field. They wanted to have a home run sculpture, but that thingie is just ridiculous. They took their mascot, Billy the Marlin and turn him into “Roberto the Rainbow Trout.” Billy’s new uniform looks like it was stolen from the costume locker of the James Earl Jones’ baseball classic, The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings.
And then there is the debacle of Ozzie Guillen. He has always been a reporter’s dream. A quote machine. But given enough time, Ozzie has always proven to be a liability with his mouth. Only a few days into the season, he praised Fidel Castro. You just don’t do that in Miami. It would be like praising Adolf Hitler when you are running for president. Oh wait, Mitt Romney did that.
But last night, the Florida (I will call them that until Big and Little Enos sell the team and profit at least $500M) Marlins did something right. They created a real life The Natural moment. My apologies to Robert Redford, but Roy Hobbs is no Adam Greenberg.
Greenberg was ready to break into the bigs on July 7, 2005 with the Chicago Cubs. The rookie stepped into the box, dug in to face his first ever major league pitch and the Marlins’ Valerio de los Santos threw a 92 mile rocket into Greenberg’s head.
POW. In that split second between the mound and the plate, everything changed. Career over. Life altering. Vertigo. Headaches. Dreams dashed.
Last night the Marlins brass gave Greenberg something that was taken away from him seven years ago at that other ballpark in Miami, a chance to get into the record books. You see, to have an official at bat in MLB, you need to get a hit or strikeout. A walk or as Greenberg already experienced, getting hit by a pitch is not an official at bat. So last night in the sixth inning, the manager that doesn’t always get it right, did the right thing. Gullien sent the 31-year old to lead off for the Fish.
Greenberg faced the the Mets’ possible NL Cy Young Award winner, R.A. Dickey and got mowed down with three knuckleballs. Greenberg took the first for a strike and swung and missed on the next two. As Greenberg walked back to the dugout, his smile was as wide as Miami skyline. He was probably the happiest strikeout victim in the history of baseball.
So the Marlins stuck out on their new ballpark. I know many people who love it, but come on folks, if you need to sell tickets on Groupon or LivingSocial in a brand new building… STRIKE ONE.
So the Marlins struck out with Ozzie Guillen. Who really thought it would be a bad idea to bring a Latin manager to a Latin community? I know many people loved his hiring, but come on folks, he has always had foot in mouth disease…STRIKE TWO.
So Adam Greenberg struck out in his only at bat. I know many people loved this story, but come on folks, how can you not! GRAND SLAM!