Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Miami Marlins Home Opener Last Night (With Photos)

The Miami Marlins played their home opening game at the new stadium last night, defeating the Miami Hurricanes in a split squad Spring Training contest 7-6.

The Marlins started pitcher Mark Buehrle, who threw three innings, allowing three runs all coming in the bottom of the third.

The Hurricanes started pitcher Andrew Suarez, who looked more impressive than Buehrle.  Through his first three innings he kept the Marlins scoreless and struck out UM alum Gabby Sanchez.  Suarez was drafted by the Blue Jays straight out of high school, but didn’t accept the offer, electing to play near his home town for the U instead.  Remember his name.

Hanley Ramirez homered to opposite field, but the big ugly home run piece of “art” out in left center isn’t working yet so no one had the privilege to witness the monstrosity in action.

Ramirez played well at third base and looked as happy as he’s ever been in a Marlins uniform.  I was a little worried in the beginning of the game when Buherle was getting ready to throw the first pitch and Hanley was still standing in the infield as shown below, but he eventually figured it out.

The ‘Canes stud catcher Peter O’Brien pulled a screamer that Ramirez fielded cleanly, along with multiple other put outs by the Marlins new third baseman.

Bad weather was in the area a couple hours before the first pitch was scheduled and the roof was closed for play.  That idea is already a win in the book for the Marlins.

Billy the Marlin was at the game and has a slightly altered look.  His fins are now multicolored just like the new Marlins colors.

As for Marlins every day starters there was John Buck at catcher, Hanley at third, Gabby Sanchez at first, and Logan Morrison in left field, who left the game with a strained arch.  Austin Kearns and Aaron Rowand rounded out the outfield.

It was nice how both teams implemented the Miami flavor based on their players.  Alexander Fernandez pitched for the 'Canes, son of former Marlins pitcher Alex Fernandez.  Elih Villanueva, a Miami native, pitched in relief for the Marlins.  And of course the fan favorite of the night Gabby Sanchez played.

My Personal Experience

The stadium looks like a huge UFO landed in the old city of Little Havana.  It looks out of place to say the least.

The drive down wasn’t fun either.  If you want no problems make sure you have a Sun Pass for the Express Lane on I-95 or you’ll be caught in bumper to bumper traffic every time there is a 7o'clock game during the weekdays.  We left at 5:15 and got down there at about 6:30 from Fort Lauderdale.  The ride home was much smoother only taking about 30 minutes.  Next time I’ll remember my Sun Pass for the drive down.

I sat in row 2 behind home plate, but be aware that row 2 doesn’t really mean row 2.  It’s really row 7.  There’s rows A, B, C, D, E, and 1 in front of you, not to mention the ground level seats that are  8 to 10 rows deep depending on which section you are in.

I went with my three month old son for his first ever ball game, and with my fiancĂ©.  Of course we got on the big screen.  Cameramen love catching daddies dancing with their babies, especially when they’re wearing the new team colors.

All in all it made for a pretty nice experience, but be sure to remember what garage you parked in.  They are all identical and there were plenty of people confused as to which one they parked in… including me.

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