- Strasburg may be the best pitcher in baseball and on the minds of people in DC, but for Nats fans in Miami he's clearly second (third? 5th?) fiddle. I saw 0 Strasburg jerseys there and I saw an Ankiel and a Lombardozzi, for christ's sake.
- Who did the fans wear? Zimmerman some, but mostly Bryce Harper. Even as he slumps (he's hit .227 / .280 / .318 for the past month) Bryce Harper demands the most attention from the crowd. And while there is some love/hate thing going on, more people seem positive (or at least neutral) to the kid, than openly dislike him, even at a "hostile" crowd. Whatever IT is, he has it.
- The Miami crowd was pretty dead. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt because the game didn't do them any favors. The Marlins fell behind early, mounted no real challenges, the best on being erased on one pitch with the Austin Kearns DP before the crowd could even get excited. It also felt long watching it, and the play was sloppy on both sides.
- That is a big field. You don't really notice it at first with everything else to look at (including what's gotta be the busiest scoreboard in the majors) but you start looking down the lines and realize there is a lot of green out there. Zimmerman murdered that ball.
- The Marlins field crew haven't learned yet how to grow grass on this field. Lots of patchy spots and some actual strips of sod in place
- The aquarium might as well not be there. A neat idea but doesn't execute well.
- ZNN seemed in complete control. It didn't feel like the Marlins were hitting much hard at all.
- I appreciate Marlins park for what it's trying to do. I really like the "neon" green of the OF walls and that silly HR thing didn't bother me at all. You strip all the identifying baseball items from the stadium and you still might be able to place it as being in Miami. Not many stadiums can say that.
- I also hit up Tampa Bay (vs the Red Sox) and while the stadium was worse (though not as hideous as I imagined from what I've heard) the experience was better. More excitement from the crowd, better game, and you get to touch rays in a pool in the outfield. Also had free shuttles/trolleys you could take from a surprisingly decent downtown. Wade Boggs was there signing autographs and charging for pics.
- Food was better at Marlins Park. Beer was better at the Trop.
- Also on the subject of beer - take those "craft beer available" with a grain of salt. There's a big difference between several stations set up both on the upper deck and concourse, and one little out of the way place you have to trek to. Marlins Park was the latter (and had nothing local)
Monday, July 16, 2012
As I've been traipsing about South Florida for the last few days I can't say much about the Nats. I did see them in Miami, but it's not like I have any insights into their play from the upper deck. So here are some general insights.