Marlins Park – Beautiful; Marlins Team – Not So Much

So we took the journey to the old Orange Bowl site for April 30th matinee getaway game (12:40 PM start) and joined 15,000 school kids (all screaming at once, all the time) at the very impressive Marlins Park. Now THIS is a ball park. Amazing view from everywhere, comfortable seats with proper sight lines. A friendly and helpful staff, too. The pastel, in-your-face greens, blues and yellows take a bit of getting used to and the color scheme wouldn’t work elsewhere in the league for in Miami, it seems about right.

Since an uneven start (including the dismal April 30th game) the Marlins have been a run – a big run with the best record in MLB for May powered by strong pitching, the remarkable Giancarlo Stanton and  a closer (Heath Bell) who seems to have overcome early season jitters.

The trip from Cooper City (via Griffin Road/Turnpike/I95) is about 45 minutes with some of the typical stop and go. Exit 826 West then 12th Avenue (left to the bridge) and bang, you’re there. The stadium rises like a work of art just a few blocks away. Parking was easy (at Pedro’s apartment lot just a short walk away – $20) with immediate street access one block west of 12th Ave. Logistically it’s not that bad. Getting out was the reverse and we used the toll lanes going north. Pretty easy really.

In the new park you can pretty much wander around anywhere. No checking the tickets to keep you off the 100 or 200 levels. The view is amazing and you can stroll all the way around the field and not miss anything. Superb. Concession prices seem to be a notch higher (surprise) but the Sir Pizza was excellent and the individual size was enough for two.

April 30th’s game featured thousands of screaming school children so the noise was nearly intolerable (until the Marlins started losing and it quieted down) and the other thing that the roof keeps in is the cooking smells. Could be bothersome if you were in the wrong spot. But the temperature was perfect, the humidity perfect and it was made all the more perfect by the big picture windows that looked out onto the rain. Rain all you want, we’ve got a ball game.

If you go, don’t pay full price. Get your tickets online at Stubhub or some other online service where people are dumping seats for a few bucks. Get the cheapest tickets you can and wander the 100 level for standing room views and if you want, you could always find your seats. There’s really not a bad seat in the place.

Marlins Park is a gaudy masterpiece done in a fruit salad of colors. The Marlins are a work in progress forging a great May out of a dismal April. As good as they were in May, the Marlins have been dismal since then, losing games by the truck load and dumping high priced talent. What in the world is going on here?

(Revised July 31)

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