The Miami Marlins opened their new stadium with a 4-1 loss to the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals last night. Miami was no-hit by Kyle Lohse through six innings. The night started with the players being escorted onto the field by burlesque dancers and Muhammad Ali being carted out to the mound to hand a baseball to Hanley Ramirez in one of the most awkward “first pitches” of all-time.
If the Marlins’ brass was looking for something memorable, they got it. If they were looking for something people will proudly tell their grandchildren they witnessed, they swung and missed like Miami’s new multimillion dollar lineup did against The Mighty Lohse. But hey, at least the ace-number-one-starting-pitcher didn’t mind. From the Palm Beach Post:
“It was a crazy, crazy week. Actually, the last two or three weeks have been pretty crazy. You’d come down from Jupiter to here to do commercials and stuff. Hopefully, we can start doing baseball stuff,” he said.
The pre-game events did affect Johnson’s pre-game routines.
“Chaos,” he said.
“It seemed like the whole time we didn’t know what was going on in the bullpen. It seemed like we were stopping and starting, waiting. Seeing if the National Anthem started yet. We thought it started. We were pretty confused out there. Once the game started it calmed down pretty quickly.
“We knew it was at 7:15. But they said that the anthem was at a certain time, we thought it was anyway. We’d stop, and Buck said, ‘You want to start again?’ I was like, ‘Yes, I need to do something.’ ”
Perhaps J.J. could have wandered out to the pool to hang with the bikini-clad Marlins fans? Certainly they could have kept him loose? The Marlins aren’t the only team with a swimming pool in the stadium, but they are the latest. For one night, the Marlins were center stage in Major League Baseball and they got to show off their swimming pool and stupid home run structure and fish tanks and it wasn’t anything special.
There’s good news and bad news. Obviously, you fucked with your ace’s routine and lost on opening night. Luckily, it was just one game. Johnson took the loss, but he wasn’t shelled and more importantly – didn’t get hurt. Eventually home runs will be hit, the peacock of the sea will light up in the outfield and the Marlins will win games. Let’s hope the rest of the season is more special than spectacle.
[Palm Beach Post, Getty]