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Archive for Thursday, October 23, 2003

Florida fans not fair-weather … unless it rains

October 23, 2003

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— It was a fine night for baseball Wednesday at Pro Player Stadium, with weather so perfect that several fans chose to remain for almost the entire game. This was in stark contrast to Tuesday night's game, during which it rained, forcing thousands of people -- faced with the very real prospect of having water land on them -- to flee the World Series.

This drew ridicule from fans in other cities who think we Marlins fans are a bunch of fair-weather, bandwagon-jumping wusses. To those critics, I say: You think you're tougher than we are? You want a piece of us? Fine. Any time you want, we'll meet you outside. Unless it's raining.

Fortunately, the weather Wednesday night was spectacular, and so was the game, which the Marlins won 31-0, with a World Series record 17 home runs hit by Snook and Mullet.

Or, possibly not. As I've noted, I have to send these columns to The Herald before the game is over, so I've decided to make them positive and upbeat, in the hope they will come true.

But it's not going to be easy, not when everybody in baseball is so sure the Yankees are going to win this Series, with their huge payroll, their mystique, their talent, their constant cheating. Consider, for example, the first so-called "run" they allegedly "scored" in their so-called "win" on "Tuesday":

It was the fourth inning, the Marlins leading 1-0. The Yankees loaded the bases, then scored a run when, on a 3-2 count, Josh Beckett threw Jorge Posada a pitch that home plate umpire Gary Darling called a ball -- despite the fact that, in the TV replay, Posada can be seen giving Darling what Tim McCarver described as "clearly a $100 bill."

And then there are these persistent allegations of steroid use by a certain Yankees player, whom, out of respect for the fact that he is the size of a Humvee, I will not name here, other than to say that on four separate occasions during Wednesday's game, the grounds crew found syringes hidden under first base.

So, yes, a fair and balanced observer of sports would have no choice but to conclude that the Yankees are evil degenerate cheating vermin scum who routinely hold locker room orgies involving underage livestock.

But the Marlins are not perfect, either.

Their hitting has been sporadic, and their beloved 142-year-old manager, Jack McKeon, has appeared "out of touch" at times, making some questionable decisions, such as during Game 2, when he ordered third baseman Mike Lowell, who normally bats right-handed, to kick a field goal.

But none of this detracts from the beauty of the game of baseball and the way this World Series has brought our community together. I witnessed a fine example of this Wednesday night in the stands at Pro Player: There were two shirtless young Yankees fans, and a few rows in front of them was a Marlins fan wearing-- why not? -- a Santa Claus hat, with full Santa wig and beard. Every few minutes, Santa would stand up, turn around to face the Yankees fans, and hold up a sign that said, simply: "YANK THIS!"

This would, of course, enrage the Yankees fans, who responded by bellowing pro-Yankees statements until spittle filled the air. Then everybody would become bored and sit down for a few minutes. Then Santa would stand back up, and it was time to do the whole routine again, and so on into the night.

South Floridians, coming together! Honestly, it gave me chills.

So I left the stadium.

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