This weekend was a busy one for me -- attending Wrestlemania XXVIII, meeting Dave "Masked Man" Shoemaker from Grantland, trying to figure out what the sh*t a "Sun Pass" is -- but one of the biggest highlights was attending Sunday's exhibition game between the New York Yankees and the new look Miami Marlins in brand-spanking-new Marlins Park in Miami.
There's been a lot of talk about the new stadium, mostly about how it cost too much to build and how they wanted a motorized nightmare machine in center. I got there early (on the same day as Wrestlemania, because I love to pay for parking) to take a few pictures and share the experience with you guys, because holy crap, if you think the fish machine is bad you haven't seen everything else.
Take a look and let me know what you think. Worst case scenario, you'll get to see a sweet Bobblehead Museum. And "Katherine". Katherine was awesome.
[all photos credit to me, jerks]
Outside of the park, they've created the illusion that the MARLINS PARK sign has collapsed and giant pieces of the stadium have fallen to Earth. So either they were too lazy to hang up the sign or they modeled Marlins Park after the Kingdome.
The enormous inflatable Billy Marlin was a top tourist spot for visiting Yankees fans (who outnumbered Marlins fans about 200 to 1). They liked pretending to sit on his feet. I don't know.
The inside of the Third Base Gate, which I guess is supposed to be a tribute to great Marlins moments but sorta looks like a storage shed.
And here we are, the stack of neon Post-It Notes known as the Miami Marlins outfield. Fun fact: the structure didn't activate when the Marlins hit a home run because they're "saving it for Opening Day". So I guess it's got a limited amount of juice before it explodes?
The view from the outfield. I don't know why they gave the park a retractable roof, the only two weather conditions in Miami are "swelteringly hot" and "torrential rain" and you have to shut it for both of them.
It's copyrighted, by the way, so don't try building a huge metal jumping fish carnival ride thing in YOUR ballpark.
The home run tower isn't even the worst art in the stadium ... that award goes to this mural, apparently painted by SB Nation's Jon Bois because it's just baseball gloves and bats with eyes and popcorn and BASEBALL FANS written across it over and over.
Another thing I loved: they've got SWIMMING POOL WALLS everywhere. They should just pump chlorine into the air when they close the roof.
Please ignore the fact that I took a picture of the ladies john.
One of the most popular features of the park on Sunday was The Bobblehead Museum, which was less a museum and more a big display case full of bobbleheads. Still though, pretty cool. I found like 4 Victors Martinez in there.
Baseball video games were made available for any teens who want to see baseball but don't have enough control over it.
New look Billy Marlin, giving Yankees fans something to accent about when they get home. He picked up one kid, turned him upside down and shook him for change. Not sure if anybody got stabbed by his football helmet-strength spike nose.
The dumbest thing about Marlins Park has to be the team store. The one inside is about the size of my bedroom, so people were lined up for the entire game to get in and stand in another line, and the only way you could shop is if you'd already gotten in the queue to pay.
Of course there's another huge, completely empty team store downstairs, but the only way to get downstairs is to leave the park and about 3/4 of the security guards and ticket takers don't know they're supposed to stamp your hand so they just yell NO RE-ENTRY at you when you try to get to it. Good times.
I tried to find some healthy food in the park, and here are your vegan options:
I kept getting "we don't have anything vegan, we MIGHT have something vegetarian ... have you tried the kosher stand?" I'm guessing "ten dollar tuna fish" is what they meant.
Also, baseball happened! Here's Logan Morrison looking like f**king Smeagol. The Yankees got really nicely photoshopped backdrops of Time Square, but the Marlins players were stuck with their school picture backgrounds. I guess they're saving that for opening day, too.
The Marlins ushers are total hard-asses about letting you down near the field if you don't have a ticket (even though half the seats are empty) so this is as close as I could get to a picture of the backstop fish tanks. No shattered glass marine life fatalities yet.
The best part of the stadium was Katherine, the Marlins Vision lady. Holy crap was she hot. Considerably hotter than the Ian guy in the background. Yes, this is the most porno looking shot I took of her.
The view of the city from the smoking deck. Not pictured: the homeless guy fragrantly pissing in the bushes in front of everyone a block down.
The good team store is around here somewhere. Compare and contrast the line with the one in the stadium.