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The Marlins’ new ballpark is a hitter’s haven

Apr 1, 2012, 6:10 PM EDT

Marlins Ballpark from the fishies' perspective Getty Images

OK, so maybe it’s a small sample size, but the Yankees topped the Marlins 10-8 in the first major league game played at Marlins Ballpark on Sunday.

With the roof closed on an 85-degree day, Derek Jeter lined the very first pitch of the game from Ricky Nolasco into right field for a double, setting the tone for the day. There were 26 hits in all, including the first homers of the spring for the Yankees’ Nick Swisher and the Marlins’ Gaby Sanchez.

Fortunately, the nightmare sculpture in center field, which will open a portal to Hell for 15 seconds with each Marlins homer during the regular season, wasn’t operational for this one.

Apart from that, the new park received mostly positive reviews, though one player wasn’t so happy with his day at the beach: “That infield out there is like running in sand,” Swisher said after the game.

Expectations were that the park would suit pitchers better than hitters, particularly with the roof closed, as it’s expected to be most of the time. But while that still might the case, it certainly didn’t hold true today. CC Sabathia gave up three runs in his four innings of work, and Mariano Rivera, pitching the fifth, allowed a run in a spring training game for the first time since 2008.

  1. proudlycanadian - Apr 1, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    So CC gave up another 3 runs. Yankee fans will boo me if I criticize him, but I wonder????????

  2. muir6 - Apr 1, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Yankee fan not under the illusion he is still an ace, a inning eater but gonna give up at least 3 a game way overpaid

    • proudlycanadian - Apr 1, 2012 at 9:09 PM

      CC is still a very good pitcher, but his performance slipped a bit in the second half of 2011 and he has not been dominant this spring. I do wonder if he has begun to decline. Time will tell.

  3. jolink653 - Apr 1, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    his performance slipped in the second half last year because girardi switched to a six man rotation after he couldn’t make his mind up about who he wanted to bench or put in the bullpen…cc had been in the conversation for the cy young before girardi messed up the routine and as any pitcher will tell you they are creatures of habit and routine…he’s had an average spring but i expect him to be back to the old cc once the season starts

  4. Old Gator - Apr 2, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    Enjoyed the hell out of my first day at Macondo Banana Massacre Field. Inside it’s spacious and airy with a terrific view of the city through the window gallery behind the the right field fences. Everything out of the concession stands were pretty badly overpriced. I had an arepa y queso blanco sandwich that was, well, chewy – let’s be polite – but I had eaten a big brunch beforehand so my appetite wasn’t in gear.

    Parking wasn’t any big deal – I got a spot in a private lot two blocks from the stadium for $10, easy in, easy out – you drove a half a block to the eastbound on-ramp to the Dolfeen Expressway; the ramp was slow going getting on and I couldn’t see the streets around the stadium itself to assess whether it was a fiasco or not. I live west and then south of the stadium so my eastbound flight was a taking-no-chances maneuver via the path of least resistance that, though it prolly added a half mile of distance to the trip home, saved me about forty minutes and routed me past Casola’s Pizza and its veggie special.

    The game? The Feesh peetching, which was a hilite of the spring, just flat out sucked. What can I say? That Ricky Nolasco showed up and got shelled for seven runs – what you call a “tune-up,” I suppose (if you own a Wartburg or a Yugo, anyway). On the brighter side, the Feesh, who have been dead last in hitting in Canker League competition, at least got in some licks against the Borg hurlers. Mik…er, Giancarlo Stanton had a couple of bullet ribby singles; Austin Kearns continued his hot hitting and looks like he’s won his tushy a spot on the bench as this year’s premier utility man, what with Bryan Petersen and his unnatural hot tub proclivities – come on, who smokes a cigar in a hot tub other than maybe Judge Holden? – soaking up the mint juleps in the Big Easy this spring. Chris Coghlan eked out a pinch hit walk and also looks like maybe he’s inched back to the show after two wretched years nursing freak injuries.

    But this is what it’s going to be like from now on. Now more Joeprodolsharklife stadium, no more schlepping up the Palmetto during afternoon rush hour like a horny salmon navigating a lahar. That’s something. Just get there early, is all.

    • drunkenhooliganism - Apr 2, 2012 at 12:37 AM

      Gator- In my four years down there, Casola’s was the only pizza I found that wasn’t awful. I’m sure there are a few other good pizza joints down there, but trying to find them was painful.

      Do you have any idea how many possible friendships were snuffed out by someone suggesting Domino’s when I asked where to get good pizza? Or how many times someone would recommend a local place, only for me to regret it after two bites.

      I’m gonna have bad Miami pizza nightmares now.

      • henryd3rd - Apr 2, 2012 at 1:39 AM

        Next time you are down here try Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza. They are on the money and one must try their wings.

      • Old Gator - Apr 2, 2012 at 7:20 AM

        There’s an Anthony’s on US1 and the entrance to the Palmetto in deepest darkest Kendall where I occasionally betake myself, but much closer to home is Ciro’s, a little mom and pop pizzeria at the Briar Bay shopping plaza across from The Falls shopping center. You’re right that this is not much of a pizza town – and I lived in Chicago for a while and Giordano’s ruined me for most others, but Ciro’s has been a godsend. Great Sicilian slices. On the other hand, Casola’s “buzzard wings” are about my favorites of all time – and they perform the unprecedented mitzvah of always leaving free pizza on the counter for customers to nibble on while waiting for their orders, one of their humongous slices cut up into small squares. Each time they put a news slice up there the counter looks like vultures and jackals fighting over a wildebeest carcass. BTW their subs are amazing too, and they have a homemade ice cream bar whose rum raisin I can only compare to a little shop on the Isle d’ Orleans in Paris .

    • henryd3rd - Apr 2, 2012 at 1:50 AM

      Is this “Check Please South Florida” or what? Casola’s never will get me to cross their threshold ever again. Try Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza. There are numerous locations in South Florida.

      As far as patronizing that team or I should say that organization. No way! Loria/Sampson will ever see any of my money this year. I have a really bad taste in my mouth over how that stadium was financed and shall show my displeasure by not attending any of these games this year. Plus if I wanted to see the circus I’d go to AA Arena and see Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey or visit Sun Life Stadium when the Jets visit South Florida

      • Old Gator - Apr 2, 2012 at 10:11 AM

        I hate to break the news to you, but Scrooge McLoria and the Chihuahua have already seen quite a bit of your money, and mine as well. Resistance is futile. Or rather, resistance was already futile. and it causes one to miss out on live baseball for an entire season. I could hardly see the point of changing the batteries in my pacemaker if I had to live without baseball all season. I’d just pull a Cleopatra and stick my hand in Friendo’s cage after rubbing mouse piss on it. McLoria and the Chihuahua are detestable, but only almost as much as the streetwalking politicians we booted out in that epic recall election last year.

      • stex52 - Apr 2, 2012 at 11:35 AM

        Hating the owner is a very reasonable reaction. Feeling cheated by stadium deals is also. Many of us in cities all over the country feel that way. But that is sunk cost. Go enjoy some baseball games.

  5. pmcenroe - Apr 2, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Isn’t Chase Field a hitters park with the roof closed? Why would they expect this one to be different? I’m not sure of the science behind it but I think I once read that the ball travels better in warm stagnant air. Kind of like how the Metrodome got its nickname “homer dome” in the early days when it didn’t have a/c and was hot as balls in there.

    • nullstadt - Apr 2, 2012 at 3:19 PM

      I think it’s the other way around…I’m in PHX, and back in the day, Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling usually wanted the roof closed, much to the chagrin of the locals who normally want the roof open whenever weather/temps permit.

      I think humidity plays a large part in how the ball travels as well; they considered a using a humidor here a few years back, ala the Rockies, but nothing came of it.

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