Monday, October 02, 2006

Monday Marlins Miscellany

Yesterday afternoon, as the shadows began to overtake Dolphin Stadium on the Dade-Broward line, one of the best stories in baseball over the 2006 season came to a dramatic close. A team that at the beginning of the year started 6 people who had never played at this level before concluded their surprisingly-overachieving season with a game winning hit in the 11th inning. The team that was supposed to be one of the worst in major league history came within a few games of making the playoffs and achieved more rookie records than any team I can remember. I think in 5 or 10 years we will look back at a lot of the players on this team and say “Man, ALL those guys were on the ’06 Marlins? How did they not make the playoffs?” The point is, while I am not a guy to get too involved in a team, this year’s Fish were one great exception. Nobody had a huge ego, nobody was an overpaid superstar, Hell, nobody even had a name anyone outside of the most hardcore Marlin fan knew. They were a team you could actually relate to who had success, which is almost unheard of in professional sports today.

But the end of baseball season (at least here in South Florida) means no more going to Marlins games. And there are a few things about making the trek up to Joe Robbie/Pro Player/Dolphins/Dolphin stadium that I am going to miss. The first is Una Mezcla Buena. Never heard of it? Una Mexcla Buena is actually Spanish for “the concession stand behind section 142” and features a wide array of choices of Cuban food. Now I am not a particular fan of Cuban food at all, as I am a fan of pretty much nothing about that particular culture save for maybe the cigars and cheap hookers. But what I am a fan of is what we lovingly call “The Special.” If you ever complain about overpriced food at baseball games, you have obviously never had The Special.

The Special is usually either Ropa Vieja or Picadillo, white rice, black beans, plantains and chips and salsa (not sure why they throw that in, but I never complain). The plate easily weighs at least four pounds and it is a mission carrying it back to your seat if you are not on the first base line. And what would you expect a money-sharking baseball team to charge for a meal that could EASILY feed two people who are not gluttonous pigs like myself? $12? Well, that’s about what you’d pay at a restaurant. $10? Okay, that may still be reasonable. But the good people at Una Mezcla Buena (most of whom are not Hispanic) serve up The Special for a mere $8. Throw in a large soda and you have enough food to last you all day for twelve bucks. The only catch is they usually only serve it on weekends, and eating four pounds of hot Cuban food in 90 degree sun is not as easy as one would think. Thank God the games are long.

The other part of the Marlins experience that many who attend overlook is the extremely clever and creative Organ guy. Since he has more or less mastered “Lets go Marlins” and “Charge” Organ Guy takes the time to go down each opponents roster and think up clever little things to play for each player in their lineup. Or who MAY be in their lineup. And it is not obvious stuff like playing “Hound Dog” for a guy named Presley. No, it is often two or three degrees of pop-culture-reference separation that you have to think for a minute to get. A good example was when Pat Burrell came to bat yesterday, he played “Holly, Jolly Christmas.” Now, Pat Burrell has absolutely nothing to so with Christmas nor is he very Holly or Jolly. But who sang that particular song? Burl Ives. I’m sure no one in the stadium under about 60 even came close to getting that, but it makes you think. Sometimes it is a reference to the lyrics of a song, like when he played “Footloose” for Hector Ruiz. I’ll let you figure that one out. Either way, Organ guy provides a fun little game to play with your friends while at the stadium.

So, sadly, I will miss the 2006 Marlins. And, most likely, Joe Girardi as well. But next year I still have The Special and the Clever Organ guy to look forward too. Unless, in typical Marlins fashion, they get rid of everything good about the team in the off season up to and including Cuban food and Organists. Adios, Marlins! Thanks for a surprisingly entertaining and inspiring 2006.


At 1:50 PM, Anonymous florida hater said...

Nothing on your esteemed representative? I was sure I was going to read about how cool it is for Floridians to sexually harass teenagers because they're from Florida.

At 2:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I was going to not comment but you had to be a fucking racist again.

Cubans (cheap hookers). So you think that cheap hookers should be associated with the Cuban culture. Seriously man, how badly do you want your ass kicked. You are such a fucking wiseass online but $100 says you would not say this shit to a bunch of Cubans just like you would not walk around NYC with the I PLANE NY shirt on.

I am going to take pleasure in bringing you back to reality.

At 3:58 PM, Blogger minijonb said...

i hope your Marlins have an even better season next year.

meanwhile... i get to watch the slumping Tigers try to navigate this series with the Yankees. i hope Jim Leyland still has a few tricks up his sleeve.

At 4:59 PM, Anonymous Johnson said...

If I cared about baseball, I'd root for the Marlins for the reasons you listed. No big superstar egos and constantly overachieving. Plus, any team that sticks it to the Yankees in the World Series is always in my good books.

At 7:28 PM, Blogger angel, jr. said...

It's sad to say, but I haven't watched one of their games. Does sound rather fun though--especially that special platter.

At 10:35 PM, Anonymous The Diabolical said...

While I'm a much bigger fan of the Heat and the Canes, you're dead on balls accurate that the best sporting event in SoFla this side of Mark Light Stadium is a night (or day) at JRS watching the Lins.

Also, "The Special" is a titts deal, but do not overlook the chicken fingers meal for under 10 bucks. 4 strips and a heap of fries, a tremendous deal available all of the stadium, not just down in 142...

At 3:36 PM, Blogger White Dade said...

FH - In case you haven't noticed, I really don't do current events here. But a Republican? In a homo-erotic sex scandal? who'd have ever guessed.

Anon - you have obviously not read my post aobut my 4th of July rant I went on that casued me to be doused in beer. Or have not hung out with me in public when I lambaste non=-english speakers in public for not learning the language and being incompetant. So, no, I do mouth off to many people in public. Has it gotten me in some confrontations? Of course. but I am a big guy and size has its privilages, one of them being people, even Machismo Morons, don't start shit with you.

Mini - L like Detroitt's chances against the Yanks becasue of their pitching vs. NY's. Much better for a five game series.

Johnson - Opposite end of the spectrum form a lto of other teams

Angel - Yeah. Eating it in the heat, though, not so awesome.

Diabolical - Oh, so you like the GOOD teams. Or so they are perceived. I fucking can't stand the Heat, but to each their own. The Marlins have won more championships than every other South florida team combined since their existance began in 1993. And they are still the bastard step-children of SoFla sports. so sad. So sad.

At 3:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Walking around the UM campus making fun of freshman is not the same as walking around NYC with a I PLANE NY shirt one. Up in NYC, they would rip you to pieces.


At 2:49 PM, Anonymous The Diabolical said...


Hey, don't lump me in w/ the front-runners. There's a reason I didn't mention my NFL support... and no it's not the Fins... the reason is it's b/c my Old Man forced the me into the world of NY football at a young age (And the worst part it's that OTHER NY-NFL team, the bad one).

Thank God he didn't like any other sports growing up, so left to my own devices, I went w/ the home squads...

PS - Girardi being shown the door wasn't a bad thing. It actually improves them for next year. Addition by subtraction.

At 9:37 PM, Anonymous David in DC said...

I feel awful about it, but the idea of someone walking around NYC in an I PLANE NY t-shirt tickles my funny bone.

It's just a sicker play on the joke at the start of the third Die Hard movie, and its horribly insensitive and un-PC.

But still, it would take one huge set of cojones.

At 12:29 AM, Blogger Dan-E said...

so you were the other person in line (though technically, it would take more than two people to really create a line).

nice blog.

At 12:42 PM, Blogger White Dade said...

Diabolical - Good point. I just am not afan of the Heat at All, and only root for the canes during seasons like this.

Dan - The line for the Special? Yeah, besst kept secret in baseball.


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