GAME TWO. APRIL 25, 2013. MIAMI
Marlins Park, baseball’s newest stadium, sits back on the mainland, two miles from downtown Miami, in the neighborhood known locally as Little Havana. It is new, and shiny, while Little Havana is not. The Fish, as they are affectionately known by those feeling any of that, played their earlier seasons at the over-sized—for baseball—Joe Robbie Stadium, home of professional football’s Dolphins, and the Florida Marlins have the distinction of having won their two World Series titles in their first eleven years in the league. Which is amazing, and pretty much unprecedented. Their story, and their road to their first title, is pretty well known by baseball fans, the short version being that in 1997, large amounts of Marlin money was spent, and star players brought in. The stars played well, the Marlins got into the playoffs as that season’s Wild Card team, then went on to win the World Series, beating the Cleveland Indians on a game seven, bottom of the eleventh single by Edgar Renteria, bringing the baseball title to Miami in only their fifth season. Which pretty much stunned the Baseball community, but went largely ignored in south Florida. Then in a fire sale that has since come to define the term, and that royally pissed off what few Marlins fans there were, those star players were promptly sold off by team owner H. Wayne Huizenga, with the Marlins losing 108 games the following season, which is the worst ever performance by a defending World Series champion. And which left what Marlins fans there were feeling betrayed, saying horrible things about owners, and staying home. In droves, they stayed home.