Well, it has finally happened. The Miami Marlins are now officially one step away from hosting tractor pulls in the outfield during the home at-bats and two steps from converting the upper deck into a poorly rated youth hostel.
This Saturday, Marlins Park -- the stadium that stares blankly across Little Havana like the stuffed heads of Miami taxpayers mounted in owner Jeffrey Loria's hunting lodge -- will host a Legends of Wrestling Night.
The event is one of a series of "special events" designed to lure fans of things other than baseball, because Miami's baseball fans will have nothing to do with the team after a series of salary-dumping trades essentially nixed its chances of winning -- all right after taxpayers funded the team's shiny new ballpark. But who cares when "Legends of Wrestling" will feature more than a dozen wrestling stars of days gone by, including several Hall of Famers?
(A "hall of fame," for new Marlins fans who will otherwise never hear of the term, is sort of like a less terrifying version of the Bobblehead Museum on the new park's Promenade level, in that it celebrates players from pretty much every team but yours.)
A dozen lubed-up guys with moping 'roid moobs grappling in a parking lot might not immediately put one in the mind of Willie, Mickey, and the Duke. But baseball purists should take heart: The wrestlers will sign autographs later in the stands, which all but guarantees a game-day attendance of 12 or more when the Colorado Rockies visit for their nine innings of batting practice. This is what passes for optimism among Marlins fans these days; after all, if we are successful at looking for a silver lining, it's a fair bet that Loria will soon be on the scene to grab it away from us with one of those grip extenders that obese people use to put on their socks.
Loria will not be getting into the ring -- not that has been announced, anyway -- but here's what we imagine it would look like if he did:
Sadly, in real life, superfans hoping he'll fling his oily Speedo at their faces will instead have to apply for a job as his house boy like the rest of us.
Instead, you'll get to see Bret "the Hitman" Hart, Brutus "the Barber" Beefcake, the Nasty Boys, Koko B. Ware, and a whole slew of other guys who will pretend to fight for your entertainment. Former World Heavyweight Champion Bill Goldberg will throw out the first pitch, assuming that someone from Colorado or a young fan remembers to bring a ball to the stadium.
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So here's what Miami baseball in August looks like in 2013. Ever want to take a soggy dump on home plate of a major-league ballpark? Well, Jeffrey Loria has beaten you to it, but you probably could just mosey into the on-deck circle during a game and wait your turn. Hey, more shameful things have happened; remember that 12-player trade with the Blue Jays after last season?
The baseball game begins at 7:10 p.m. Tickets cost $13 to $495 because, huh? Visit marlins.com to see if the domain is up for auction.