Marlins Madhouse

The finest minds behind The Real Housewives of Miami couldn’t possibly come up with a more twisted reality script than the Opening Day roster of the 2012 Miami Marlins. The new manager is so unhinged he once stopped a news conference to announce simply: “Fuck everybody.” The center fielder tweeted an off-season nude photo of himself sharing a bubble bath with a teammate. The closer, who is fatter than Chris Farley, was signed after the last guy was deported after admitting he’d been playing under a fake name for years. Add the fact that all of those loons are playing in baseball’s newest ballpark — a contentious, retractable-roofed, aquarium-filled Little Havana stadium — and it only makes sense that, yes, this year’s Marlins team is being filmed for Showtime’s reality series The Franchise. Did we mention they might just be damn good on the field too? With a bumper crop of new stars including shortstop Jose Reyes, closer Heath Bell, and starter Carlos Zambrano, the Marlins will either be one of the best teams in baseball or one of the most eye-popping, dug-out-trashing catastrophes ever to take the diamond. The real show starts Wednesday at the new Marlins Stadium, when the Fish welcome the reigning World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals for a one-game tilt. Better believe the cameras will be rolling. The opening game is officially sold out, but websites such as StubHub still have tickets available for $150 and up. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until the Astros come to town April 13 to check out the new digs.
Wed., April 4, 8 p.m., 2012
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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink