Opening day is about hope. Sure, there's beer and hotdogs and warm weather and, um, more beer. But underneath all that, baseball's new beginning is about the effervescent inkling that this year is going to be better than the last.
Hope is a four-letter word these days for Marlins fans, however. First, there was the multi-billion-dollar boondoggle of a stadium. Then came Jeffrey Loria's spurious spending spree and false promise of competitiveness. And when the Fish started flailing, sure enough, Loria fired the manager, sold the best players, and replaced them with has-beens and probably-never-will-bes. Optimism died on the lineup's operating table.
So let's cut the crap: the Marlins are going to suck this year. Big time. So why not predict all that will go wrong with the season now, so that when the worst rolls around, you won't be suicidal?
This year's Marlins are weaker than Ozzie Guillen's urine (20 proof). Beyond Giancarlo Stanton and the injured Logan Morrison, the team doesn't have anyone who can knock in runs.
So one night, after a particularly crushing loss, manager Mike Redmond will watch the Expendables 2 and devise a plan: save the season by signing the sluggers of steroid eras past. But the ploy will fail when Sammy Sosa's whitens himself out of existence, Manny Ramirez is eaten by his own hair, and the Canseco brothers beat each other to death over the last ounce of adrostenedione.
To mark the reopening of the Venezuelan consulate in Miami, the Marlins will hold an Hugo Chavez bobble-head day at the stadium. Angry Cuban and Venezuelan expats, however, will toss the jiggling dolls on the field, injuring unsuspecting (and untalented ) players.
Redmond will have a nervous breakdown, start attending press conferences in nothing but lederhosen, and move to Guam, where the mental healthcare system is better.
After already suing fans who renege on their season tickets, the Marlins management will now take litigation to another level. Kids will be fined for spilling ketchup. Fans will be charged for catching foul balls. And the "Kiss Cam" will be replaced by a "See You In Court Cam" used to notify random stadiumgoers that -- surprise! -- they are being sued.
Just as Jeffrey Loria prepares to sell the team to the highest bidder, a massive sinkhole will open up under the stadium. Loria will ride his pale, white behemoth down into the underworld like Ahab before him.
But don't worry Miami. Baseball will still return next year... back in Sun Life Stadium.
The Marlins open their season at 1:05 p.m. today at the Washington Nationals.
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