Yesterday, Major League Baseball, the City of Miami, and our beloved Miami Marlins teamed up to provide locals and visitors alike with an opportunity to take part in South Florida's favorite pastime: standing outside in a thick wool throwback baseball jersey as Miami's noontime July sun cooks off the top three layers of skin.
MLB closed off roads and rerouted some of the busiest and
Seriously: Look at how sad this was. Some of the most talented baseball players of this generation were forced to wave to security personnel, cops on horseback, and people stuck in traffic trying to go to lunch.
Here's hometown star Giancarlo Stanton, one of the greatest home-run mashers in decades, getting irradiated in the Florida sun for naught. It looks like MLB threw a parade in Chernobyl:
The same goes for this shot of the Arizona
Hilariously, MLB engaged in a bit of Soviet-style propaganda to convince fans that Everyone In Florida Loves Baseball And Had A Good Time At The Parade. Check out how tightly the league's photographers framed these shots to make it look like the streets were packed:
Look at how fun that seemed! Except here's an aerial shot of the pitifully small number of spectators who actually showed up:
For comparison purposes, here's a shot of last year's parade through San Diego: Though the streets still weren't jammed, it's
On its surface, Miami's All-Star Weekend went pretty smoothly. Huge crowds packed Marlins Park for both the game and the Home Run Derby, and both affairs turned out to be compelling, with the Yankees' Aaron Judge demolishing the derby and the game decided with extra-innings drama.
But the parade hints at some deeper problems below the surface. Ticket sales were sluggish, and though the game eventually sold out, secondary-market resale tickets were going well below face value by yesterday.
At Marlins Park, meanwhile, staffers were so used to dealing with sub-15,000 crowds that numerous problems arose during the derby. Attendees complained of long lines, shoddy service, and inconsistently stocked amenities.
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For locals, there's also the lingering fog of dread that hangs over any event held at Marlins Park, given the fact that it's a gigantic monument to taxpayer theft and human avarice. Team owner Jeffrey Loria, a humanoid leech that owns sunglasses and can work an American Express card, is in the process of selling the Marlins for more than $1 billion, in one of the all-time greatest public-money hoodwinks in American history. Loria began with an initial stake of just $12 million in the Montreal Expos in the 1990s, sold that team for more than $120 million, bought the Marlins for $150 million in 2002, and is set to unload the Fish for more than $1 billion and end up with something in the realm of $500 million in profit.
(In a last-ditch effort to kick Miami sports fans, Loria might sell the team to Jeb-fucking-Bush.)
The Marlins are also in the midst of suing their own fans, which looks great for #brand PR. In fact, New Times revealed Monday that the team is trying to seize a fan's property because he refused to honor his full season-ticket contract because the franchise sucks so bad. Loria has sued nine fans since 2013.
But hey: At least Pitbull might buy the team now. He knows how to bring a crowd.