Will Obama Throw Out the First Pitch Tonight? Five Better Ways to Inaugurate Marlins Stadium

Two years ago, Barack Obama threw out the first pitch at the Washington National's stadium to inaugurate the 2010 MLB season. The Marlins haven't announced who will toss out the ceremonial first ball tonight. Could the president come running out of the brand-new bullpen?

Today's White House schedule ends at 11:55 a.m., when Obama will sign into a law banning members of Congress from committing insider trading. That leaves him plenty of time to jet down here for the 7:05 game.

But we have a better idea. Presidential first pitches are boring. These wouldn't be.

Norman Braman
No matter how many times the Miami Herald front page tells us to forget about the lies and shady dealmaking that went into the Marlins' new stadium, we haven't yet forgiven the offense. We might never get over it: like Red Sox fans with Buckner's error seared into the corneas, we see Jeffrey Loria bathing in a bathtub full of our cash when we try to fall asleep at night. So screw closure. We want Norman Braman -- the stadium soothsayer himself -- to trot gingerly out to the mound tonight and whip a fastball towards home plate. That's a pitch Miami can cheer.

Fowl Ball
Don't want to mix politics and America's favorite pastime? No problem. Clucky the Rooster is your man animal. The outlaw pet has been a grand marshal at the King Mango Strut Parade, has headlined Miami-Dade Earth Day events, and even won "best activist" in City Link in 2008. Besides, with all the roosters running wild around downtown, they make a more believable mascot. Whose ever seen a marlin anyway? Give the bird a chance.

Santorum Slider
If Obama can't make it, why not let his GOP rivals have a go? It'd be a helluva lot quicker, easier, and less expensive than this ridiculous year-long primary season. The four of them can line up on the diamond and throw their signature pitch to see who gets the Republican nod. Santorum would throw a nasty slider (there's no rule against doctoring a ceremonial first pitch). Romney would cart out his father's brand of pitching machine to toss a totally unremarkable, entirely predictable 75-mile-per-hour softie over home plate. Gingrich would call baseball a game for liberal, fascist, pinko pussies and throw a football drenched in pig's blood instead (just to prove his redbloodedness). And after a seven-minute mumbling windup, Ron Paul would throw a knuckleball so slow and fluttery that the Marlins will hand him Juan Carlos Oviedo's empty spot (but he still won't get the nomination).

Jose Canseco
Canseco is fresh off of getting booted from the Mexican league and would be raring to win over his home town one last time. The only fear is that the 47-year-old admitted juicer might leave too much of himself on the field after his brief cameo -- as in part of his testosterone-pumped corpse will fall off as he hurtles the ball towards home. What part, exactly, that would be we will leave to your imagination.

Fidel and Hugo
Seeing a symbolic moment to sow fear and doubt in the heart of the American empire, and boosted by his recent papal blessing, Fidel Castro will sneak into Marlins Stadium disguised as Heath Bell. Hugo Chávez, meanwhile, will saunter in as Ozzie Guillen, his disguise completed by erratically cursing at stadium employees in an unintelligible language known as "Venezuelan." In an epic and much-practiced display of socialist strength meant to mirror the robust, centrally planned Cuban economy, Fidel will fire a scorcher towards Hugo at home plate. The ball, however, will trickle to a stop in the infield grass.

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Michael E. Miller was a staff writer at Miami New Times for five years. His work for New Times won many national awards, including back-to-back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi medallions. He now covers local enterprise for the Washington Post.