Marlins Today

April 27, 2010 1:30 AM

Sun Life Stadium no longer fit for baseball

Ask yourself: over the course of the past 18 years, what has been the Marlins' one defining characteristic? It hasn't been the players, it hasn't been ownership, it hasn't been outward appearance, and it hasn't even been the name of their stadium. The only calling card the Marlins have had since their inception in 1993 has been the big teal scoreboard in left field, affectionately known as the Teal Monster. Until now. Because Marlins ownership thought it an unnecessary expense and Dolphins ownership knew they could make even more money on behalf of the Fish and refused to repair the broken scoreboard, it has been replaced by an advertisement for the MLB Network. As a result, the day's lineups are no longer available. A full out of town scoreboard still is but you better bring a magnifying glass to the park if you want to see it. Not only that but as Chris Coghlan pointed out, without much notice, he's going to have to get used to playing some much different bounces.

"I threw some balls off it," Coghlan said. "[Collins] hit some balls off it. It's totally different. If you hit it high off the wall, it bounced real far. If you hit it lower, it fell straight down. Now you don't know exactly where it will go. It's going to take adjusting to it."

But at least that part of the wall is still functioning correctly as far as a wall goes. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the right field wall. During the second game of the series against the Dodgers, the piece of the wall that covers the base of the foul pole and sits flush with the foul line came loose and fell down, prompting a 15 minute delay. The wall was eventually re-jerry-rigged using tethers and ropes.

"It was crazy. I didn't know what was going on, and then I see the foul line on the ground," Gaby Sanchez said. "It took a while. Everybody was asking, 'What's going on?' It took a while."

It's not just on the playing surface that visitors to Sun Life Stadium are being inconvenienced; things are just as bad around it. On the concourses, not much more than a skeleton crew is being run. Walking around, you notice that every other concession stand is not in service. This makes waiting in line for food a 20+ minute (or two plus inning) affair. And if food is your pleasure, that is the only way to go about getting it. Walk-around vendors in the seating areas have been limited to peanuts, beer, and soda. In addition to a lack of food, there is also a serious lack of security in the seating areas. Already this year, there have been several brawls amongst fans, part of one of which was captured on video. The two minute video only captures the very end of the brawl which witnesses say lasted at least ten minutes with security nowhere in sight. The video also shows that it was fellow fans who initially restored order.

Considering these things and plenty of others, it's clear to me that baseball is dead at Sun Life Stadium. 709 days. Not that I'm counting or anything.

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