Florida residents must abhor professional baseball, which would explain why there are currently two franchises in the state. And apparently, it has nothing to do with winning; the Tampa Bay Rays lead the AL East, and the Florida Marlins are two games over .500 and eight games back in the NL East.
Yet nobody cares, and that’s not an exaggeration: 600 people showed up to Dolphins Stadium to see Florida face off against the expansion Atlanta Braves. Six-hundred. On the upside, it gives Marlins pitchers sequestered in the bullpen something to do:
Pitcher Joe Nelson and some other Marlins were busy counting fans before Wednesday afternoon’s game against Atlanta.
”We came up with 584 at the first pitch,” Nelson said to some members of the media who had counted 589 at Dolphin Stadium for the first pitch.
”You guys might have been counting ushers,” Nelson joked. “Maybe you guys had a better view.”
To be fair, the Marlins are a long shot to sniff the postseason, and that — along with the stifling South Florida heat and the general consensus that fans have already given up on Miami for the year — explains why just 600 people showed their mugs at the stadium yesterday.
The players, unlike their fans, aren’t willing to quit on ‘08. They look no further than the 2007 Rockies, who won 21 of 22 games to reach the World Series. One problem: the Marlins haven’t won back-to-back games since late July. Evidently, they don’t hate the Dodgers enough.