Opening Day came and went on Monday. All of America tuned in to watch first pitches across the nation. The stars were out in full force. Mike Trout homered in his first at-bat. As it is every year, it was a special day.
Yet all people can talk about is the Marlins and Braves game having to halt their game due to a sixteen-minute rain delay in a stadium with a retractable roof. Yup, the Marlins bilked Miami-Dade county tax payers for billions so that they could put a roof that closes to avoid South Florida's inclement weather from disrupting games. Yet, inexplicably, the Marlins failed to close the roof in time as slow moving rain clouds hovered above and then did that thing that rain clouds do and let out rain.
Even more embarrassingly, team President David Samson explained the screw up by pretending to be a weather man.
“I tried to predict that a cloud would go north; it went south on top of our ballpark,” Samson told reporters after ward. “The roof closed as quickly as I could get it closed, short of me pushing it. So we had a 16-minute rain delay, which was the first at Marlins Park.”
He then said that it was the perfect storm of bad luck and bad weather before saying he wished George Clooney's wife Anal was at the park to make him feel better. We're not making that up. He said this.
And yet, even with Samson and the Marlins being confused by rain clouds in the sky, it's probably not the most embarrassing moment in Marlins history. We know. Shocking.
Here are five moments that might rival yesterday's debacle.
5. Billy The Marlin Lost His Head
In what is equal parts hilarious and terrifying, in 1993, the Marlins came up with the coolest idea ever. They decided to have their mascot Billy the Marlin parachute down into the stadium before the game to wow the crowd. The kids would be amazed. Billy is an action hero, in addition to being a lovable wacky mascot. So, the team got a Navy SEAL to dress in the mascot costume and jump out of of a plane. Things went according to plan. Billy jumped, the stadium was within sight, the parachute deployed.... and OH MY GOD BILLY THE MARLIN HAS BEEN DECAPITATED. Some how, the mascot's head the serviceman was wearing fell off as he was gliding down. The SEAL landed in the stadium, but Billy's head fell somewhere outside it. The head was then found near the Turnpike two months later.
4. Ultimate FanCave Contest
In 2013, the Marlins ran a promotion called the Ultimate FanCave Contest, where they asked fans to post photos on their Instagram explaining how much they love the Marlins with the hashtag #MarlinsFanCave. The winner would be given an all-expense paid trip to New York City, free game tickets and a tour of the MLB Man Cave. Yet, when the Marlins launched the promotion, they were instead inundated with angry messages from fans. The team's Facebook page was a sight to behold, as people wrote comments like "you guys have no fans;" "do I get to hide in shame in this cave?" and "Is this the cave where Loria and Samson are hiding?" Crazy enough, the post and comments are still up, which you can read here.
3. Loria and Girardi Get Into Public Spat During Game
Ah Jeffrey Loria. He of the big-time spending and scheming and scamming. Of course he'd make this list (twice!). In 2006, Loria and then-manager Joe Girardi got into a shouting match during a game, which eventually moved on to after the game behind closed doors. The brouhaha began when Loria starting heckling an umpire during a game. The umpire had ejected Girardi earlier for arguing balls and strikes. But after the manager left the dug out, Loria kept on berating the umpire. Girardi heard the commotion, and walked back to the dug out to tell Loria to pipe down. Loria would not, thus kicking off the beginning of the end of their relationship. Loria would end up getting rid of Girardi in the off-season, fresh off winning NL Manager of the Year. Because, Marlins.
2. Vuvuzela Night
The Marlins are nothing if not topical! They're hip and all about the latest coolest fad. So, in 2010, the Fish decided to get in on the vuvuzela craze sparked by the World Cup. Every World Cup match that summer featured the noisy instruments fans would blow into. Fans would blow into them, and the stadium would be filled with a collective buzzing sound. It's perfect for soccer games. Not so much for baseball games. And the Marlins learned this the hard way. During a vuvuzela give-away night, the stadium was overwhelmed with the buzzing sound. It got so bad that the umpire couldn't hear then-manager Fredi Gonzalez's request for a ninth inning change, which ended up kind of costing the Marlins the game. Players and managers from both teams complained about the noise, Dan Uggla said the constant noise was brutal. Cody Ross said it was awful. David Samson, lacing the typical self-awareness, called the giveaway "absolutely outstanding."
1. Loria Hides Behind Muhammad Ali
It was the inaugural night for Jeffrey Loria's brand new ballpark and new-look team. He changed the team name from Florida to Miami, and then was heavily involved in the team's new colors and logo. He even unveiled the gaudy monstrosity that is the Homerun Sculpture — a design of his own doing. But Loria wasn't done soaking in narcissism this night. So, he decided to roll out across the field during opening ceremonies in a gold cart. But, savvy Marlins fans who knew better still understood this guy was a villain. And they were prepared to boo him. So in order to keep fans from raining boos down on him during a nationally televised moment starring himself, he had Muhammad Ali ride in the cart with him. Ali, suffering from Parkinson's, looked gaunt, frail and unwell. His body shook from the disease. It was one of the most awkward moments in baseball history, let alone Marlins history. And it was awful. To which David Samson said, "THAT WAS AMAZING!" probably.
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