So after my trip to Atlanta, I made a quick trip today to Miami to catch the Marlins play the Mets at Sun Life Stadium, which doubles as the Miami Dolphins home during football season. A big thank you to my pledge brother, Chase Leshin, who picked me up from the airport early this morning (and is dropping me off again early tomorrow), took me to get some of the best fish I have ever had, and gave me a behind the scenes tour of the Miami Dolphins training facility, A.K.A Chase's office.
While there, we ran into one of Chase's co-workers who gave us great tickets to tonight's game. I definitely got some of the best pictures of players yet, and we had a great time with the crowd around us. This drunk guy kept shouting to an older man who had gotten a ball from Gaby Sanchez to "give it to the kiiiiiid" sitting behind him. When he didn't, he thought it might be a better idea to start shouting it at him in Spanish, which I thought was hilarious.
Even though it doubles as a football stadium, Sun Life Stadium blew the Coliseum out of the water.
Tark's, where I had buffalo-garlic shrimp and blackened grouper smothered in garlic. GREAT hole-in-the-wall
Location: I don't think Sun Life is located directly in Miami, but it was a short drive from Chase's apartment in Fort Lauderdale. The stadium is really the only thing around, so the neighborhood was pretty non-existent. I don't think you can take public transit to get there, but there is plenty of parking for $10 right next to the stadium. One thing I haven't seen yet is a tollbooth right next to an MLB stadium. We had to pay $0.75 to get in and out of the parking lot, which I think is an interesting financing idea instead of raising local taxes.
Ballpark: We walked in and were directed up to the suite level, which was air conditioned. Chase and I were both wondering if we looked like somebody famous, but apparently you get in with a field box ticket. It was really nice, had an ice bar, and some pretty good looking concession stands. When we walked to our seats, you are engulfed by the orange and turquoise seats all around the stadium, which I must admit looked pretty cool.
It was tough to get my behind-the-plate shot here, since it IS a football stadium, too, so just to the left of home plate was the best I could get. No big deal.
The concourses are real big, but there isn't much to the stadium outside of the colored seats. There wasn't much of a crowd, either, so we sat in the row in front of our ticketed seats (wasn't hard to find open seating) in order to get a better view of the field. The seats were great, and I had an awesome video of David Wright's home run swing that was blocked by someone who stood up right at the end. We'll see if I can upload the videos here.
Club level. Really pretty cool.
Great seats, right? From the first at bat of the game.
Food: They had your typical ballpark food, plus pulled pork, turkey legs, roasted turkey sandwiches, boca burgers for you vegetarians, meatball subs, cuban sandwiches, chicken tenders and wings, coffee, cookies, ice cream pudding, and key lime pie. I decided to try a local phenomenon, an arepa, which was a sweet corn pancake like sandwich with mozzarella cheese in the middle. It was damn good. The beer was $7 (for a Bud Light or a premium, so I got a Yuengling), and the hot dog was $5 for a $12 SCPI.
Game: Man, I am on a roll. I was worried being in Florida that my game might get rained out, and there were some ominous clouds hovering around in the afternoon. The game went off without a hitch, and I was able to see John Maine walk the first three batters of the game on 12 pitches and lose to David Robertson of the Marlins 7-5, running my record up to 12-4. The Astros should be jealous and take notice. I am a good luck charm.
The fans were great and fun to be around, and I must say...(PARENTAL CONTROLS ON NOW) if you're a plastic surgeon you shouldn't have trouble finding business in the Miami area.
Easy to tell this ball wasn't going anywhere.
Watchu talkin' about, Willis?
Reyes, like a gazelle
Summary: A solid game experience, despite the small crowd. I enjoyed my Yuengling, and they had other fantastic beers on tap, my arepa was great, and I walked away with a Marlins mariachi for my 5th giveaway of the tour. We had fantastic seats, and it was good to finally get down to Miami and see Chase. I probably won't be back here any time soon, but I really enjoyed the game. I take that back - the Marlins are opening a new stadium closer to Miami in a few years, so I HAVE to come back.
Giveaways: 5 (A's Snuggie, Reds team photo, Ernie Harwell memento, sticky calendar, and Marlins mariachi).