In anticipation of my beloved St. Louis Cardinals' opening game, I've been reading up on the brand new Marlins Park (because clearly, the Cardinals will do better if I know the exact dimensions of the right field wall). Well I'd like to tell you I've definitively determined how the park will play, the fact is, I'm getting awfully distracted by stuff like this.
And hell, the new uniforms, too.
All of these things are coming in for their fair share of abuse right now. And I won't deny that they're gimmicks. I won't deny that they're silly, gaudy distractions.
Nor will I deny that I absolutely love them.
Okay, first caveat: I'm setting aside the uniforms. Those are just a mess, but it IS the exact kind of mess that seems perfect for Miami, so....partial credit? Anyway, Ozzie Guillen in neon orange is worth the price of admission.
As for the rest of it, well, what's wrong with silly, gaudy distractions? Clearly, the world of sports has decided "nothing", or else we wouldn't have mascots, cheerleaders, in stadium music, concessions, and on and on and on. Is the Marlins' outfield monstrosity really appreciably worse than Bernie Brewer sliding into a pool of beer? Is it any sillier than the Sausage races? Is it anymore ostentatious than this?
(Wait a minute, what the fuck is wrong in Milwaukee?)
There might be other reasons the Marlins' new gimmicks are bad. For one thing, it sure would've been nice if they would have thought about those aquariums ahead of time, rather than just testing them after the fact by having Gaby Sanchez wing a few balls at them. But if it all works okay, I don't see why it can't be colorful little diversion between plays.
In general, we need to spend a lot less time telling sports teams to be serious and to present themselves just like everyone else. More teams need things that are uniquely their own, and to find those things, the teams can't be afraid to look silly. 'Cause if you can't have fun running a baseball team, you need to find a new line of work.