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Death of a franchise

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In 1993, my first boyfriend and I went on a mini-tour of baseball stadiums. We went to Wrigley Field (smelly dump, sat behind a pole for $60 and I wanted to kill the beer guy who kept hawking Pabst Blue Ribbon), the new Comiskey Park (soulless New Traditionalism) and Camden Yards (loved it, especially the swiveling seats in the upper deck).

We also went to a Milwaukee Brewers v. Cleveland Indians tilt at the old Municipal Stadium, capacity for baseball a staggering 74,483. This was the year before Jacobs Field opened up (we drove past the construction site on the way to the stadium) and the Indians were pretty bad. Per the awesome Baseball Almanac, there were allegedly 16,987 people in that cavernous stadium the night Rob and I went, but that was probably just tickets sold.

At least it wasn't as bad as the Nationals v. Marlins game in Miami Wednesday afternoon. The announced crowd was 10,121 but as as this photo shows, the claim that there were only 400 people --that's four zero zero-- in actual attendance rings true. Damn! There were more people at the Art Brut gig I went to on Tuesday than at a game in a 75,000 seat (official baseball capacity: 42,531) stadium. That's really sad.

What's bizarre is that I've read people using this debacle as a reason why the Fins should build a new stadium. One with a retractable roof. In South Florida. Granted, they shouldn't be playing day games during the summer, but that's just mind boggling. How about moving the Marlins to Montreal, if the owners agree to build a new stadium? To think, the Marlins have actually won two World Series titles in their fourteen years of existence.

Added bonus to the game on Wednesday. There were so few fans that literally everyone could be heard and sure enough, a guy was heckling the umpire and got tossed out. Wow, if they'd had maybe, I don't know, something like 2,389 people there, that probably wouldn't have happen, would it?

[Hat tips to Deadpsin for the original article and the Nationals blog Nationals Enquirer for the great picture] --Jim Allen