There is nothing like Spring Training and Miami Community Newspapers is proud to have the Mainline Marlins Team of Tommy “Takedown” Stitt and David Winker covering the Miami Marlins this season.
After being picked to finish last in the NL East last year, the Marlins shook off the “bottom feeder” label and made the playoffs for the first time since 2003, sweeping the Cubs in the first round and knocked out by the hated Atlanta Braves in the next round.
Amazingly, the “wise guys” have again picked the Marlins to be underachievers, but you heard it here first on the Mainline Marlins that these Marlins are going to be apex predators this year.
The Marlins crank up Grapefruit League action on Sunday February 28 at 1:05 pm at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches against the Houston Astros and the Mainline Marlins will be there from the first pitch to the final out.
The “Grapefruit League” got its name from an incident involving Yankee’s manager Casey Stengel having a grapefruit dropped from a plane onto Brooklyn Dodgers manager Wilbert Robinson, and the promotional tour feel of Spring Training remains.
The excitement will be high, as last year’s Spring Training was terminated early, the minor league season was cancelled, and fans were shut out of stadiums until late in the playoffs.
While fans will not be allowed to attend workouts, games will be at 25% capacity, with approximately 1,750 masked fans sitting in family pods. The stadiums will be completely touchless, from showing your ticket upon entry to buying peanuts and a hot dog.
There are a few other covid-19 quirks, including
- Games that occur from February 27 through March 13 may be shortened to seven-inning games or five-inning games upon mutual agreement of both managers. Games that occur on or after March 14 shall be nine-inning games (and, upon mutual agreement of both managers, can be shortened to seven-inning games).
- For games that occur from February 27 through March 13, defensive managers may end an inning prior to three outs provided the pitcher has thrown at least 20 pitches.
The fifteen teams of the Grapefruit League in Florida- like the fifteen teams in the Cactus League in Arizona- will play in pods. The Marlins will face the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets, Houston Astros and Washington Nationals six times (three home and three away) for a total of 24 games. On the west coast of Florida, the New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, and Detroit Tigers and are in one pod, while the Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves and Tampa Bay Rays are in another. The Pittsburgh Pirates and Baltimore Orioles will split their games between the two groups.
Marlins Park will also be limited to 25 percent capacity, meaning 9000 fans will be allowed into the 37446-seat ballpark.
Spring ticket information
Tickets for Marlins and Cardinals season ticket holders have already gone on sale. Remaining tickets can be purchased through rogerdeanchevroletstadium.com/ or by calling 561-630-1828.
Regular-season ticket information
The Marlins open the regular season at Marlins Park against the Tampa Bay Rays at 4:10 p.m. Thursday, April 1 and tickets will be available soon at www.mlb.com/marlins.
Be sure to stay tuned to Miami Marlins on Community Newspapers Facebook live and at www.mainlinemarlins.com or wherever you listen to your podcasts for the latest Marlins news and information throughout the season.