Sunday, September 18, 2016

Marlins Park

Marlins Park
501 Marlins Way
Miami, FL 33125

August 24, 2016
Before we talk about the stadium, it's worth noting that we forced Mamadukes to listen to four hours worth of Blackstreet, LL Cool J, Elvis, Buck Cherry, Marky Mark & the Funky Bunch, and Salt N Peppa on the drive down from Tampa to Miami. As well as our singing. She may never forgive us or invite us back.

Marlins Park is located in an area of Miami known as "Little Havana" on the site of the former Miami Orange Bowl. We stayed at the JW Marriott Marquis, which is located in downtown, only a few miles east of the ballpark, but with rush hour traffic, it still took us roughly 30-45 minutes to get to the stadium. In actuality, it should've only taken us 10. Knowing that traffic would be an issue (thanks to the advice of our awesome concierge), we left the hotel early so that we arrived at the stadium with plenty of time to spare.

We circled the stadium before parking in the center field garage (third base, home plate, and first base garages are prepaid parking only). Parking cost $15 and accepted both cash and credit.

As you can see, from the outside, the stadium looks like an aquarium. Or a fish bowl. Basically, it doesn't look like a stadium (though, in their defense, it's not nearly as bad as Hard Rock Stadium where the Dolphins play. THAT looks like a friggin' space station). We did not have high hopes for this place, truth be told.

Outside the stadium, lining the sidewalk, are the letters from the Miami Orange Bowl. This is actually a pretty cool concept, but unfortunately, the letters are scattered around in such a haphazard way that there's no way you'd figure out what the hell they're trying to spell without asking someone.

Once inside, we did a tour of the entire promenade area before getting food. Unlike our stadiums in New York, Marlins Park was pretty empty. Yes, it was early, but when we go to a Mets or Yankees game, as soon as the gates open, fans pour into the stadium. Here, not so much. Therefore, we moved pretty quickly through the place.

The first item of interest that we found was the Bobblehead Museum, which is located across from sections 14 and 15. Needless to say, it was not what we expected. Granted, there are a ton of awesome bobbleheads on display and that was cool to see. here are some of our favorites:

The disappointing part about the museum is that it's not really a museum. It's more like a bobblehead display case. That trembles slightly so that the dolls nod for all time, which is probably really uncomfortable for them. We took video of the entire display case so that you could see what we mean, as well a photo:
In center field, you find yourself behind that monstrous and hideous looking home run structure that they refer to as artwork. It's not artwork. It's ass. It looks stupid from the front, but from the back, it looks like something we drew on a diner place mat with crayons.

Right next to the homerun "sculpture," is the FOX broadcast booth. It's right there for anyone to walk up to and stand next to, which is kind of weird and interesting at the same time.

After that, there was really nothing left to do but get food and go to our seats. Mamadukes is obsessed with Don Mattingly, so as a surprise, we bought field level seats behind the Marlins' dugout. The tickets were only $76/each. Do you know what you get in New York for $76? Parking during a postseason game. You non-New York people are spoiled.

Mamadukes ordered chicken tenders and fries (as per usual) for $15. Lisa ordered a pressed Cuban sandwich for $11 and Serena got a Miami Mexi-dog for $11.25.
Lisa's sandwich was tasty. There wasn't anything special about it. It was your standard Cuban sandwich. Serena's hot dog was awesome. The foot long hot dog is wrapped in a tortilla and topped with monterrey jack cheese, cabbage, chili, salsa, cilantro, roasted jalapeno juice, and chives. The only negative about this hot dog was the tortilla. It was not a good choice for hot dog wrapping. It basically crumbled in Serena's hands after two bites.

The stadium boasts a nightclub called the Clevelander. This is not a joke. It's legitimately a nightclub. It's open during the game and after the game, the fans either exit the stadium or continue the party at the nightclub. As we left the stadium, we could hear the dance music blaring from inside.

Behind home plate, is a fish tank. Somewhere, PETA is having a shit fit over this. How is this an acceptable location for a fish tank? When you visit an aquarium, there are signs everywhere, "do not tap the glass." What about foul tips? What about these a-holes sitting in the seats right behind the tank? You don't think that in all of the games that are hosted in this ballpark, at least one fan isn't going to kick or tap the glass? If you're going to have a random fish tank at a ballpark, it should be located in a place where fans can safely view the fish and the fish are kept out of harm's way.

Lisa's mascot was nearly $22, while Serena's hat was $20. Perspective.

As the game went underway, there were a few things that stood out to us. For starters, the stands are empty. The Marlins are in contention for a Wild Card and yet this is what the stands look like:

Here's another item of interest: cheerleaders. Why on earth would a baseball team have cheerleaders (please see our post on Miller Park for another rant on this subject)?

They weren't even good. They didn't dance in sync with one another, they're outfits were heinous, and we're pretty sure that Rick Astley could've choreographed better dance routines.  Also, men are pig birds. Every time these poor girls paraded out onto the dugout (just to pay for college), the men in our section would stand, whistle, hoot, and take video on their cell phones. It was bordering on embarrassing. Like they'd never seen a girl before.

We left our seats in the 6th inning because Lisa really wanted mini doughnuts. We found a little stand that served a bag for $6. Lisa got the cinnamon mini doughnuts, but you can also get powdered sugar or chocolate. Serena got herself a churro for $4 at a nearby stand.

On the way back to our seats, there seemed to be a commotion on the field. Everyone on their feet and cheering. Thinking we missed something important, we pushed our way through a group of people to get a view of the field. Apparently, what we missed was the majority of The Great Sea Race.
We can't even identify some of these sea creatures. There's definitely a shark in there and an octopus. Who knows what that red thing or the yellow thing is?

By the way, did we mention that the Marlins were playing Lisa's favorite American League team, the Royals? Did we also mention that there was a ridiculously high number of Royals fans in attendance? No? Well, the ridiculously high number of Royals fans acted like buffoons. Giant ones. They were so aggressive and obnoxious that we felt compelled to become #1 Marlins fans. Serena found herself barking orders at the players on the field and calling Fernandez's pitches. Lisa trash talked Royals players as they stepped into the batter's box. We high-fived fellow Marlins fans like total imposters. Go home, KC. You're drunk.

The game itself was a good one. The game was tied 0-0 into the bottom of the 6th when the Marlins finally scratched across 3 runs. Fernandez worked himself in and out of a couple of jams and truly earned his W. Since the Royals' fans behaved like such dicks, it was pretty easy for us to cheer for the Marlins.

And here's one more of Don Mattingly for Mamadukes:
The stadium itself is better than we anticipated. It's our fifth game seen in a dome. It's hard to watch a baseball game indoors. It was over 90 degrees that day and yet, it was cold within the stadium because the air conditioner was on so high. It's just a very surreal experience. However, having said that, it was one of the nicer domed stadiums. Very clean, very easy to navigate. Everything was reasonably priced as far as ballpark pricing goes. It's do we put this? It's just tacky. The whole design and decor is just tacky. That's it right away.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Star Wars Night at Yankee Stadium 8-5-16

Well, this glorious post will probably be trumped by everyone talking about Alex Rodriguez's final game, but we had an epic free giveaway and a photo taken with Chewbacca and these are things that are important and need to be discussed! Also, we went off our diet that we'd only been on for three days. That too needs to be discussed because it was worth every calorie.

We shall start from the beginning. While watching a Yankees' game, Serena overheard Michael Kay mention that the Yankees would be hosting their first Star Wars Night on August 5th. Before Michael Kay even finished his promotion of the game, Serena had purchased two tickets. She hadn't checked the date of the game against her calendar. She didn't know what day of the week it was. She didn't even know if she had anyone to go with. She just knew she needed to be present at this game. Once the tickets were purchased, the most vital piece of information about the game was revealed: the free giveaway would be an R2D2 winter hat. Holy sh*t snacks. Best day ever. Obviously, the first person she texted was Lisa:
Serena: What are you doing on August 5th?
Lisa: I'm free. Why?
Serena: Want to go to Star Wars Night at Yankee Stadium?
Lisa: Hmmm...
Serena: The free giveaway is an R2D2 pom pom hat.
Lisa: I NEED that hat!

It was settled.

Let's fast forward to Friday. We didn't exactly get on the road at the time we would've liked and the traffic was abysmal. We arrived just in time to receive one of the last R2D2 hats (thank GOD because if we didn't, we probably would've gone ape sh*t) and by the time we ran upstairs to where the Chewbacca photo line was, they weren't allowing anyone else on line. We also apparently missed a bunch of storm troopers, Darth Vader, and Boba Fett. Dejected, we turned to leave and head down to the food court in order to eat our feelings. Then Lisa overheard the woman say to a family, "he'll be back for more pictures 45 minutes after the first pitch." Energy renewed, we practically skipped all the way to the main level to stuff our pig faces.

We are still trying to adventure outside our comfort zone in terms of sampling the food options at our home ballparks, so we forced ourselves to pass on the the items we knew we loved. We ended up wandering over to Brother Jimmy's BBQ stand. Before we tell you what we decided to order, allow us to start by saying that on Tuesday (after eating a cookie brownie from Domino's), we both agreed that we were a disgrace and that we needed to start eating better (and perhaps engage in some kind of physical activity) because in just two short weeks, we'd be obligated to expose our disgrace in bikinis. Keeping all of that in mind, we chose to split the pulled pork slider bucket (filled with fries) AND an order of mac and cheese. The bucket was $20 and the mac and cheese was $8. So, the diet basically went right out the window and we'd only been on it for two and a half days.
We're proud to report that while we finished the mac and cheese and all of the sliders, we at least left majority of the fries behind.

Once we finished our meal, it was about time to go find Chewbacca. Oh...did you think we were there to actually watch the game? No. We were there strictly for galactic glory. The baseball game was merely a bonus. So, while the Yankees scored a sh*t ton of runs, we ran back to the 200 level to meet Chewbacca like any other normal American would. Who goes to baseball games to watch the game any way? While we stood on line to wait for Chewbacca, one of the staff people gave us the inside scoop on how to meet Darth Vader, which is all Serena really wanted. Unfortunately, he gave us kind of confusing directions, but we'll get to that in a bit. First: Chewbacca. When he stepped off the elevator, Serena hopped up and down applauding. The behavior wouldn't have been so embarrassing had it not been for the toddler standing next to her doing the exact same thing. Copy cat.
After snuggling with the wookie, we tried to follow the instructions given to us by the staff person. It sadly turned into a scavenger hunt. Basically, we ended up speeding walking the Damon Runyon 5K course. The unfortunate part of the situation is that we did all of that in jeans and swamp ass only to never find the secret location of Darth Vader. We also learned that R2D2 was hidden somewhere in the suites, which is just offensive.

Sweating, hair a mess, clothes sticking to our skin, we stomped from the ground floor back up to our seats in the upper deck. It was the 4th inning.

We missed a lot apparently. The Yankees were already winning by six runs. The game pretty much progressed from there. The final score ended up being 13-7, but the real drama took place in our section. First, the YMCA.

Then, we had to endure a conversation between a pair of Indians' fans. Here's the thing, you can be fans of whatever team you want. You can be male or female. It doesn't matter. Just know what the f*ck you're talking about. We're so sick of men testing our fan authenticity because we're girls. This conversation that we're about to recall for your viewing pleasure is proof that we're surrounded by buffoons at all times.
Fan #1: The one post season event I remember specifically is the Aaron Boone home run.
(This is weird seeing as how this man is not a Yankees fan nor is he a Red Sox fan, which are the two teams involved in this particular event)
Fan #2: I don't remember that.
Fan #1: Really? It was epic. He clocked it right over that wall over there *points to left field wall.*
(Actually, that's incorrect as that home run/game in question took place at the old Yankee Stadium...across the street)
Fan #2: Nope. No idea.
Fan #1: It was against the Red Sox, I believe (Correct). During the World Series (Nope) or something.
(Any a-hole that knows the slightest tid bit about baseball trivia would know that the scenario this man created in his head is impossible as both the Yankees and Red Sox are in the American League and there can't be two AL teams in the World Series)

In conclusion, "men go to Jupiter to get more stupider,"but that's none of our business *sips cup of Lipton tea.*

Monday, August 1, 2016

Yankees vs. Royals 5-10-16

You got the date right. As you can see, we are nearly three months behind schedule. We figured that we better get a handle on posting this before Star Wars Night on Friday. Or our Marlins trip. Truth be told, this is going to be a rough post. We barely remember the game. In fact, we barely remember this weekend.What we remember clearly is the food that we ate:
These are the best burgers we've ever had ANYWHERE. We got these at the Triple Play stand on the main level in section 115. Lisa ordered The G.O.A.T. (The Greatest of All Time). On this magnificent burger is beef topped with American cheese, bacon, pastrami, and G.O.A.T. sauce. Serena ordered The Barnyard Wedding, which included beef topped with a fried chicken cutlet, hash browns, BBQ sauce, and cheddar cheese. Oh, and we both got a side of fries with that. Because we've got fat children living inside us. Each burger was about $16. We just Googled the caloric intake for one of these burgers and apparently it's more than either of us should have in an entire day.

The burgers were the highlight of our entire week, if not month. We talk about these burgers to anyone who'll listen to us. Therefore, it's the highlight of this blog. From here, we'll try our best to piece together the rest of our adventure.

For starters, we arrived:
Then we made it a point to check out Monument Park so that Serena could visit her man.

While we were there, we visited other people too.
 For Mamadukes:

After Monument Park, we stuffed our faces on the best burgers on the planet. Because we had to mention them again. It is worth noting that we enjoyed our burgers so much that we barely talked. We simply grunted at each other as we switched burgers after a few bites and then switched again. Some nodding of appreciation over our glorious meals. No words. In this case, words are meaningless.

After the meal, it really didn't matter what happened next because life no longer had meaning. We headed to our seats regardless. This is the view from our $5 Mastercard Monday deal:

Not too shabby, eh?

It doesn't matter so much what happened on the field at this game. What does matter is what took place in the stands surrounding us. For starters, let's discuss the Royals' fans that have risen from muck and mire to stand high and mighty on top of piles of sh*t at other people's stadiums. Are these the true blue Royals' fans that supported their team through thick and thin and who were born and raised in the Kansas City area? No. These are local idiots that just want to be a part of a World Series winning team. This postseason, when Kansas City doesn't win (and they won't), these buffoons will be on to the next team, the next World Championship t-shirt/hat/hoodie, and they'll be coming to a stadium near you. These are not just New Yorkers. These are local bandwagon ass clowns that can be found nationwide. They are most likely your neighbors. These same sh*t sippers invaded Yankee Stadium like a case of herpes. Not only did they sit and fester, but they made a whole lot of noise. Too much noise for a group of people not cheering for the home team. Listen, we don't visit you in your home and act like an asshole. Our mothers raised us better than that. We act like assholes in our own homes as is our god given right. Lisa lost her patience, which is truly saying something because between the two of us, Lisa is infinitely more kind. Therefore, if Lisa lost her patience, how do well do you think Serena was handling it? This is us not happy with our neighboring KC fans:
Lisa spent a good chunk of the evening shouting, "Go home, Kansas City! You're drunk!"

Aside from the KC fans, we happened to be across the aisle from a sh*t show. As in, if you Google, "sh*t show," this scenario will pop up. Picture this, if you will: a group of men drinking heavily. Now imagine them as fathers in charge of their offspring. Their horribly behaved offspring. What do you do when your wretched offspring behaves horribly in public? It seems that you just drink more and buy them a sh*t ton of expensive souvenirs and more soda pop. As if these rug rats needed more sugar in their system. At one point, Serena turned to Lisa and asked, "Are you sure you want one of these? If your child acts like that, I'm not hanging out with it. Or you."

Just a few of the more memorable snapshots of these kids:
  • One child swung from the railing separating our seats from falling to our deaths. Did a single parent address the situation? No. However, in his defense, it's possible that he was hoping for a convenient way to dispose of the child. 
  • Children running amuck. Up and down the aisles and stairs. Screaming. Causing traffic jams and headaches. Spilling aforementioned soda pop.
  • A child demanded more soda pop from either his father or his friend's father and it was fetched for him. If either of us "demanded" anything from either of our parents, we assure you that a good beating is what we would've received. Not soda pop. 
In conclusion, those were some tasty burgers.