Still Play Ball: Will Manso speaks his mind on Marlins

By Will Manso - Sports Director
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MIAMI - South Florida is so down on the Marlins that it's almost a waste of time to write anything positive about the team. I don't blame you. I feel the same way. Actually, I've spent plenty of time here and on-air ripping the offseason moves by the front office. Well, more like ripping the owner.

But, with Opening Day here, I'll take a moment to write a few nice things about this team. At least, I'll try. We know the one reason you shouldn't support the Marlins this season: Jeffrey Loria. It's hard to want to put money in the pockets of a man who's deceived this town and its fans so much. 

Okay, let's forget about that for a moment. I've come up with the five reasons you should go to a Marlins game this season.

1)      The ballpark.

We're stuck footing a huge bill, so we might as well go check out the place. Yes, the team found a way to get hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money to get its own ballpark, but I give them credit. The place is beautiful. If you didn't see the ballpark last season, you shouldn't have a problem getting tickets this year. Opening day tickets are on Groupon, and late last season, you could find lower level seats on Stub Hub for $5 apiece. Take the family, get some good seats for little money and enjoy the place. We'll be paying for it over the next few decades.

2)      Giancarlo Stanton.

Simply put, Stanton is one of the most exciting players in the game. His power is amazing. The man can hit a ball harder and further than any player in baseball. And to think, he's just 23 years old. Take your kids and watch him take batting practice before the game. Then sit back and follow his every move on the field during the game. He's an old school slugger. Plus, we don't know how long he'll be around. The Marlins will likely trade him at some point in the future, like they do all young stars, so you might as well enjoy him while you can.

3)      Lots of young talent.

While Stanton is young, he's one of the few players on this team who is established. But, the Fish will have plenty of other young players worth watching. The team has already called up prized pitching prospect Jose Fernandez to start the season. I worked in a couple of small minor league towns before coming to WPLG, and I always enjoyed seeing the young talent on the field. Of course, that was minor league baseball and this is supposed to be the majors, but I digress. Watch them play, google them to learn about where they came from and one day, when they're stars for other teams, you can say you saw them when they were young.

4)      A great place to take a date.

I haven't been single in a while, but I do remember that a great place to get to know someone is at a quiet place where you can sit and just talk. Perfect! Few places will have more open space to chat and chances to look each other in the eye. You won't have to worry about loud noise or people being to close by. Plus, you have plenty of choices to eat, and if all goes well, you can end the night at the Clevelander for drinks.

5)      It's baseball.

Call me a purist, but there's nothing like sitting back and watching a ball game. The sights and sounds of the game, the cold beer, hot dogs and beer are an all-American experience. We're lucky enough to have one of 30 major league teams. My greatest childhood memories are sitting back and watching a game with my dad. It's where we got to know each other best. Take advantage and do that with your family and friends. Yes, the baseball will be bad on the field, but the experience is all the same. Plus, remember, we only have this ballpark because Loria and David Samson say they "saved" baseball in this town by getting the new ballpark. Thank you so much gentleman. I guess we'll start to repay you by going to some games.

Or, if you're like 90 percent of South Florida residents, all the things I mentioned above don't matter and you hope no one shows up. Whatever you're opinion, it's time to PLAY BALL. Enjoy.

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