There was Baseball in Jacksonville Today. Really!

Your favorite Jumbo Shrimp blog spent a part of this afternoon at 121 Financial Ballpark to check out the Marlins’ Alternate Training Site and see just what the Marlins of the future happen to be up to. It was a distinct pleasure to find that a game was going on. Actual baseball. In Jacksonville!

I had started to wonder what was actually happening in Downtown Jax because, to date, I had heard next to nothing about the goings on at the ATS. Unlike a lot of teams – Brewers, Cubs, White Sox, Reds, Pirates, Twins, Cleveland (to name but a few) – the Marlins haven’t opened up the park for fans to watch the team, and they have been completely silent about what teams the ATS guys were playing, or even when they happened to be playing. I find that incredibly odd, given that MLB teams generally do everything they can to generate some buzz and publicity for the team. With the Jumbo Shrimp jumping up to Triple-A this season, you would’ve thought the Marlins would jump at the opportunity to create a few more fans in North Florida, right?

As for the game itself, the Alternate Site Marlins played the Alternate Site Blue Jays. Seven inning game. Decent game for the final four innings that I happened to watch. Both teams had decent pitching, but the Blue Jays seemed to get a few more men on base. With the score 3-2 Toronto heading into the bottom of the 7th, the Marlins rallied and put the tying run on 3rd with two outs and Isan Diaz coming up. Diaz laced a bending liner towards the Left Field line, but Toronto’s Left Fielder laid out to make a fantastic catch to end the game. 3-2 Toronto was the final.

All in all, this was a fun afternoon away from work enjoying some baseball under the sun. I managed to snag a foul ball and got Jerar Encarnacion to wave at me. Opening Day is only a couple of weeks away. Jumbo Shrimp tickets went on sale today. Good stuff all the way around.

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