The Miami Marlins are a franchise known for bottom of the barrel tactics, such as being the sole team in the MLB to not honor Bobby Cox in his final season, demoting outfielder Logan Morrison to the minors for being outspoken on Twitter, and gouging the city of Miami out of money for a new stadium. But tonight, they may have crossed an even new, seedier line when they brought boxing legend Muhammad Ali onto the field during the pregame ceremonies.
Ali’s public appearances are few and far between, due to his battle with Parkinsons Disease that has ravaged his body. The symtoms Ali showed when he hit the Olympic torch in 1996 in Atlanta were much more pronounced tonight in Miami, as he came onto the field on a cart from the outfield. Ali’s body was shaking profusely, especially his hand. The crowd cheered Ali, but seemed taken aback by seeing him in his condition.
Furthermore, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria (a grade-A terrible person) was on the cart with Ali, seemingly to prevent himself from getting booed during any pregame ceremonies. Reactions from fans on Twitter were severe, with the main phrases to describe the situation being “sad”, “stupid”, “off”, “depressing”, and “puzzling”. I’m not even going to post a picture of Ali, just because of how much of a shell that the man has become of himself.
So on an evening that was supposed to be glorious for the Marlins franchise with the opening of their new stadium, they somehow killed the entire mood of baseball fans across the country before one pitch was even thrown. Well done, Mr Loria.