The Miami Marlins generated baseball's biggest buzz as they prepared for their home opener a year ago, anticipating a playoff bid and nearly nightly sellout crowds in a futuristic new home that was supposed to transform a franchise long accustomed to attracting little attention.
As the Marlins begin year two in their ballpark, they're back to operating in obscurity. Given the dismal outlook this season, that may be just as well.
Thousands of empty seats are likely for the home opener against the Atlanta Braves on Monday night, with a succession of small crowds to follow. Many potential ticket buyers are disenchanted because owner Jeffrey Loria reverted to his frugal payrolls of the past, and the team is widely projected to finish last in NL East for the third year in a row.
Kevin Slowey (0-1, 1.69 ERA) is scheduled to start the first home game for Miami against Paul Maholm (1-0, 0.00). If fans are on the edge of their seats, it may be only because they're awaiting a chance to boo...