“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” (Rogers Hornsby)
Whenever I enter a Major League Baseball Stadium, my immediate attention usually focuses on the sheer thrill of winning baseball for the hometown team. Before each game begins, I so often “tune in” to the contagious enthusiasm of the crowd resonating throughout the ballpark waiting for the game to begin. At this year’s Miami Marlins “Fan Fest”, however, I got my baseball juices flowing” in a much different way. For while no game outcome would be decided on this bright sunny afternoon in mid February at Marlins Ball Park, a “behind the scenes” aura of winning Marlins Fever seemed to resonate strongly during my visit.
How liberating it seemed at this inaugural spring training event, that all fan attendees today were granted free roam of the playing field, dugout, seating areas, and team locker facilities for more than three hours. For me, such a personalized tour of Marlins Park stimulated a “deep-seated“ mind probe into the human matter of team culture to win for those who actually play this game so competitively. For how intensely does each hitter practice at batting cages to improve their swing before each game? How efficiently does a rookie sensation pitcher use his modest locker space to help him prepare positively to face competent, major league hitters? What strategies does a valuable bench player have to stay focused in the crowded dugout as he awaits the pressure induced call to pinch-hit later in the contest? To what extent do the established stars of the team selfishly prefer to promote themselves as popular celebrities rather than improve on fundamental baseball skills needed for winning team play?
With these performance issues in mind, I present the following slideshow from “Fan Fest” 2020. Can you spot any signs leading to the sweetness of victory as the Miami’s Marlins strive to soar this year to heights of winning baseball?