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Marlins-Mariners, June 24-26

Posted by Sean Forman on June 26, 2011

The Marlins-Mariners games for June 24-26 were originally to be in Florida, but due to a U2 concert they were moved. The games are played in Seattle without the DH and with the Marlins batting last. For purposes of splits and Home-Road records etc. We are treating the Mariners as the home team. We know the arguments the other way, but this is how we've chosen to handle these and previous games played under similar conditions.

Way back when, the home team actually had the option of batting first and did on occasion choose to do so, so this isn't without historical precedence.

The funny aspect of MLB's contortion to give the Marlins "home-field" is that I know of at least one study that shows that batting last is of no particular advantage. All of the information the offense gets to act on is similarly acted on by the defense, so at neutral sites the home team wins 50% of the games.

40 Responses to “Marlins-Mariners, June 24-26”

  1. Raphy Says:

    Sean - With this information, I think it is difficult to create a complete list of walk-off with the PI event finder. (Since "go-ahead" and "game-ending" now work together as an "or" combination,) I would ordinarily find go-ahead plays by the Home team in the 9th or extra innings. In these games and others like it, the visiting team walks-off, so this method would not work.

  2. Fireworks Says:

    "I don't know about U2, Jiffy Lube or any of them. I don't know what these guys do. I'm not into any of them. That's for these Twitter guys, Facebook guys. Now, I could enjoy the Beach Boys. That's my kind of songs and stuff. A little life. Get the place jumping. We used to have them in San Diego quite often."

  3. Devon Young Says:

    But this isn't a neutral site. Seattle Mariner fans will be filling that stadium and that will have a huge positive psychological effect on the Mariners and negative psych effect on the Marlins.

    Wait, now that I think about it, Marlins fans don't show up in Miami either, so maybe the team will think they really are the home team. Aaahh shoot, thought I had a point for a moment there 😉

  4. Neil L. Says:

    Sean, did the Toronto-Philadelphia series from 2010, moved from Toronto to Philly because of the G20-Summit fall into the same category as this one?

  5. Raphy Says:

    @4 yes.

  6. DoubleDiamond Says:

    Why the heck did they schedule a concert for Landshark orJoe Robbie or Dolphins or Pro Player or whatever that stadium is called after the baseball schedule was already put together?

    Or if the concert was scheduled first, why didn't the baseball schedule makers work around this?

    At least the Phillies and the Blue Jays, which were moved due to a late-arising security issue, played in the same time zone. The poor Marlins fans (if there are any) had to deal with two seemingly unnecessary Pacific Time Zone games. (At least Sunday's was a day game.)

    The ma-REEN-ers (you may know them as the MARE-in-ners) actually had another extra home game as a result of a rainout in Cleveland a few years ago. This was played as a day-night doubleheader. Raul Ibanez was the DH for Seattle, while Ben Francisco played left field for Cleveland in the Seattle "road" game. A few years later, as teammates on the Phillies, they played the same positions in at least one of the "road" games against Toronto in Philadelphia.

    In 1991, the Montreal Expos had to play their last several "home" games on the road due to a roof collapse in Stade Olympique. However, they batted first in each inning and were otherwise treated as the road team.

    The Phillies are going to Toronto for real this coming weekend. Roy Halladay is in line to pitch Saturday. Day games on Fridays are rare - opening day (or home opener), Wrigley Field games, and July 4 on a Friday (next will happen in 2014). This Friday's Phillies-Blue Jays game is during the day. I'll have to amend my earlier sentence - July 4 on a Friday in the U.S., and July 1 on a Friday in Canada.

  7. Neil L. Says:

    As you well know, Double, Friday, July 1st is Canada Day! Yaaaay!

    I can be on BBRef all day. No, wait ......... a bunch of my wife's family are coming over, Darn! 🙂

    A lot of people bought tickets for next Friday's day game, thinking that it would be Roy Halladay pitching in his return to the Rogers' Center.

  8. Jason W Says:

    "I know of at least one study that shows that batting last is of no particular advantage."

    Got a link?

  9. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    For situations like this, it would be my suggestion that MLB establish a standardized "neutral" venie; a practice which might also serve to test new markets {i.e., New Orleans, Las Vegas] with an eye toward future expansion/franchaise transfer.

  10. Neil L. Says:

    Fireworks, you are revealing your (approximate) age! 🙂

    Ahhh, the Beach Boys. Most younger posters would probably remember them for Good Vibrations. But you and I recall them for Fun Fun Fun and I Get Around.

    I need a JA nightly recap to get me back on track. I'm suffering from fresh-blog BBRef withdrawal

  11. Fireworks Says:

    @ Neil

    I was quoting Jack McKeon's comments on the series being moved because of U2. I thought everyone knew he said that.

  12. Shping Says:

    @6 Fun info, but also a correction. Sunday's Mariners game is tonite, on right now still.

    "Why the heck did they schedule a concert for Landshark orJoe Robbie or Dolphins or Pro Player or whatever that stadium is called after the baseball schedule was already put together? Or if the concert was scheduled first, why didn't the baseball schedule makers work around this?

    Great questions. Who did screw that up?

    @3 I think your good point was that maybe the Marlins will be less depressed in Seattle (the Dodgers might feel the same way about road games these days)

    Other trivia regarding M's-Marlins:

    -- I think it's safe to say that no two teams are now or ever have been located farther apart?

    --I was at the gms Fri and Sat (definitely had to check out the novelty of it!), and attendance was only about 13,000 both nights, waaaay below avg, even with Felix pitching, schools out, M's playing ok, novelty factor, etc. The reason? The games weren't part of the season ticket package, so it was interesting to see the impact that has. The M's home-field advantage in that sense was much less than you might think, esp pretty quiet on Saturday.

    --It was definitely weird seeing M's bat in top of ninth on Sat for the final outs of game.

    --I actually met about a half-dozen Marlins fans who made the journey!

    @8 I second that:
    "I know of at least one study that shows that batting last is of no particular advantage."
    Got a link?

  13. Neil L. Says:

    Darn, at least I'm younger than Jack McKeon. Fireworks, I thought I had found a contemporary. I didn't recognize the quote. Thanks for saving me further embarrassment.

  14. Neil L. Says:

    "I think it's safe to say that no two teams are now or ever have been located farther apart?
    Toronto-San Diego?

    Shping, I never would have guessed you were from the Pacific Northwest.

  15. Shping Says:

    How do you know i didn't fly in from Osh Kosh? 🙂

    Not sure if you're joking, either, but yes, I'm a Tacoma-ite now, Brewers fan by birth -- and there's a lot of fun/weird connections with that: Pilots-Brewers above all else, plus Holmgren, Haselbeck, Jack Zderencizk (spell?), not to mention two of my all-time favorites, Chris Bosio and Stormin Gorman Thomas! (and maybe Prince Fielder in the near future?)

  16. Shping Says:

    @10 Don't forget the classic "Sloop John B" !

  17. John Autin Says:

    I'm pretty sure Shping is right about the distance, assuming we're talking about MLB teams.

    Flight distance from Seattle to Miami: 2,733 miles / 4,398 km.

    Flight distance from Toronto to San Diego: 2,169 miles / 3,490 km.

    Flight distance from Boston to San Diego: 2,582 miles / 4,156 km.

  18. Shping Says:

    Thanks for verifying, John.

    And i like that you clarified it for MLB teams, but I wonder, even if we expanded the question to say, "What is the furthest distance between cities of two teams that played in a regularly scheduled, mlb-sanctioned game, including playoffs, the minors, and the 19th century", would the answer be any different? Afterall, would the Portland Seadogs ever play the Lake Elsinore (CA) Storm, for instance? Or the Vancouver Canadiens take on the Palm Beach Cardinals? Does anyone from "up north" ever play a Mexican League team. I'm not sure.

    Surprisingly -- or maybe not -- the Tacoma Rainiers and New Orleans Zephyrs might lead the minor leagues for distance at 2093, followed close behind by Tacoma-Nashville at 1973.

  19. Bip Says:


    Ha ha, I didn't know that he said that, but when I read your comment and saw it was in quotes, I thought "baseball geezers in the news recently" and I thought of Jack McKeon. He's really living up to his reputation, or at least the one that has been bestowed upon him.

  20. Fireworks Says:

    Sorry Neil.

    Also, I believe the U2 concert was originally scheduled for some other time and then had to be rescheduled. Hurricane? I can't remember. Why it was rescheduled isn't the important part anyway. What is important is why this would screw the Marlins, and I believe the answer is clear:

    Ross (majority owner) and Huizenga (minority owner [along with some celebrities] and former owner of the Marlins) own the Dolphins and Sun Life Stadium (that stadium seems to have a new name every three months). The Marlins are moving after this year, right? So why would Ross (he owns 95% of both the Dolphins and stadium) care about inconveniencing the Marlins? They aren't going to be his tenants anymore, they're not going to generate revenue for him. But popular music artists and other entertainment options will continue to generate revenue for him in the future. So U2 > Marlins.

    Of course, that is assuming the agreement between U2 and Sun Life doesn't call for financial penalties if U2 has to reschedule concerts due to no fault of their own. Which absolutely may be the case given the draw power of U2.

    Still, I prefer the idea that the Dolphins and Sun Life, upon learning of this problem, said to themselves, screw the Marlins. What are they going to get mad at us and leave?

  21. Fireworks Says:

    Oh. Okay. Bono had emergency back surgery about a year ago that cancelled the original concert. Okay. So I think probably Sun Life could try to make U2 use a different date without penalty (other than U2 saying 'nah, we just won't play Sun Life'), but I think that makes it more likely that Ross just gave the Marlins the shaft even though he had the option not to do just that.

  22. Andy Says:

    I wrote about this when it was originally scheduled:

  23. Sean Forman Says:

    Link on batting last.

  24. Spartan Bill Says:

    @ 12

    Was the attendance down because this was not part of any of the Seattle season-ticket and multi-game ticket plans??

    Did the Mariners do any marketing for this series at all? Did you have to buy tickets from the Marlins website?.

    And in lesser questions, did the Mariners have their usual in-game promos; walk-up music, dugout, or other "perks" that go with being a home team?

  25. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    Personally, I like the idea that the Nats hired's fun to see someone in uniform on the field who's actually older {by a little over a month} than I am.

  26. Evil Squirrel Says:

    My question is why the recent trend towards allowing the original home team to maintain that status should an issue (regardless of fault) force them to play that game at the visitor's home park? I think the infamous Cleveland-Seattle snowout games in 2007 was the first instance in a loooong time where a game was made up entirely in the other team's park with visitor/home designations unchanged. This didn't used to be the M.O. of MLB, as the '91 Expos and '94 Mariners can attest to.... and I even saw the Marlins make up a "home game" in St. Louis back in 2001 as part of the doubleheader (The last REAL DH we've ever had here, but I digress), but it was treated as just another road game for them.

  27. John Autin Says:

    @18, Shping -- You may be forgetting this team, which played in the Pacific Coast League from 1961-87:

  28. Spartan Bill Says:

    @ 27 John

    The PCL lineup that year doesnt account for the longest trip the Hawaii Islanders made. from 1964-1967, they were in the PCL with Indianapolis. That's 4336 miles

  29. Spartan Bill Says:

    Here is a college baseball team that traveled 4030 miles for a 4-game Conference series.

  30. Spartan Bill Says:

    @ 18 shping,

    I would submit that Midland, TX to Jackson, MS on a bus is a lot further than Tacoma/New Orleans on Southwest, even with a change of planes at Midway or Las Vegas.

  31. Jimbo Says:

    Farther apart?

    What about Montreal/Sand Diego?

  32. jason Says:

    td ameritrade park in omaha is empty most of the time. they could be a nice stop for the marlins on the way to moving somewhere else. milk a couple of years of good attendance out of the city, then move to a bigger market when the attendance drops off. seriously.

    tv revenue will drop off with the baby boomers. all the major sports will have to contract. marlins better do something about it or they will be one of the first to go!

  33. Doug Says:


    Montreal to San Diego is 2,465 miles, slightly less than Boston to San Diego.

  34. Spartan Bill Says:

    It doesn;t appear so at 1st glance but for east coast cities like NY, BOS, or MTL, the Padres aren't the furthest MLB team, the Giants are. Because of the shape of the Calif coast, San Diego and LA are not as far west as they appear.

    Los Angeles is actually further east than Reno, and parts of San Diego are on the same longitude as the Oregon/Idaho border.

  35. DoubleDiamond Says:

    @34 And conversely, Atlanta is almost as far west as Detroit, even though it is in a state that touches the Atlantic Ocean.

    Maybe that explains why the Braves were in the NL West from 1969-1993.

  36. Shping Says:

    @27 &28 -- Looks like you guys are the winners! Even weirder that the Islanders were affiliated with the Whitesox. (We could start another discussion on furthest distance between sponsoring team and affiliates, but i'm gonna leave that up to someone else)

    @30 Yeah, i was tempted to mention those long grueling bus rides too, and I'm sure Crash Davis, Satchel Paige, etc. would all agree.

  37. Shping Says:

    @24 -- The Mariners PR dept. was true to its clueless nature last weekend. They did very little to promote the uniqueness of the Marlins series, apparently happy with only 13,000 fans showing up. (Last fall, when stadium renovations in Tacoma moved some AAA playoff games to Safeco Field, they also missed the boat, charging $25 and up for tickets that disgruntled Tacoma fans were used to paying about $10 for. Imagine all the fans and goodwill and concessions they could have generated with $5-10 tickets!)

    For the Marlins series ,the most creative thing i noticed was a lot of U2 music played between innings. The Mariners still got to enjoy all the usual home "perks" that you mentioned too, but i cant blame them for that.

  38. Neil L. Says:

    Jason, why is the td ameritrade park in Omaha sitting empty? No minor league affiliate?

    Wow, the Toronto-Dominion bank's reach extends to Nebraska, at least for naming rights. 🙂

  39. Neil L. Says:

    Shping, based on your post, what is up with the Mariners' marketing department? You were at one of the games last weekend!

    Why couldn't they have promoted the heck out of the series, reduced ticket prices and the drawn more Seattle-area fans to the games?

    " ....... i noticed was a lot of U2 music played between innings."
    The Mariners were "thanking" U2 for getting the home games, although they would have to give the Marlins home-team revenue.

  40. Shping Says:

    Like i said, the PR dept. is clueless, doesnt get it. The U2 music was a cool but small little tribute, and definitely not thought-up by a higher-up. If nothing else, have a Bono look-alike contest, for crying out loud -- Ichiro might win!