It has been a while since my last post. Why you ask? Partly because it is the off season, but mostly because I have been editing my book. You know, the one you can’t wait to buy.
Since much of the nation is mired in cold weather and we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring training, what better time to turn the regional dogfight looking glass onto the teams of the Sunshine State? Everyone wants to be in warmer weather this time of year, so let your mind wander south as we test the toasted weenies of the Tampa Rays against their rivals on the peninsula the Miami Marlins.
It really is a tale of two cities. Miami in on the bejewelled south coast with all of its multicultural flair, food and festivities in a place as much noted for its nightlife as it is its weather. Across the state, situated on the Gulf of Mexico, is the much lower key town of Tampa. That may not be confusing, but consider this: the Tampa Rays actually play in the city of St. Petersburg. Miami has baseball’s newest and most modern ballpark that could be mistaken for a museum of modern art, while Tampa has an old dilapidated dome that could be mistaken for nothing but an old dilapidated dome. Perhaps the threat of hurricanes is the only equalizing factors for both the cities. Tampa does have one HUGE thing going for it: my brother lives about 45 minutes south of the city and he is related to me. When you are a city on the brink, having a close relative of a famous hot dog celebrity within an hour’s drive can make or break you.
So how did the sausage showdown of the south pan out?
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What we have here is a good old fashioned blowout. The Marlins take the Rays to task in this matchup. The biggest reason is the ballpark's location and cleanliness. Miami's stadiums is located in Little Havana with good access and is spic and span. Tampa is located in the wrong city and out of the way and needs a hosing down (by a hose, not a hurricane).
The killer for the dog portion was the toppings. If you read my blog on this you know that the lower levels in Tampa have a great selection of toppings, while the fans that bought the cheaper tickets have a very paltry pick. Not cool...and it cost them.
But be not troubled, you can put the Florida dogs to test yourself, and soon. I will be flitting about the Cactus League in Arizona this spring and testing the dogs, you can check out the Grapefruit League and let me know how those are. And if you want to leave now and wait for the pitchers and catchers report date while basking in the sun no one will blame you. Send me a postcard.