10/21/2003 7:46 PM ET
Fish fans pack Pro Player
MIAMI -- There was considerable talk after the first two games of the World Series about the relatively subdued vibe at Yankee Stadium.
By Mychael Urban / MLB.com
Even a few Yankees players noticed. It just wasn't as electric as it usually is for playoff games in the Bronx, and one popular theory was that New Yorkers were still recovering from the thrill of the American League Championship Series, which Aaron Boone won with an epic walkoff homer in the 11th inning of Game 7.
Now that the Fall Classic has shifted to South Florida, however, electricity shouldn't be a problem. For one thing, the foreboding skies above Pro Player Stadium are filled with it; occasional flashes of lightning are as common as retirees in the state of Florida.
And with expected crowds of more than 65,000 fans, who haven't seen their beloved Marlins since sending them off to Chicago for Games 6 and 7 of the NL Championship Series on Oct. 10, there should be enough juice generated to run a power plant.
"Oh, this place is going to be poppin', all right," Mickey Martin of South Beach said before Game 3 here Tuesday. "I know Yankee Stadium gets loud, but I think their fans need something extra -- like the Red Sox or a Game 6 or 7 -- to really get into it. This crowd here, they've been nuts since the playoffs started.
"Yankees fans get the World Series every year, it seems like. This is more special for us."
Gordon Harrison of Coconut Grove is one of the many transplanted New Yorkers in the region, and he scoffed at Martin's notion. But he did hear from a few friends back home that Yankee Stadium wasn't pulsating the way it normally does during Games 1 and 2.
"Yankees fans do not get the World Series every year," he said. "It only seems like that because we're so good, and don't hate on us for that. And yeah, the Stadium might have been a little quiet, especially in Game 1, but whaddya want 'em to do? Go nuts when they're losing?
"I don't think people gave the Marlins enough credit for the way they took the crowd out of the game by taking a lead in that first inning [of Game 1]. I think the Yanks fans were in a little shock, like, 'Uh, oh. This isn't gonna be as easy as we thought.'"
Martin wanted to set something straight, too. Decked out in a black Derrek Lee jersey and a black Marlins Spring Training cap, he said the team's fans take too much heat for the color teal.
"I've been getting that a lot from Yankees fans down here, things like, 'Nice color,' or, 'Where are the pink pants?'" he said. "But hey, we didn't pick the color, and if you look around this place, most of us are in Marlins black."
And he was right. There were a few old-school teal jerseys, probably purchased during Florida's 1997 run to the World Series title, but the majority of merchandise both worn and sold at Pro Player is indeed black.
And thus, an interesting combination in the stands for Game 3: electricity and a blackout.
Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.