Apr 5, 2011, 7:34 PM EST
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
The sun is out right now, but it was pouring earlier, and it may rain again tonight.
MIAMI — This is the Marlins' final season at Sun Life Stadium, which has had about 13 different names over the years. And let me tell you, they can't move out of this place soon enough. Forget about the lack of intimacy inside an 80,000-seat football stadium, though that's a major problem itself. The bigger issue is the lack of a roof, which in this town really is necessary.
Case in point: It was absolutely pouring when I arrived here a little while ago, with a ferocious wind that forced the grounds crew to hold down the tarp with about nine tractors. The amazing thing is, this wasn't anything new around here. Hardly a game day goes by without some sort of delay or squeegeeing of the field. Fortunately, the new park (which is being built on the site of the old Orange Bowl) has a retractable roof.
As for tonight's game, the first in a three-game series with the Marlins, the Nationals' lineup will have its first new look of the young season. Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa are on the bench, with Jerry Hairston and Alex Cora taking over middle infield duties. Before you get all worked up about Jim Riggleman benching the two young guys (especially Desmond, who is 0-for-13), this was planned all along. The manager has wanted to make sure both Hairston and Cora get some at-bats during the season's first week. Desmond and Espinosa should be back in the lineup tomorrow.
Jason Marquis faces Anibal Sanchez, each right-hander making his 2011 debut. Plenty of updates (hopefully none of them weather-related) to come, so check back throughout the evening…
NATIONALS at MARLINS
Where: Sun Life Stadium
Gametime: 7:10 p.m.
Radio: WHFS (1580 AM)
Weather: Scattered storms, 80 degrees, Wind 8 mph out to RF
2B Jerry Hairston
RF Jayson Werth
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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- Ian Desmond discusses team expectations and future with Nats
- Eventful BP for Harper, update on Werth in Tuesday's workout
- Desmond, Rendon like what they see from Zimmerman at 1B
- Scherzer to start exhibition opener vs. Mets
- Bryce Harper does a pretty epic videobomb on Anthony Rendon
- ESPN throws shade on Nats' jerseys, calling them among worst in MLB
- On the cusp of majors, Taylor bides his time
- Mets pitcher really, really does not like defensive shifts