Tuning into last night's game, I was looking forward to another impressive Jose Fernandez start, and maybe even a quality baseball game. Boy, I was in for a real surprise. Fox Sports Florida producer Frank Forte led me on a cultural tour of Marlins Park, opening my eyes to a world of culinary delight.
I discovered that Frank's eating habits proved to be an accurate barometer of the Marlins' success or failure within the game. Now, I haven't exactly performed an empirical study on this issue, but I am reasonably confident in my methodology here. I did minor in molecular gastronomy.
Let's examine Frank's journey in detail.
Frank Eats Cuban Sandwich
Described as "almost like a Cuban panino," this sandwich acted as a good omen for Cuban-born Jose Fernandez. Fernandez pitched well through three scoreless innings, until a smoothie made him veer wildly off course.
Frank Drinks Smoothie
Named the "Five-Tool Player," this Diamond Juices creation includes strawberry, mango, coconut milk, and a plus-plus agave nectar tool. However delicious, this drink was ill-timed.
Delmon Young came to bat shortly afterward. Once a highly touted five-tool prospect, Young has since redefined what it means to be a bust, producing -0.7 FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement (fWAR) across a seven year career.
Yet, the infamously bad outfielder homered off Fernandez, and later doubled in the top of the sixth. The presence of the smoothie may be circumstantial evidence, but I remain convinced that it functioned as an early-indicator of Young's extra-base hits.
Frank Eats "Magnum Dog"
Wikipedia tells me that the hot dog originated from Frankfurt, Germany. The only active German-born baseball player in the National League is Edwin Jackson, who has posted a 5.76 ERA in nine starts for Chicago. It should come as no surprise that Duane Below was doomed to a poor relief outing.
Frank just had to go and eat the most enormous, horrifying dog in the park, the "Magnum Dog," courtesy of The Clevelander. Naturally, Below went on to allow three runs, setting the stage for Miami's collapse.
Frank Eats Sushi
Who knew that eating seafood wouldn't bring favor to the Marlins? Worse yet, Frank did not enjoy any sake with his sushi. The baseball gods made clear their disapproval of Frank's transgression, giving the Phillies three consecutive infield hits to load the bases.
Everything quickly fell apart, as the Marlins suffered an old-fashioned bullpen meltdown. Ryan Webb's arm experienced an unforeseen power spike, generating a catastrophic core overload. His graphite moderator ignited, sending radioactive material all over the field.
Combing over public records, I learned that a then five-year-old Ryan Howard hit a two-run single in a Tee Ball game during the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. He apparently applied his experience under Level 7 nuclear accidents to drive in two runs again last night.
The sushi sent the Marlins into a downwards spiral from which they could not recover.
Frank Eats Pizza
It's common knowledge among nutritional connoisseurs that pizza portends decent fortune. Frank's stop at the pizza parlor came too late to alter the course of the game, however. Justin Ruggiano doubled in the ninth to score Rob Brantly, but Juan Pierre lined out immediately afterward, ending the rally. The Marlins went home defeated.
Frank didn't help matters by refusing to eat the pork nachos again, which had previously enabled Jordan Brown to score Placido Polanco on a sacrifice fly.
@lmhaydu already did pork nachos— Frank J. Forte (@FrankJForte) May 22, 2013
Frank Forte certainly got his full of Marlins Park. Was it to the benefit of the team? My analysis posits that his well-intentioned tour of the stadium vendors ultimately came at the expense of the ball-club, derailing Jose Fernandez's start, and leading to the disastrous bullpen implosion. The data is inconclusive, but there also appears to be a correlation between healthier foods and Delmon Young hitting above replacement level.
Best of luck to Frank in the digestion process.