Credit the Miami Marlins when it's due, the appearance of Transformers characters Optimus Prime and Bumblebee at Wednesday night's home game against the Tampa Bay Rays was one of the cooler and more well thought out promotions they've put together in recent years and especially since moving to their new ballpark.
The most awesome part, of course, is what you see above. The two larger than life machines — who will be back on the big screen for Transformers 4 next summer — were on hand to accompany a lucky young fan from the Give Kids the World Foundation for a very special ceremonial first pitch. That honor went to Timothy Stahlsmith, who as you can see showed off some pretty solid mechanics as he rocked and fired to young Marlins starter Jose Fernandez.
You also may have noticed that Timothy had no qualms throwing inside, which is impressive for a young pitcher. Then again, I wouldn't hesitate to back a hitter off the dish either with protection like that standing around me. Maybe Zack Greinke should look into the legalities of that set up.
Both characters then stuck around to take photos with fans throughout the rest of game, which we're sure was a thrill for the those young and old in attendance.
Overall a very cool experience, but I can't help but feel a little disappointed about one thing. You'll have to excuse my lack of perspective this one time, but I believe Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria actually missed a huge opportunity while he was on a little roll here.
If there was ever a good time (and excuse) to destroy that horrible home run sculpture sitting just to the left of center field, the night the Transformers showed up would have been it. Think about it. They could have made it look like an accident — like the machines went haywire and caused their own destruction. Or they could have advertised it in advance and maybe sold a few more tickets.
We all know that if given 3-4 more years in a Marlins uniform, Giancarlo Stanton will probably go all Megatron on the sculpture himself, but this is a marketing plan that could have worked for Loria. He missed his chance.