When we last saw the Cardinals under bright night lights in a meaningful contest, they were gamboling around the Busch Stadium grass after winning the World Series.
When we last saw the Marlins in a game that mattered, they were trudging off the field after losing at Sun Life Stadium, concluding the regular season with a last-place finish in the National League East.
Now defending World Series champion St. Louis will help Miami (nee Florida) officially christen the sleek Marlins Park on Wednesday night. And what we have never seen before is two teams meeting on Opening Night that have undergone such dramatic transformations over a single winter.
The Fish, of course, have been the talk of baseball. Their new retractable-roof home has been even more of a transformative agent than most fans could have dreamed.
The stadium has allowed a team that had been the tenant of a retrofitted football stadium and annually finished at or near the bottom of the attendance standings to go on a $191 million shopping spree that netted electric shortstop Jose Reyes, workhorse starter Mark Buehrle and closer Heath Bell.
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