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Marlins Open New Ballpark Against Champion Cards
MIAMI (AP) -- Perched atop the Miami Marlins' colorful, provocative home-run sculpture is a blue marlin, poised for splashdown whenever the home team hits one out.

Call the artwork what you will, gaudy, goofy, grotesque, great, but there's no denying it's new. For the Marlins, that's what this season is all about.

They've become a big-spending, attention-grabbing team as they open the season at home Wednesday night against the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals. The Marlins predict they'll contend for the NL East title, and more.

When ace Josh Johnson throws the first pitch in the new ballpark, the Marlins will begin trying to supplant the Cardinals, who mounted an improbable late-season charge to the World Series title.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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