Rookie of the Year

I Went to Miami During a Heat Wave So You Don’t Have To

This column is a reprint from Unwinnable Monthly #167. If you like what you see, grab the magazine for less than ten dollars, or subscribe and get all future magazines for half price.


A tongue-in-cheek but also painfully earnest look at pop culture and anything else that deserves to be ridiculed while at the same time regarded with the utmost respect. It is written by Matt Marrone and emailed to Stu Horvath and David Shimomura, who add any typos or factual errors that might appear within.


From Little Havana to South Beach, Miami isn’t lacking for its charms. I won’t list them all here because it would be impossible, but I will mention what is by far the most important thing The Magic City has to offer: Air conditioning. 


Miami is an absolutely wonderful place to visit during a heat wave in August so long as you never leave the comfort of your rental car for more than three seconds at a time. Make sure to  park directly in front of the cigar bar of your choice (I’ll recommend Havana Classic Cigar), then open your door, step through the blast furnace and quickly cross the threshold into said establishment, then sit on a comfy leather couch for an hour and a half either smoking a hand-rolled Torpedo yourself or wafting the wonderful smoke as someone next to you does. Order an iced coffee if that’s your thing. 


If you’re planning to go to a touristy Cuban restaurant nearby for lunch – say, Versailles – do not bother if you see anyone waiting outside to get in. If you get out of the car to check on the wait time and believe you can sit in the shade until your name is called, trust me, you cannot. Best to wait until Sunday morning and go to the amazing breakfast Versailles happened to have, arriving before anyone else has recovered from the previous day’s dehydration and waltzing right up to the buffet line. Enjoy your cafecito in comfort and try not to notice the person walking along Calle Ocho as he suddenly bursts into flames.


If you want to see the Miami Marlins play baseball at loanDepot Park, that’s a good idea, too! Arrive just as the gates open so there are no lines and your flesh won’t melt off entirely while you wait to pass through security. Once inside, do not take a space in the makeshift burn unit unless you require immediate medical attention. It’s triage and there are likely fans a few minutes behind you who will be in greater need. 


After the likely National League batting champion, Luis Arraez, triples home the tying runs during an epic ninth-inning comeback victory against your favorite team, try to remain in the ballpark for as long as possible. If it’s a day game and the sun is still shining, see if the Marlins will allow you to remain in your seat until well after dark.


If you’re thinking of going to the beach, don’t. 


What else? Oh yes, if you think going to the movies is a waste of time while visiting one of America’s most vibrant cultural hubs, might I recommend Oppenheimer in IMAX at the AMC Sunset Place 24. There’s a show at 10:30 a.m. which you can get to before the soles of your sandals melt into the sidewalk and you miss the trailers. After the film, you can pause outside the theatre near the beautiful fountain in the courtyard, look up at the midday sun in a cloudless sky, and pretend too you were at the Trinity Test at Los Alamos.


Yes, there is just so much to do in Miami during a heat wave in August, so long as you don’t die. You probably won’t. Just bring a hat, wear lots of sunscreen and don’t go outdoors unless your hotel roof is set alight. And even then, don’t rush out the fire escape – it might only be a drill.


Matt Marrone is a senior MLB editor at He has been Unwinnable’s reigning Rookie of the Year since 2011. You can follow him on Twitter @thebigm.


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