This was just a few minutes after the Marlins solved nothing by firing Larry Beinfest. On the other side of the field and the far side of the baseball world, the franchise's only other general manager inspected Marlins Park for the first time.
Dave Dombrowski looked across the field from the visitors dugout for a moment. He then said what everyone says: "This looks like a nice park, a good place for baseball.''
If only it would be. If only Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria could get out of his own way to give it a chance.
As yet another in a long line of dumb Marlins chapters played out Friday afternoon, it figures Detroit arrived in town for a season-closing series. Detroit, on the way to the playoffs. Detroit, as sound a franchise as there is in baseball.
Detroit is full of former Marlins whose interrupted careers and continued success demonstrate how ashamed Loria should be about the state of his franchise.
Loria has the one thing these champions didn't. He has a publicly-funded stadium. Detroit manager Jim Leyland, who won the 1997 World Series with Dombrowski, stood during batting practice and pointed at the outfield wall.
"I like everything about this place but those green walls," he said.
He was told he'd love the payroll this stadium should provide.
"Like everything but that green wall," he said again.
Leyland left in 1998 because there was no stadium. Dombrowski and assistant general manager Al Avila, also with Detroit, left in 2002. Miguel Cabrera, the best hitter in baseball, left next.
It was as inevitable all of them left town, just as it is Beinfest does now for a different reason. This firing had nothing to do with a stadium or revenue or even bad trades Beinfest made.
There were lots of those, too. Just look at Detroit. The one involving Cabrera, the best hitter in baseball, has nothing to show for it. The more recent one of Infante and Sanchez doesn't look much better right now.
But Beinfest's firing had nothing to do with his job, really, considering those trades would have got him fired a while ago and the last big trade he made with Toronto is a big winner.
No, Beinfest was fired mainly because of his deteriorated relationship with Loria. That's the sum of it. This had been building for a while, and the only way for it to end was for Loria to fire Beinfest with two years remaining on his deal.
That's Loria's right. He's the owner. But it does nothing, means nothing, improves the toxic situation inside the Marlins not at all if Loria keeps sinking the ship like he has.
It's not the meddling. It's the mismanagement. Payrolls double one year, then go back two-thirds the next. Four managers in three years. The only constants on the baseball side are Loria and losing.
The hope isn't that Loria learns to tone down his act for the better of his franchise. The hope is whomever becomes general manager now, Mike Hill or Dan Jennings, can manage the owner better than Beinfest could. Or baby-sit him. Or whatever.
This gets about as tiresome to write as it does to watch the Marlins go through losing season after losing season. If they didn't have a new ballpark, that'd be one thing.
But the parade of Detroit Tigers coming through town tells you of all the baseball minds who didn't get this chance. It's not just the above-mentioned. There's the trainer, Kevin Rand. There's media-relations director Ron Colangelo. The list goes on. And on.
Dombrowski just came from an organizational meeting about the playoffs next week. He stood in the dugout before Friday's game and talked of old times with the Marlins. At one point, Beinfest's firing was brought up. He chuckled in a way that wasn't one.
"They've had more owners than general managers," he said.
The Marlins had good owners like H. Wayne Huizenga and John Henry. But Loria did what they couldn't. He got a stadium.
On Friday night, the ballpark's roof was open. The night was beautiful. It was a perfect place to take in the Marlins' final weekend. It's just too bad the owner isn't giving a baseball night like this a chance to succeed.