Blue Barracudas win tie-breaker, capture first annual Clubbie Olympics title
How fitting -- the inaugural Clubbie Olympics was decided in extra innings. Ultimately, it came down to who was hungrier in a human hamburger race. That's right -- human hamburgers. Clubbies dressed as buns had to throw giant plastic toppings on top of other clubbies in bun costumes, and then complete the hamburger.
What does "compete the hamburger" mean? Well, let's just say the tie-breaker was settled when Daniel Bouchillon flopped on his teammate, Michael "Bean" Diaz, securing the human hamburger.
"It could only end this way," Bouchillon.
"It got competitive," Diaz added.
The first-place price was $2,500, but there were no losers in the keep-it-loose concept that put the clubhouse attendants, who do so much for the players during the spring and season, on center stage.
From the beginning, manager Don Mattingly was on board, and the concept became one of the hits of camp. Marlins pitcher Tom Koehler organized many of the quirky events, based loosely on "Legends of the Hidden Temple" (hence the excellent T-shirts pictured above). Diaz and Bouchillon, as you can see, were the Blue Barracudas.
On the final day, Diaz said his team was well prepared.
"It was 100-percent analytics," he said. "I tried to get the jump out of the gate. We analyzed the hamburger, where your arms go, where your head comes out. And we both have strong baseball backgrounds."
Diaz also joked that he worked eight years in the kitchen, so a hamburger race was in his wheelhouse.
The clubbies said they've pushed for years to do something offbeat to do with the players but the timing was never right. But this spring, Mattingly asked Koehler and reliever Mike Dunn if the club did anything light in Spring Training. Some MLB teams, for instance, have their rookies put on a talent show. Since there wasn't time to organize a player initiative, the Clubbie Olympics were born.
"They came to me about the Clubbie Olympics, which was perfect," Mattingly said. "For me, it's all about breaking up camp a little bit, and having some fun."