The Marlins are on the brink of setting a franchise record.
Only they’ll do it while sitting at 35,000 feet, not with a bat or a glove in their hands.
The 7,193-mile road trip that takes them to Seattle, San Diego and Philadelphia -- before heading home to Miami -- will mark the longest in franchise history in terms of distance traveled.
“Who made this schedule?” second baseman Dee Gordon wondered aloud.
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The Marlins have traveled before to Seattle, where they’ll open a three-game series Monday against the Mariners.
But on a trip that would give glee to a road warrior who accumulates frequent flyer miles, the Marlins will be hitting all four corners of the U.S. Catcher A.J. Ellis said the Marlins’ travel route is shaped like an hourglass.
Others think it looks more like a bowtie.
This much is certain: the Marlins will be spending a lot of time in the air over the coming days. They’ll play just nine games in the three cities, well short of the franchise-record 14-game road trip in 2002 that took them to Denver, San Francisco, Cincinnati and New York.
But in terms of pure air mileage, it breaks the existing mark of 6,519 total miles, which was set in 2003 when they went to San Diego, Los Angeles, Montreal and Cincinnati.
No wonder the Marlins were preparing for the trip as if they were getting ready for Game 7 of the World Series.
Tom Koehler said his suitcase is stuffed with enough clothing to last him two months. Justin Bour downloaded a couple of movies and packed a deck of playing cards. Ellis included scouting reports in his carry-on luggage to keep him busy.
And all Gordon planned to do was sleep.
“I’m going to be asleep for sure,” Gordon said. “I want to wake up when we get there.”
Gordon is a flying pro, capable of sleeping while flying. He said he once slept the entire way on a 19-hour trip to Australia.
“I got up to pee once, both ways,” Gordon said.
Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton is also a sleeper when flying.
“Sleep and eat,” Stanton said of his flying routine.
But other players say they have trouble catching a few winks when soaring above the earth.
“I’m not a sleeper,” Bour said. “I play some cards. And I downloaded a couple of movies because I don’t know if we can play seven hours of cards (on the way from Miami to Seattle).”
Ellis is a veteran traveler.
“I take advantage of the long trips, do a lot of work on there, to prepare for the next series,” he said.
The Marlins require players to wear suits while traveling to represent the team in a professional manner. But even the dressier attire has its limits. The rule states only that players look nice while boarding and exiting the plane. It doesn’t say anything about how they dress while in the air.
“That’s why we bring a change of clothes,” Ellis said.
Because suits can be uncomfortable, especially on a cross-country journey, Ellis said he and other plays carry on more casual attire -- T-shirts and shorts, for example -- that they can slip on once the planes are airborne.
“Superman,” Ellis said of the mid-air clothing switch. “About 30 minutes before you land, you put the suits back on.”