Marlins sculpture a distraction?
Could the highlight of Marlins Park be nothing but a huge distraction for left-handed hitters? That’s the debate going on right now. Regardless of what the outcome one thing is for certain the centerfield area of the park has already become a huge distraction for the Miami Marlins.
The Miami Herald reports that the Marlins are already painting the apple green colored backdrop to the traditional black. They also report that various members of the team thinks the home run sculpture could distract hitters.
According to Marlins players, the psychedelic home run sculpture in deep left-center could pose a problem for some hitters, specifically left-handed batters facing right-hand pitchers with sidearm deliveries.
“If it is an issue, it can no longer be there,” warned Marlins utility player Greg Dobbs. “I won’t be the only left-handed hitter saying something. If other teams have a problem with it, they’re definitely going to voice their concern to the league.” (Miami Herald)
Others like catcher John Buck aren’t sure if the sculpture is a distraction but do think there’s the potential.
“It’s kind of my job to scope those things out,’’ Buck said. “It might be close. It might be all right. I don’t know. We’ll see. I think for left-handed batters it might be trouble.” (Miami Herald)
There shouldn’t be any surprise but Marlins officials are fighting the distraction label harder then they did for a new stadium. Team president David Samson told the Herald, “Major League Baseball officials gave the ballpark a thorough going-over Thursday to make sure it conformed to standards that include the batter’s ability to pick up a baseball as it leaves the pitcher’s hand.”
What’s even less of a surprise is pitchers think the backdrop and sculpture will help them out. One who is excited about the opportunities to pitch in front of it is Steve Cishek.
One Marlin who isn’t complaining is right-handed reliever Steve Cishek, who not only throws with a near sidearm delivery but also stands on the side of the rubber closest to third base.
He said he welcomes any advantage he can get. If his pitches look to left-handed hitters like they’re eggs popping out of one of the pink flamingos painted on the sculpture, he’s not going to protest.
“Fine with me,’’ Cishek said, “as long as the catcher can see it.” (Miami Herald)
Here’s a picture of the sculpture as well as a video of it in action. You tell me what you think, will this be a distraction?
Again what are your thoughts?