Marlins home run sculpture

Derek Jeter has had a hell of a run as the front man for the Marlins organization. It didn’t seem possible that Jeffrey freaking Loria would be a hard act to follow, but just a few months into his tenure, and the Marlins have dealt two of their three best players for nothing more than salary relief, while reportedly ruining their relationship with Christian Yelich, the one asset they decided to keep.

For his next act, Jeter is reportedly interested in removing the Marlins lovably garish home run sculpture.

Via The Miami Herald:

Derek Jeter may get an assist from Miami-Dade in ridding Marlins Park of its kitschy home run sculpture, which the new owner and the county’s mayor both want removed.

“I just don’t think they’re all that crazy about it,” Mayor Carlos Gimenez said after meeting with Jeter and other front-office executives at the county-owned ballpark on Tuesday afternoon. “I’m not a fan. We’re looking at it. …We’ll see if anything can be done.”

This is a travesty. There’s nothing more predictable than Jeter, whose homes probably contain no design touches that feature non-neutral tones, wanting to rip out whatever personality and fun the Marlins have right now.

Read this description from the same article, and tell me it’s not the perfect artistic rendition not just of Miami baseball, but of Miami itself:

Festooned with a carnival’s color spectrum, the work by pop artist Red Grooms comes to life when the Marlins hit a home run, as marlins emerge from the sculpture’s base and fountains spray skyward.

Feelings are reportedly split on the edifice:

 It’s become a lightning rod for fans — some see it screaming “Miami,” others a garish distraction.

That’s perfect, because it pretends that those two things are somehow mutually exclusive. What identity does Miami have as a city if not as a place filled to the absolute brim (South Beach) with garish distractions? Have none of these people played Vice City?

Jeter might not succeed due to another typically Marlins roadblock: cost.

Until Tuesday, Miami-Dade was on record saying that the sculpture could not be removed. The stadium itself is county property, and so is the sculpture — purchased as part of an Art in Public Places program that requires builders of county-owned buildings to install art works for the public. When word of Jeter’s reported distaste for the 72-foot sculpture leaked in August, the county’s cultural chief, Michael Spring, said “Homer” was “not moveable” and was “permanently installed” after being designed “specifically” for Marlins Park.

“Anything is possible,” said Spring, one of Gimenez’s top deputies and an admirer of the sculpture. “But it is pretty complicated. And I wanted the mayor and the Marlins to understand how complicated it really was. We got a good look at it today, and they saw how big it was. There’s hydraulics, there’s plumbing, there’s electricity.

If it is removed from the stadium, let’s hope it ends up somewhere the public can see it. Maybe it could find a home at Hard Rock Stadium, and fire up whenever the Miami Hurricanes score a touchdown. The sculpture would probably see more action in that incarnation anyway, after all, if Jeter has his way.

[Miami Herald]

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.