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Volume 24 No. 217
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Marlins Reportedly Considering Getting Rid Of Sea-Themed Home-Run Sculpture In Left Field

The Marlins reportedly are "considering dumping" their multicolored, sea-themed home-run sculpture in left-center field, according to Tim Healey of the South Florida SUN SENTINEL. Marlins CEO Derek Jeter and the team recently hosted Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and the future of the home-run sculpture was among the "main topics of discussion." Jeter and the Marlins are "very much interested in removing it." Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Affairs Dir Michael Spring said, "They look at it as being emblematic of the former owner." Healey notes moving the sculpture is "only in its early stages." Over the next few weeks, Spring said that the county will do some "legwork on how much it will cost to remove and re-install elsewhere." Spring will also speak to the sculpture's artist, Red Grooms, who would "need to be involved." The Marlins would need to "cover the cost of moving the 73-foot behemoth" that cost nearly $2.5M to build. It is "not clear how much the project would cost." Gimenez, like the Marlins, "doesn’t like the sculpture." He also has "not been a fan of most aspects of the Marlins for years." With Marlins Owner Bruce Sherman and Jeter in charge of the team now, Gimenez’ relationship with the organization "seems to have thawed" (South Florida SUN SENTINEL, 1/17). The sculpture has become a "lightning rod for fans." Some see it "screaming 'Miami,'" while others believe it is a "garish distraction" (MIAMI HERALD, 1/17).

TURNING A CORNER? The HERALD's Hanks notes Gimenez "boycotted Marlins Park for almost the entire time Jeffrey Loria owned the team." But yesterday he emerged from a ballpark tour by Jeter with a "customized Marlins birthday cake." This could "signal the sharp political turnaround under way for the new ownership even if fans are furious at Jeter’s roster moves" (MIAMI HERALD, 1/17).