Mayors tour Marlins Park, discuss HR sculpture

January 17th, 2018

MIAMI -- The Marlins had a couple of distinguished guests tour their ballpark on Tuesday. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez and City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez each made separate visits, and according to the team, they discussed a variety of topics.
Among them was the future of the colorful home run sculpture, which stands more than 70 feet tall and is protected by the county's Arts in Public Places program.
The Marlins have never publicly said they want the sculpture to go, but there is a possibility the fixture that stands behind the wall in center field could be removed.
"I just don't think they're all that crazy about it," Gimenez told the Miami Herald. "I'm not a fan. We're looking at it. … We'll see if anything can be done."
After each home run by a Marlins player, it sprays water and features mechanical spinning marlins. It's been the subject of discussion since it was revealed when the park opened in 2012.
The structure cost $2.5 million, and the club paid for it as part of the team's $155 million commitment to the building, which is owned by Miami-Dade County.
On Tuesday, Gimenez encouraged local residents to give the Marlins' new ownership group, headed by Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter, a chance.

During the day, the Marlins gave Gimenez an early birthday present, a special cake with the team's logo. The mayor turned 64 on Wednesday.
The Marlins are going through roster restructuring, and they have parted with some of their core players, including , Dee Gordon and . After the tour, Gimenez was encouraged by the team's new direction.
"He wants to build a team the right way, from the ground up," Gimenez told reporters. "I understand what he's doing. It's going to be tough for a couple of years. … He wants to do right by the town."