One year after a highly publicized spending binge, the Miami Marlins have rid themselves of much of their high-priced contractual obligations. They fired manager Ozzie Guillen and traded stars Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle.
One item the Marlins cannot rid themselves of is the home run sculpture beyond the outfield fence. The colorful display lights up, with a pair of rotating Marlins diving clockwise and a third Marlin spinning at the top of the feature. The sculpture has been labeled "ugly," "tacky" and "horrifying." David Brown of Yahoo!'s Big League Stew blog wrote that the sculpture "lights up like the unwanted zombie lovechild of a pinball machine, a carnival roller coaster and a diabolical cuckoo clock."
Say what you will about Reyes, Johnson and Buehrle, but at least those guys never inspired this much hate.
It would be one thing if the sculpture was flamboyant but cheap. Then maybe fans could look past it. Unfortunately, it was anything but. In fact, it took $2.5 million to construct. And as SNY.tv calculated, that's more than the salary of 22 of the current 25 players on the Marlins' roster.
Marlins fans have had to go through a lot in the past year -- they watched their team finish dead last in the NL East in 2012 and then saw the ownership dismantle a team full of stars. And now the team is left with a smattering of no-name players who are getting paid less than a widely-criticized home run sculpture.
The Marlins started out with two series on the road, so fans haven't had a chance to experience the sculpture this year. But even when Miami plays at home, supporters won't be seeing much of the display. Through six games the Marlins are second-to-last in the National League with just two long balls.