Greg Dobbs Finds the Marlins' Home Run Structure Quite Distracting

Greg Dobbs Finds the Marlins' Home Run Structure Quite Distracting

They haven't even played a game, and it's already a problem.

If you've somehow managed to avoid it (and we don't know how you could have), feast your eyes on Miami's fancy new home run...thing (pictured right). This bad boy, much like the Liberty Bell at Citizens Bank Park, is set to go off every time a Marlin goes yard this season.

Assuming, of course, Greg Dobbs doesn't put a stop to the whole production before opening day.

Apparently, the structure's placement, combined with the arm angle of a righthanded sidearm pitcher, causes legitimate problems for left-handed hitters.

Remember those "this is your brain, this is your brain on drugs" commercials? Well, this is a batter's eye, and that thing in Miami is a batter's eye on LSD.

Dobbs' lament in the Miami Herald:

“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.”

Marlins president David Samson is denying there's any sort of problem, insisting that MLB officials cleared the structure after making sure it conformed to standards governing the rules of play.

Meanwhile, everyone who doesn't have egg on their face considers this more than just an artistic mishap.

Miami reliever Steve Cishek, for example, seems pretty psyched (get it?). Cishek is not only a righthanded sidearmer, but he also stands on the right most part of the pitching rubber, closest to third base. This excerpt -- from the aforementioned article in the Herald -- is the entire situation in a nutshell:

[Cishek] 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.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this summer, an event unlike any other, Greg Dobbs and Steve Cishek star in "Fear and Loathing in New Marlins Ballpark."

Read more here:[embed]http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/05/2675578/sculpture-at-marlins-park-might.html#storylink=cpy

Union see 4-game winning streak end in shutout loss to Real Salt Lake

Union see 4-game winning streak end in shutout loss to Real Salt Lake

BOX SCORE

SANDY, Utah -- Joao Plata scored his first goal of the season and Real Salt Lake beat the Union, 1-0, on Saturday night to snap Philadelphia's club-record winning streak at four games.

Plata tapped in his goal in the 36th minute after quickly exchanging short passes twice with Jefferson Savarino. Tony Beltran got the play started by saving the ball just before it went over the goal line.

The Union (4-5-5) had a chance to tie it in stoppage time, but goalie Nick Rimando blocked Haris Medunjanin's belt-high free kick and Salt Lake (4-8-2) cleared it after a scramble in front of the net.

Union goalkeeper Andre Blake made seven saves.

Howie Kendrick makes 4th rehab appearance in Lehigh Valley

Howie Kendrick makes 4th rehab appearance in Lehigh Valley

Howie Kendrick on Saturday night made his fourth rehab appearance in Triple A during Lehigh Valley's 13-1 rout of the Louisville Bats in Allentown.

Kendrick went 1 for 5 with a run scored and three strikeouts. He also grounded into a double play and left two runners in scoring position.

It was his second rehab game playing third base. He played third during his appearance in the IronPigs' 8-4 loss Thursday to the Indianapolis Indians. He was 0 for 1 in three plate appearances with a run scored and was hit by a pitch twice (see story).

The Phillies' plan for Kendrick was to have him play a minimum four games at Lehigh Valley. He played left field in two games and third base twice. Pete Mackanin said Wednesday that Kendrick would also get a game at first base but he hasn't gotten a game at first yet.

There is a chance Kendrick could be recalled Sunday before the Phillies’ series finale against the Cincinnati Reds depending on how he feels.

Kendrick has been sidelined since April 15 with an oblique strain. In 10 games before the injury, Kendrick went 13 for 39 (.333) with five extra-base hits and four walks while exclusively playing left field.