The Miami Marlins have changed a lot in just four short months. Owner Jeffrey Loria is gone. Team president David Samson is gone. So is Giancarlo Stanton. And Christian Yelich. And Marcell Ozuna.
All that change was brought on by Marlins CEO and part-owner Derek Jeter. But even though the team looks so different, there’s one thing that Jeter hasn’t been able to change: the home run sculpture in the outfield.
On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that Jeter and the Marlins are likely stuck with the sculpture, named “Homer,” for the foreseeable future. No matter how much Jeter might want to get rid of it, the ballpark and the sculpture are owned by Miami-Dade County. And Michael Spring, director of the county’s department of cultural affairs, told the AP that they’re not interested in moving it anywhere.
The big question, of course, is why Jeter would want to get rid of something that’s such a huge part of Marlins Park. For a little insight, here’s what Jeter said when the AP asked him about the sculpture.
What’s Jeter’s opinion of the 73-foot-tall artwork?
“It’s big,” he said. “It’s big. It’s big.”
Does he like it?
“It’s unique,” he said.
Yeah, he hates it. Saying something is “unique” is a PR-friendly way to say you hate it. It’s extremely obvious from those quotes that he really, really doesn’t like it.
Who knows why he hates it. Jeter is a baseball traditionalist, and such a “big,” garish, loud statue probably doesn’t fit in with his ideal aesthetic for a baseball stadium. But if that’s true, you have to wonder if he’s ever really walked around Marlins Park. The whole structure, is meant to be a reflection of Miami’s colorful and unique culture. The floors of the concourse switch from blue to purple to red to orange. The walls are bright green. The team employs a basketball-style hype team that gets the crowd cheering during games. They even sell ceviche!
The sculpture, a $2.5 million piece of artwork by Red Groom, is part of that Miami aesthetic. Plus, there’s another matter to consider. Moving it would not only be against the wishes of the artist, but it would lessen the value of the piece. And beyond that, can you imagine that sculpture anywhere else? Ballpark or otherwise? Imagine walking into the Miami courthouse and having it go off in your face. Fun? Yes. Appropriate? Probably not.
The sculpture is definitely divisive. Most people either love it or hate it — there’s rarely an in-between. But Jeter better learn to live with it, because it’s not going anywhere.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
– – – – – –