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March 26, 2012

Wezen-Ball

The Miami Home Run Machine

by Larry Granillo

This video has been making the rounds this morning, but that's only because it is the greatest thing ever:

For those who don't know, this is the new home run structure the Miami Marlins have installed in centerfield of their new ballpark. Every time Giancarlo Stanton or Hanley Ramirez or any other Marlin hits a home run, the structure will perform the dance you see in that video. I would imagine a Gloria Estefan version of "The Natural" theme music will play over the stadium's speakers as it dances, but we'll have to wait until the baseball season starts to know for sure.

Dave Brown of Yahoo! Sports describes the contraption as the "unwanted zombie lovechild of a pinball machine, a carnival roller coaster and a diabolical cuckoo clock." His reaction - while much more colorfully said than everyone else - is pretty common. In short, this Miami Home Run Machine is not very popular. I say that's rubbish! This promises to be one of the more memorable and fun home run celebrations in all of baseball, right behind Bernie Brewer's slide and Billy Beane's desk throw.

One last thing: this video does a poor job of translating just how massive the structure is. Though it looks like it could be somewhere in the 10-to-15 foot tall range, the new display is much closer to 30-to-35 feet tall. Look at the three construction workers below, basically standing one on top of the other. They only cover half the height! That's roughly 18 feet of hard hats and visibility vests, and you could easily fit two or three more workers under them. The new Marlins obviously subscribe to the "Go big or go home" look on life. I'm not complaining.

UPDATE: If you're wondering how the display might look with music playing in the background, watch the Marlins sound test here, with songs such as the "Magnum P.I." theme, the "Mad Men" theme, and the Star Wars Cantina Band playing over the show.

15 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

CRP13

I tried to find an adjective to describe that structure, but my Thesaurus imploded.

Mar 26, 2012 07:38 AM
rating: 6
 
sbrousc

Here's hoping the stadium plays like Citi field circa 2010.

Mar 26, 2012 09:16 AM
rating: 2
 
Patrick

As someone about to get his MFA in studio art, I love anything that brings art to my favorite game. I'm not a huge Red Grooms fan, but anything to keep MLB from becoming overly homogenized and corporate is okay by me. For those of you who think it's garish and gaudy, well, isn't that what professional sports are all about in 2012? This is much less of an eyesore than a giant Budweiser sign.

Mar 26, 2012 10:26 AM
rating: 11
 
cfinberg

Point well taken: uniqueness is the new market inequality. That said, it's been statistically proven that the Groomstrosity is a virtually equivalent eyesore to a replacement-level Budweiser sign.

Mar 27, 2012 02:36 AM
rating: 0
 
boards

When this first came to light a few months back, I was in the group that thought it was an abomination. Well, okay, it is. It seems awfully, shall we say, low-tech by today's standards.

However, I've had a "get off my lawn" revelation. I grew up thinking the exploding scoreboard at the Astrodome was the coolest thing ever. I'm certain that many middle aged baseball fans thought it made a mockery of the game. So I say if those crazy kids in Miami want their garish home run monstrosity that makes us middle aged baseball fans of 2012 uncomfortable, good for them. Well played.

I also agree with Patrick, it's much less unpleasant than a giant Budweiser sign (or a giant Budweiser, for that matter).

Mar 26, 2012 11:05 AM
rating: 9
 
onegameref

There must be some musical accompaniment right? Otherwise it sounds like an old locomotive trying to make it up a too steep hill. Very creative though. Those jumping marlin sure look nice. They would look nice hanging on a den wall too.

Mar 26, 2012 11:59 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Larry Granillo
BP staff

I included this above in the update, but you can see what the display might look like with musical accompaniment here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=16307

Magnum PI and Game of Thrones seem to be the favorite, but I really like the Cantina Band as well...

Mar 27, 2012 06:27 AM
 
eighteen

My reaction wasn't revulsion or disgust so much as "Really? That's the best you can do? You take $500 million from the public, and that's the best you can give back?"

Mar 26, 2012 12:24 PM
rating: 2
 
ofMontreal

I frickin' love this thing. Although it needs a clincher of some kind. Maybe there will be music of some kind.

Mar 26, 2012 15:01 PM
rating: 0
 
Mr. Cthulhu

I love this thing.

I love their new logo.

I have come to accept I love things that are tacky and colorful.

I blame it on growing up in the 90s.

Mar 26, 2012 18:25 PM
rating: 4
 
bquine

Am I the only one who suddenly thinks it's not gaudy enough? At the end when it lights up with all the pretty colors, I want some kind of Bellagio-type fountain effect in the background, pillars of smoke, a few flashbang detonations, and maybe that sound that Godzilla makes.

Mar 26, 2012 18:51 PM
rating: 4
 
Patrick

I agree that it should be even bigger and flashier. From the video it seems there is some burst of rainbow light at the end, but I agree that it should be even bigger and flashier.

Mar 27, 2012 06:15 AM
rating: 0
 
Richie

The 'Godzilla Bellow' after every home run. Now THAT! is inspired!

(of course, who knows how much of a licensing fee they'd charge you)

Mar 26, 2012 20:02 PM
rating: 0
 
cfinberg

Hideki Matsui does have a little free time on his hands these days...

Mar 27, 2012 02:38 AM
rating: 2
 
amazin_mess

Befitting of the franchise.

Mar 27, 2012 06:19 AM
rating: 1
 
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