With a mere 49 home runs at home this season, there’s naturally some talk that Marlins Park aka Citi Field II presents last-place Marlins with a home field disadvantage. Manager Ozzie Guillen, he of the triumphant return to Twitter, isn’t hearing any of it, telling the Palm Beach Post’s Joe Capozzi, “ we are not in last place because the place is too big. Period.”
“We’ve got to deal with the ballpark, and we’re going to be negative coming in here every day, ‘Oh, this ballpark is too big’?’’ Guillen asked incredulously.
“We’ve got to play in this ballpark 81 games and I don’t want to hear any more (from) my players, my hitting coach, nobody with this uniform worry about this place (being) too big. If they think this place is too big, let me know. I’ll put somebody else in who can hit bloopers behind shortstop.’’
Players have grumbled amongst themselves all season. But they became more vocal about the topic after John Buck just missed what would’ve been a game-ending home run by hitting a 418-foot fly out to end Sunday’s game.
Guillen told reporters before Tuesday’s game that he heard some of his players grumbling about the generous dimensions during batting practice.
“‘I can’t hit home runs here.’ Ha, ha,’’ Guillen said, repeating what his players have said. “We are not going to move the fence. That’s it.’’
Guillen dismissed the suggestion that the dimensions will make it hard for the Marlins to sign free-agent power hitters.
“That’s a bunch of crap,’’ he said. “I guarantee you, you give them $100 million, they will play here.’’