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Marlins home run display already drawing criticism

(AP)The Miami Marlins' ostentatious home run display has received so much attention before even being plugged in that it could probably be cast as a big character on the team's upcoming Showtime reality show.

But like the players on another famous premium cable show, could it be the subject of a well-publicized whacking? Despite having yet to celebrate a Marlins homer, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that some left-handed batters are already badmouthing the animated monstrosity.

The reason: It's located just to the left of batter's eye, which might make it difficult for left-handed batters to see the ball when it's delivered by a right-handed pitcher.

If that's the case, at least one Marlins player can see it being a big issue in both dugouts.

From 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."

At the moment, no one knows for sure. The Marlins don't play their first game there until Tuesday when they face the University of Miami in an exhibition game.

Marlins executives said there is no reason for concern.

"Not an issue whatsoever," said team president David Samson.

Samson can say that, but the Marlins have already made one misstep when it comes to vision-related issues. The batter's eye in center field was originally painted a shade of green, but Spencer reports it will have to be repainted black so batters can pick up the ball as it comes out of the pitcher's hand. Can we really say that owner Jeffrey Loria's excitement to install the Red Grooms-designed Skeeball acid trip didn't gloss over any concern for the park's hitters?

We'll just have to wait to see if it affects the competition. But it'd be a pricy proposition if the Marlins were forced to relocate the display or remove it altogether. Original estimates had the sculpture running about $2.3 million.

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