The Miami Marlins’ home run sculpture out in left center field still divides baseball fans. Some see it as a garish, unnecessary display that takes away from the game. Others also see it that way, but are fine with that.
You can put Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon in the former category. In what we assume was an attempt to destroy the massive dinger machine once and for all, the 27-year-old Rendon launched a moonshot home run aimed directly at the structure.
It was a direct hit, nearly taking out one of the flamingos. As Nationals announcer Bob Carpenter says, the ball then bounces “into the lagoon.” Center fielder Christian Yelich could only stand and watch, wondering whether life would be better if the wretched structure toppled over for good.
In the end, it stood firm. That’s quite the accomplishment considering how well Rendon hit the ball. The home run was Rendon’s 13th big fly of the season. He came into Monday’s contest hitting .286/.384/.515 over 271 plate appearances.
Despite the excellent line, Rendon has flown under the radar this year. He ranks just fourth in All-Star voting at third base. In fairness, he does have some tough competition. By fWAR, Rendon has been just as good as both Nolan Arenado and Kris Bryant, two of the three players he’s trailing in the voting.
That’s not to say Rendon is the sure-fire choice to return to Miami for this year’s All-Star Game, just that he deserves more recognition for his play. With that said, we wouldn’t mind seeing him make that trip, if only so that he would have the opportunity to finish off the dinger machine for good.
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