Marlins will soon play in 'a spaceship that just landed'

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Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria recently spoke to the New York Times about the team’s new 37,000-seat, retractable-roof ballpark that opens in 2012 and it sounds like his background as an art dealer will play a big factor in the design:

The city of Miami is a new, electric city, so it called for something contemporary. I wanted the stadium in a place where it would be a piece of sculpture. I wanted people to go to a ballgame to use their eyes and be in a facility that’s not just another retro stadium. Color is very important. The stadium will be bathed by light.



There’s nothing wrong with retro, but it’s time to move ahead into the 21st century. … I’m interested in the sculptural experience, glass, marble, colored bricks, stones, wood. There’s no stadium that’s out there that approximates it because it will be so white and with primary colors all around. It sort of looks like a spaceship that just landed, something different, something people can call their own.

I’m in agreement with Loria that “retro” has now become this era’s cookie-cutter ballpark design choice, but on the other hand I’m not sure that anyone really needs to watch baseball games in “a spaceship that just landed.” Loria also noted that the team is preparing to change uniforms as they enter the new ballpark, because until now the Marlins’ look has revolved around teal and “teal is a color for the ’90s.”

Noah Syndergaard scratched with a “tired arm”

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Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.

Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.

The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.

James Paxton has a fantastic new nickname

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James Paxton of the Mariners is 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA, 39 strikeouts and only six walks in 32.1 innings of work over five starts. Last night he shut the Tigers down, tossing seven shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing only four hits. With Felix Hernandez looking less than king-like lately, Paxton is asserting himself as the new ace of the Seattle staff.

And now the tall Canadian native has a nickname to match his ace-like status:

“Pax was really outstanding and we certainly needed it,” manager Scott Servais said of the Canadian southpaw. “Big Maple is what he was nicknamed tonight and I kind of like that. He was awesome.”

“Big Maple” is a fantastic nickname. That’s the sort of nickname guys used to get back when nicknames were great. Before managers just put “y” at the end of dudes’ names and before the “First Initial-First Three Letters of The Last Name” convention took hold in the wake of A-Rod.

“Big Maple.” That makes me smile. I’m gonna be smiling all dang day because of that.