Miami taxpayers are buying some giant jumping fish home run thingie

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Marlins logo.jpgOn Tuesday, Miami-Dade County approved proposals for $5.3 million in public art projects for the Marlins new ballpark.  They rejected my Jeff Conine fresco — apparently they didn’t believe me when I told them that the nudity would be tasteful — but they did approve some jumping fish contraption:

It’s still conceptual and difficult to describe, but it’s something
like an arcade game decorated with pelicans and seagulls, blue sky and
clouds with a series of marlins that will actually jump after a Marlins
player hits a home run.

If by “like an arcade game” they mean “like that scene at the end of the Sesame Street cartoon where the pinball travels all over during the “one-two-three-FOUR-five-six-seven-eight-NINE-ten-eleven-tweeeeeeeelve” song, than I understand. Here’s the video. Judge for yourself.

I actually kind of like it. I mean, it’s no Big Apple and no drunken, lederhosen-wearing mustachioed mascot sliding into a giant mug of beer, but it’s got something going for it. Beats fireworks anyway.

(thanks to Pete Toms for the link)

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

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Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.

The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.

Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.

Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.

Luis Valbuena to miss four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring

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Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.

Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.

Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.