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)

Robinson Cano hit his 300th home run last night

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Last night Robinson Cano hit a solo homer in the ninth inning of the Mariners’ loss to the Texas Rangers. It was his 22nd on the season. Though it was insignificant to the outcome of that game, it was significant to Cano: it was his 300th career homer.

While we’ve become accustomed to not caring much about home run milestones south of, say, 500, 300 homers for Cano is a big deal, as he’s only the third second baseman to cross that threshold in baseball history. The other two: Jeff Kent, at 377, and Rogers Hornsby at 301.

Cano, who turns 35 next month, has a career line of .305/.354/.495 and 1,179 RBI, 512 doubles and 33 triples to go with those bombs. He’s in his 13th big league season and still has six more years left on his deal with the Mariners. He’s averaged 24 homers a year since coming to the Mariners. While he’ll obviously trail off at some point — and while great second baseman’s have this weird habit of just suddenly falling off a cliff — it’s highly likely that he’ll finish his career as the all-time home run leader among second baseman. If he remains healthy he should also get over 3,000 hits in his career.

Cooperstown, here he comes.

Reds sign catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year deal

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Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year contract extension. The terms: $16 million total, with a $7.5 million club option for the 2022 season that has a $500,000 buyout. He also received a $1.75 million signing bonus.

The deal buys out all three of his arbitration years — he was going to be eligible for the first time this offseason — and the first year of his potential free agency. The club option buys a second. Barnhart made $575,000 this season.

Barnhart, 26, is finishing his second season as the Reds primary catcher. This year he’s hitting .272/.349/.399 with six homers and 42 RBI in 113 games. For his career he has a line of .257/.328/.366 in 330 major league games. His real value is defensive, however. He leads the National League in caught stealing percentage and number of base stealers caught (31-for-70, 44%) and leads all players at any position in the league in defensive WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com.