The Nats sign Miguel Batista

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Batista headshot.jpgWashington has signed Miguel Batista, late of Seattle, to a minor league deal. He turns 39 next month.  Last year he went 7-4 with a 4.04 ERA in 56 relief appearances for the Mariners. Before last year he had mostly been a starter, though he’s spent some time as a swingman and was exclusively a reliever in 2005 for the Blue Jays.

Recently the Nats said that they’re looking for “a Livan Hernandez type.”  Though they apparently don’t think Livan Hernandez fits that description, Batista is probably a reasonable facsimile in that he generally stays healthy and isn’t all that good anymore.  Oh, and I’m assuming his crime novels and poetry are better than Livan’s.

Marlins home run sculpture is going, going, gone!

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Not long after the new ownership group bought the Miami Marlins, face of the franchise Derek Jeter made it clear that he wanted the home runs sculpture beyond the outfield fence gone. He simply doesn’t like it aesthetically and many think that, among Jeter’s goals, he’d like to erase any trace of Jeff Loria’s legacy, which includes the sculpture.

The problem: the sculpture is not Jeter’s to remove. The sculpture is public property, purchased as part of the Art in Public Places program, which requires art to be installed for the public in county-owned buildings, which includes Marlins Park. Miami-Dade officials have said that moving it was not possible as the sculpture was “not moveable” and was “permanently installed: as it was designed specifically for Marlins Park. And that’s before you get into how logistically complicated it would be to move it. It’s seven stories tall and is connected to a hydraulic system, plumbing and there’s electricity.

What Jeter wants, however, Jeter eventually gets. From the Miami Herald:

The Miami Marlins won county permission on Tuesday to move its home-run sculpture out of Marlins Park to the plaza outside . . . In its new location outside, “Homer” will still turn on for home runs, as well as at the end of every home win and every day at 3:05 p.m., an homage to Miami’s original area code.

It may or may not be moved before Opening Day, but once it is moved there will be a new seating and standing room only area for spectators where the sculpture currently sits.