Michigan has apparently passed a new law that will make all public places become “smoke free” in May and unfortunately for Tigers manager Jim Leyland “public places” includes Comerica Park.
Leyland learned of the law while appearing on a radio show yesterday and said that he plans to follow the rules, but added:
Is it banned all over? Really … then I’ve got a problem. Houston, we’ve got a problem. I’m not saying that I won’t cheat once in awhile. I’m not going to lie.
Leyland was known for smoking in the dugout during games and, once that became frowned upon, lighting up in the clubhouse ramp between innings. He also once had a quote that must have made cigarette makers smile, saying: “Sometimes, smoking is fantastic.”
If the Tigers have a great April and then struggle once the calendar flips to May, we may know why.
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.