Phillies fire hitting coach Milt Thompson

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As first reported by Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, the Phillies dismissed hitting coach Milt Thompson on Thursday evening.

As with most coaching fires in baseball, Thompson was more of a scapegoat than anything.  The third-place Phillies have been hit by serious injury after serious injury this season and their struggles have more to do with the disabled list than the guy yelling “stay back in the box” from the dugout. 

But that is life in the major leagues — a life Thompson knows well.  The 51-year-old played in the major leagues for 13 seasons and retired in 1996 with a .274/.335/.372 career batting line.

Greg Gross has been promoted from his post as Triple-A Lehigh Valley’s
hitting coach and will fill in for the rest of the year.  The Phils are seven games back of the Braves in the NL East.

Marlins unveil what they’re putting in the space where the home run sculpture used to be

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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. In October they announced that it would, in fact, be moving out to a plaza or the parking lot or someplace you’re unlikely to ever see it because who goes to Marlins games?

Today we got a tease of what the Marlins are doing with the space the sculpture is vacating:

It was only a matter of time before that green wall went away. There are a lot of things I like about the overall aesthetic of Marlins Park, but almost all of them are because of their novelty. Jeff Loria was bad for a lot of reasons, but one of the few good things he did was eschew nostalgia and traditionalism with the ballpark. Nostalgia and traditionalism, unfortunately, is the straw that stirs baseball’s drink, so any “weird” colors or flourishes were gonna be beat out of that place as the years went on. It was inevitable.

As for the “three-tier social space,” here’s hoping that tickets for it are cheap or the Marlins start winning ballgames soon, because the Marlins can’t really fill their existing spectator spaces now.