Marlins say shared playing surface is still "a concern"

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In this era of single-sport stadiums, it’s becoming rare to see the shadows of a baseball diamond on a football field.  Or vice-versa.

But that’s exactly what the Marlins and A’s go through every time summer turns to fall and it causes stress for at least one infield coach. 

The Marlins’ Joe Espada told Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post on Saturday that the shape of the field at Sun Life Stadium in Miami is “a concern” and that he worries about it every time the NFL’s Dolphins play a game during the baseball season.

“If there’s a tackle right over the shortstop area. They beat that place up,” said Espada.  “I want to make sure when we get there the surface is playable and guys
aren’t getting bad hops and the track is good. After the last time, the
field was in decent shape.

I’m very aware of it.  It’s a concern.”

That’s exactly how we feel here at Hardball Talk when PFT’s Mike Florio stops by and drops some knowledge.  Well, not really.  But that joke had to be made out of pure convenience.

The Marlins and Espada won’t have to worry about sharing a stomping grounds with a football team for much longer.  In 2012, the Fish will move into a baseball-only downtown stadium and the Dolphins will take over Sun Life for good.

Watch: Christian Yelich continues to make a case for NL MVP repeat

Christian Yelich
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Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.

The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.

While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.

Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.

It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.