I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw the box score this morning, but there it was. Jeff Francoeur drew three walks in last night’s 4-2 win over the White Sox.
The three walks were actually a career-high for Francoeur. The free-swinging outfielder came into last night’s action with just 20 walks all season. He had drawn two walks in a game 18 previous times in his career, but never three.
Before you think that Francoeur is turning a new leaf at the plate, just realize that two of the walks were intentional. Perhaps the real headline here should be, “White Sox intentionally walk Jeff Francoeur twice for some reason.” To be fair, Chris Sale was able to work out of scoring threats both times he gave free passes to our old friend Frenchy. Still, this moment is worth filing away for posterity’s sake.
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.