The Washington Nationals have signed reliever Greg Holland.
Holland posted a ghastly 7.92 ERA over 32 appearances with the Cardinals while watching his strikeout rate go way down, his walk rate going way up and his hits per nine innings almost doubling. It’s just been a nightmare season for a guy who, last year in Colorado, led the league with 41 saves and 58 games finished while posting a 3.61 ERA and striking out 11 batters per nine. Holland rejected the Rockies’ qualifying offer, bypassing $17.4 million salary for 2018. As a result, many felt the Cardinals got a relative bargain on him. That did not, of course, turn out to be the case.
The Nats are counting on a change of scenery to bolster their bullpen which has missed closer Sean Doolittle since he went down with a stress reaction in his foot a month ago. The pen is also shorthanded because the Nats traded two relievers recently because they didn’t like the cut of their jibs or whatever. Specifically, Shawn Kelley, traded after he had a little mound tantrum and glared at the manager, and Brandon Kintzler, traded for allegedly snitchin’ to the press.
The Nats currently trail the division-leading Phillies by 5.5 games.
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.