The centerfield sculpture at Marlins Park caused an uproar even when it was simply an animated drawing. Now Marlins fans can see the monstrosity in all its grandeur thanks to a YouTube user who posted a clip of the structure in action last week.
Set to go off whenever a Marlin hits a home run in the new ballpark, the sculpture's flamingoes flap their wings while marlins circle the structure's blinking lights. A water cannon and undulating multicolor waves complete the effect of a bizarro cartoon arcade. See the video of the sculpture below:
In actuality, this structure seems a lot more tame than you may have expected after seeing the conceptual animation released last year. There is no music or fireworks accompanying the sculpture's action, but the team could wait to add those elements until real games start at the stadium next week. Knowing the Marlins, Pitbull probably provided the soundtrack (though a recording of The Final Countdown by Europe would also go nicely with the sculpture).
Regardless, if you did not like the sculpture before seeing the video, then you probably still won't like it afterward. Even the Marlins' own players cannot really avoid giving the thing a backhanded compliment.
"I'm not an art guy but it catches your eye," Aaron Rowand said after the team's exhibition against UM at Marlins Park earlier this month. "It's big and bright, just like Miami," John Buck added.
The only hope for the sculpture's critics is the possibility that opposing hitters will complain to MLB that the structure is a distraction and distorts sight lines. Greg Dobbs said earlier in March, "If other teams have a problem with it, they’re definitely going to voice their concern to the league."
Still, that outcome seems unlikely, since the league already did a walk-through of the new stadium a few weeks ago, ostensibly signing off on all aspects of Marlins Park.
All in all, Marlins fans might be the only fanbase in MLB this season that actively roots for its team to avoid hitting home runs.