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Marlins unveil new park's dimensions


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MIAMI -- Some of the characteristics of the old stadium will be incorporated into the Marlins' new ballpark.


Specifically, the field dimensions.


Like Dolphin Stadium, the Marlins' retractable-roof facility on the Orange Bowl grounds in the Little Havana section of Miami will be pitcher-friendly.


For the first time, the dimensions of the outfield have been revealed for the ballpark, which is tentatively scheduled to open in 2011.


"This is a pitchers' park," Samson said.


HOK Sport, the designer of the new park, has drawn up a field that will have a 340-foot fence down the left-field line. The left-field alley will be set at 384 feet.


Many fans have e-mailed asking if the new home will have a spacious and oddly angled center field similar to Dolphin Stadium. The answer is yes.


That vast area, called "The Bermuda Triangle," will be carried over to the Orange Bowl. But the measurements won't be exactly the same.


The deepest part of the new park will be 420 feet, and then it will slant down to 416 feet in dead center. The power alley in right center is 392 feet. The shortest part of the park will be 335 feet, down the right-field line.


"The reason for the 420-quirk in left-center field is a nod to the 'Bermuda Triangle,' and an acknowledgment of what we will consider to be a moon shot that can be hit out of the ballpark in that direction," Samson said.


Pitchers certainly are going to like the building, which projects to make hitting home runs a challenge.


The current measurements at Dolphin Stadium are: 330 feet in left field, 434 feet at the peak of the triangle in center, 385 feet in right center and 345 feet down the right-field line.


What still hasn't been finalized is the height of the wall. One thing that is clear is it will vary. Dolphin Stadium has the "teal monster" at 26 1/2 feet in left field, while the rest of the wall is set at eight feet.


"The last piece of the field-dimension puzzle is the fence size, which all we can say now is it will not be uniform," Samson said.


Details are still being worked out, but fans in left field will get a unique chance to watch the game literally through the outfield wall.


"Left field is going to have a party suite where people will be looking out at the field from behind the fence," Samson said.


For now, dead center field is going to have a special feature that team owner Jeffrey Loria is helping design.


"Dead center is going to be a surprise that Jeffrey is working on for the stadium," Samson said. "The whole point of this was to have fun, and for the people coming to the game to experience a true baseball-only ballpark that has its own personality in what we hope will be a uniquely Miami personality."


Traditionally, Dolphin Stadium has been a tough park to produce home runs in because of its long dimensions and the heavy South Florida humidity.


With the new park set to have a retractable-roof, how will the ball carry? Samson says no one really knows what the conditions will be like when the roof is closed.


"We have not done any sort of wind study yet," Samson said. "However, it is pretty safe to say that no matter what anybody tells you, it is factually impossible to predict what the wind will do, or how the ball will play there, until you play your first game there. You can do a million studies, and every stadium does it. I can only promise you and say whatever those studies say, you can completely discount because we won't know it until the first game."


The disclosure of the dimensions comes at a time the Marlins are working closely with South Florida officials. Four documents must still be passed by commissioners from the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County before ground is broken.


And the Norman Braman lawsuit, which challenges funding for the project, remains on hold until Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jeri Beth Cohen makes a final decision.


The team is hopeful that ruling will be handed down soon.


As the legal process runs its course, progress continues to be made on the design side.


The Marlins feel strongly about making their new park pitcher-friendly because it feels the model for winning baseball is to build around pitching, defense and speed.


Those were the traits of the Marlins' 2003 World Series title team.


"When we look at Dolphin Stadium, and when we won it in 2003, we had a very, very good lineup," Samson said. "But people were saying, 'We had no lefty [power] in the lineup. We weren't balanced. How were we going to win?' All of a sudden in the playoffs, when you look at what won it for us in the World Series, it was very simple: We had perfect starting pitching and a rock solid back of the bullpen.


"We think what wins is pitching, speed and defense. We've always thought that, and we're trying to get back to that next year. We want to build a ballpark that is conducive to that because we're in this to get World Series rings. That's how we think we get them."


The Marlins closely analyzed the Phillies and their rise to World Series champions this season. Philadelphia, playing at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park, relied heavily on stellar pitching throughout the playoffs.


"The scouting report on Philadelphia's stadium is that it is a hitters' ballpark," Samson said. "The irony in our evaluation of their World Series victory is they had tremendous starting pitching. They had solid defense and an absolutely perfect back of the bullpen. "Until they had that, they hadn't won in 28 years. Then they go to a stadium where people think they have to mash people to death. But come playoff time, it's about the pitching. And Philly got the pitching. Now they have the ring."



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so left field down the line increases from 330 to 340, while right field line shortens from 345 to 335.


right center increases from 385 to 392. those are big power alleys.


you'll only have to hit it 420 instead of 434 to get it over the bermuda triangle, :lol




Certainly still a pitcher's park. Sounds good.

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so left field down the line increases from 330 to 340, while right field line shortens from 345 to 335.


right center increases from 385 to 392. those are big power alleys.


you'll only have to hit it 420 instead of 434 to get it over the bermuda triangle, :lol




Certainly still a pitcher's park. Sounds good.


I still remember the ball that Jacobs hit to the wall of the bermuda triangle, which would have been a home run at any other park and instead he got a triple. If a speedy guy hits it there it will be a automatically inside the park homer. :shifty

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I dont like the idea to have a deep ball park. Our guys are HR hitters, clearly. If some of them are here by then, I would want a ball park that is average, one that treats pitchers fairly but also one that gives our already MLB leading HR hitters an extra edge, which would give guys like Dan Uggla upwards towards 5 to 10 more HR's if he starts as hot as he did last season.

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