Marlins president promises there will be homers . . . and women in bikinis

MIAMI -- As Hanley Ramirez proved Tuesday night, it is entirely possible to hit a home run at Marlins Park, where some but not all balls that are crushed fall to earth short of the warning track.

Ramirez, who has hit a few of those crushed non-homers, crushed one that went off the back fence in left-center field, to the left of the crazy home run sculpture and to the left of the Clevelander bar.

And the girls in bikinis.

This is all relevant, because Marlins president David Samson insisted before Tuesday's game that the park will play just fine . . . and that there will be home runs hitting girls in bikinis.

Only in Miami, right?

Tuesday's game against the Cubs was just the fifth official game at Marlins Park, but already people are saying that it's far too big. Samson said confidently Tuesday night that it's not.

"We're not worried about the dimensions," he said. "We're still learning this ballpark, and so are our fans and players."

Ramirez's home run was the fourth in the park's history, and the third by a Marlin. Only one has gone into the Clevelander bar behind left field, which features a swimming pool, go-go dancers and, yes, girls in bikinis.

"I want home runs hitting people in bikinis," Samson said. "That's my No. 1 marketing plan. You know how they have people in San Francisco chasing home runs in kayaks? We'll have people snorkel to the ball surrounded by bikini-clad women.

"If that's not Miami . . . "

It always takes awhile to truly judge a new park, and it could take longer at Marlins Park than at others. Because the new stadium has both a retractable roof and left-field windows that open and shut, there are actually four different combinations to test (open-open, shut-shut, roof open-windows shut, roof shut-windows open).

Tuesday's game against the Cubs was the first played with the roof open but the left-field window shut. No game has yet been played with the roof shut and the windows open. Because of Miami's heat and humidity, the Marlins expect most games from June through the end of summer to be played with roof and windows closed.

Through the Marlins' first four home games, only three home runs were hit at Marlins Park, two by the Marlins and one by the Astros' J.D. Martinez.

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