Listen, if you don't see this as a righteous purveyor of civic uplift ...
... Then, rather than being a mere part of the problem, you are the problem made human. Not many opinions double as objective facts, but here's one: The Marlins' home-run sculpture is an unalloyed delight, and we as a people are better for having glimpsed it.
It's been reported that the Marlins' new owners, for rank and miserable reasons sufficient unto themselves, via Tim Healey of the Sun Sentinel):. At first it appeared that , but on that front here's a dumb update (
CEO Derek Jeter and the Marlins hosted Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez for separate tours Tuesday, a team spokesman said. And the future of the brightly colored, sea-themed home-run sculpture in left-center field was among the main topics of discussion with Gimenez and other county representatives.
Jeter and the Marlins are very much interested in removing it.
We've spent some bandwidth this offseason trying to talk the Marlins out of self-immolation, but no more. The heart wants what it wants, and in this instance the wants are a bleaker existence. It shall have just that. The end-game is likely that the sculpture winds up as Marlins Man's new street-illegal hood ornament, but it doesn't have to be this way. As in all matters, the Chicago White Sox are there for those with nowhere left to turn.
Know this: The White Sox need to trade for the Marlins' home run sculpture. I say this because Bill Veeck, who owned and operated the Sox from early 1959 through 1961 and then again from 1975 through his retirement in 1981. Along the way, he gave tradition the slip by doing things like putting players' names on the back of their uniforms (gasp), installing an "exploding" scoreboard at Comiskey Park (a simulacrum of which is in Guaranteed Rate Field today), shooting off fireworks after the Sox homered, having Harry Caray lead the masses in singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" (yes, the Sox did this before the Cubs did it), negotiating a major trade in front of assembled fans, bringing back Minnie Minoso to play in his fourth and fifth decades in the majors, outfitting his team in short pants, and allowing a local DJ to blow up disco records on the field.
Not all of those things went especially well, but Veeck's buccaneering ethos was such that his ideas got the, "Hey, watch this s--- ..." treatment, and the consequences of same got a full airing at a later date to be determined, after they were already locked in place. The best way to see if the water's cold is to jump in, preferably via rope swing tied to an old and rickety oak limb. Fully in keeping with spirit of Veeck on the South Side would be trading for the darn home run sculpture.
Trades are nothing more than an exchange of assets in the service of improving the roster or otherwise making the product more appealing. Sending away a C-grade prospect or three, one of whom might turn into a poor-man's Tim Byrdak, to Miami for the home-run sculpture would not improve the roster but it would indeed make the product more appealing. The White Sox's sense of defiant whimsy -- -- has set them apart from the blue-blood municipal rivals to the north. Well, that and the lack of ticket sales. So consider this opportunity for arbitrage at the Marlins' enduring expense another point of distinction.
And, no, reconstructing the home run sculpture is not an acceptable workaround. This needs to be a direct trade. The sculpture itself needs to be transported via wide-load flatbed from Marlins Park to the House of Down Arrows ...
Yes, people can follow along via social media as the statue makes its 21-hour or so journey north or watch the statue cam as the route unfolds before it. It'll be installed in advance of the April 5 home opener against Detroit. Before batting practice, Frank Thomas, outfitted in the Sox's short-pant unis that they wore on Aug. 8, 1976, can take a few BP cuts until he launches one, thus rousing the thing to life for the first time in franchise history ...
As for the glorious specifics, the home-run sculpture -- to be renamed the South Side Ding Dong Idol -- will be left fully intact with all that South Florida flora and fauna. We'll put a historical marker astride it that explains that how this thing from Miami wound up on 35th Street in Chicago. It was a trade, you see. Add seats with four-point seat belts and cage protection to the flying fish and sell tickets to sit in them, all in the hopes that Yoan Moncada sends you for a ride. A few dozen seats in the 157 and 158 sections will give their lives for this virtuous cause, but, well, no one was sitting there anyway. Soon, though, people will be clamoring for a spot in tantalizing adjacency to Rick Hahn's latest addition. Maybe this promising rebuild will somehow wind up disappointing the rooters in the end, but at least they'll have the South Side Ding Dong Idol.
It goes a little something like this:
(Photoshoppage by the lovely and talented @SuperIgor)
And the people say: Hang that in the Louvre or let there be no Louvre.
Would Bill Veeck approve of what you see above? Bill Veeck would approve of what you see above. The spectral presence of Bill Veeck does approve of what you see above. So herein fail not, White Sox. Only you can save the home-run sculpture and, by extension, all of us.
(By the way, if you're wondering what the sculpture would look like if transported to Texas, @nick_pants has you covered.)