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D-backs get first look at Marlins Park

D-backs get first look at Marlins Park

D-backs get first look at Marlins Park
MIAMI -- The D-backs hitters were out for early batting practice Friday afternoon to get a feel for Marlins Park, which opened earlier this month.

The consensus? It's nice, but it's more friendly for pitchers than hitters.

So far, that's the way the ballpark has played, and D-backs players said it reminded them of Petco Park in San Diego, which is also a large ballpark where the ball does not carry.

"It's got a big outfield," Arizona infielder Ryan Roberts said. "I didn't really hit anything that could possibly be a homer. I was definitely trying to get the ball on the ground. There's a couple of guys that hit it out, so I'm sure it will go like any other park, but for the most part, it's kind of like Petco. You've got to play it like that. You've got to play to hit one base at a time and not try to drive the ball out of the yard."

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson was more focused on some of the nooks and crannies of the wall where balls seemed to bounce off at odd angles, which means outfielders will have to back each other up when the ball hits off the wall in case it caroms different than expected.

"Ball can hit off the wall and go anywhere," Gibson said. "It looks like it's pretty large. We're going to have to hustle, everyone is going to have to back up. If you hit the ball, you need to run hard because the alleys are big."

One of the many unique features of the ballpark is a large sculpture in left-center that features leaping marlins when the home team hits a homer. A couple of the D-backs left-handed hitters said the sculpture was distracting when they were in the batter's box.

Gibson asked about the sculpture, and when told it only lights up and goes off on Marlins homers, he smiled.

"I don't want to see that," he said.

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