Monday, March 5, 2012
According to MLB rules, hitters must be able to see the ball leave the pitcher's hand without any interference. This is why MLB stadiums do not have any field-level seats in straightaway centerfield.The team says MLB has given the okay, and I'd be surprised if that okay is rescinded once the season starts. Opposing left-handed hitters will definitely complain to the league about it (because there is no reason not to), but keep in mind that MLB represents ownership, not the players. Unless other owners raise a fuss about it, this issue will die a quiet death, methinks.
Though the team is adamant that it received clearance from the league regarding the structure, a few players on the team think it could still be a problem when play begins at the new stadium.
"I won't be the only left-handed hitter saying something" Marlins utility infielder Greg Dobbs said ominously to the Miami Herald on Sunday. "If other teams have a problem with it, they're definitely going to voice their concern to the league."
And really, if the structure actually does make it difficult for lefties to see the ball leave the pitcher's hand, it will affect Marlins hitters just as much as their opponents. But that will not likely prevent someone complaining about the Marlins' perceived unfair competitive advantage.
Regardless, the Marlins better hope the complaints don't lead MLB to force the team's hand. If they are actually ordered to do something about the structure, they will either have to take it down or move it closer to the leftfield line. The latter would be expensive, and logistically impossible during the season (I think).