Miami trying to carve home-field advantage

Miami trying to carve home-field advantage

MIAMI -- It's a small sample size, but whether the roof is open or shut, it appears Marlins Park will play big. With its spacious gaps, high wall and 418-foot center field, home runs appear hard to come by.

The initial thought was, with the roof open, the strong winds would knock down fly balls and lead to many long outs. But with it closed, the ball would play more fairly.

That may not be the case. There were about four or five balls hit on Friday night with the roof shut that didn't clear the fence. Hanley Ramirez on Saturday scorched a ball to dead center, and the winds knocked it down on the lip of the warning track.

"This is our home ballpark," bench coach Joey Cora said. "If that's the way it's going to play out, that's the way it's going to play out. We play 81 games and playoffs. This is our ballpark. This is the way we're going play. We cannot get frustrated. Let them frustrated, the guys who are coming from other ballparks. We have to play the game at home. This has got to be our home."

Naturally, more time is needed to see how the park will play. Gaby Sanchez says he doesn't feel players will eventually get frustrated and get out of their approach.

"I don't think so, because now you're not thinking about that home run ball," Sanchez said. "You're thinking about staying in the gap and trying to drive it.

"It will frustrate guys throughout the course of the season, because there are balls that could be homers, which would lead to an extra run for the team and lead to big innings. But we're a team that's built on gap-to-gap hitters anyway."