MIAMI -- Depending on your point of view, Marlins Park plays either too big or it's just right.
The Marlins' flashy new home also is one of the most difficult places to hit a home run.
John Buck witnessed that first-hand on Sunday when his blast that traveled at least 416 feet to center field, was snared at the wall by Drew Stubbs. In pretty much any other ballpark, Buck would have had a two-run, walk-off homer. Instead, he connected on a loud final out, and the Marlins lost, 5-4, in 11 innings to the Reds.
The sign on the wall in center field says 418 feet, and the gap in left-center is 386 feet, compared to 392 feet in right-center.
The Marlins have no intention of moving the walls in, like the Mets did at Citi Field this year.
Buck says as a hitter, you want the walls closer, but the catcher enjoys them back when he is behind the plate.
"I don't get paid to make those decisions," Buck said. "If you asked me last night, '[I'd say], 'Heck yeah.' If you ask me behind the plate in the ninth, and it's me behind the plate, and we catch it, 'Yeah, they're fine.'"
Recently, Buck recalls Adam LaRoche of the Nationals hitting a long shot that was caught in a similar part of the park.
That's where first baseman Carlos Lee will joke with the opposition.
"I see guys hit the ball pretty hard, and they're going around first," Buck said. "Now, it's to the point where they'll hit it and they'll look at us. Carlos will chime off at them, and say, 'Not here. Not in Miami.' It can play as an advantage or disadvantage."