CHICAGO -- The topic turned to grass during Sunday's pre-game chat with manager Fredi Gonzalez and club president David Samson after Gonzalez suggested that part of the reason for the Marlins' improved defensive play this past week could be attributed to the higher infield grass at Busch Stadium in St. Louis and U.S. Cellular Field here in Chicago.
"I think the infields (in the two parks) may be more conducive to our infielders, a littler higher grass, a little slower grass," Gonzalez said.
The Marlins have gone five full games, four of them in St. Louis and Chicago,. without committing an error. The last error charged to a Marlin went to shortstop Hanley Ramirez on Monday -- 49 innings ago -- when he kicked the ball that led ultimately to his benching.
So what kind of grass will the Marlins have in their new ballpark when it opens in 2012?
Samson said the Marlins are looking at several varieties of grass that work in South Florida's climate and in a retractable roof stadium.
"We have to examine the impact of shade from the roof when it's open, and also the impact of irrigation when the roof is closed, so we are in the testing process as we speak," Samson said. "We're the last domed ballpark, so we can learn from everyone's example. They've had to go through several grasses in some of those other domed facilities to get one that grows, and we're doing that here, too. Hopefully we'll get that on the first try, but you never know until you actually put it down."
Samson said the Marlins are looking specifically at grasses used at Minute Maid Park in Houston and Chase Field in Arizona. Also being considered is the type of grass presently being used at Sun Life Stadium.
But Samson said they won't know for sure what works and what doesn't until they put it to use.
"We're going to lay it, and then we won't know until the roof is opened and closed and we're playing, and we may have to redo it," Samson said.
Samson said he doens't know if the grass in the new ballpark will be any higher and slower than the quick surface the Marlins are playing on now at Sun Life Stadium, but they'll try to tailor it to the type of defensive team they have at that time.
"That's a decision based on our team, not necessarily based on sun and shade," he said.
Marlins: 1. Chris Coghlan, lf; 2. Gaby Sanchez, 1b; 3. Hanley Ramirez, ss; 4. Jorge Cantu, dh; 5. Dan Uggla, 2b; 6. Cody Ross, cf; 7. Wes Helms, 3b; 8. Ronny Paulino, c; Brett Carroll, rf. (Pitching: Josh Johnson)
White Sox: 1. Juan Pierre, lf; 2. A.J. Pierzynski, c; 3. Alex Rios, cf; 4. Paul Konerko, 1b; 5. Mark Kotsay, dh; 6. Carlos Quentin, rf; 7. Mark Teahen, 3b; 8. Alexei Ramirez, ss; 9. Gordon Beckham, 2b. (Pitching: Freddy Garcia)
Umpires: HP -- Adrian Johnson; 1B -- Tim McClelland; 2B -- Mike Everitt; 3B -- Andy Fletcher.