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Samson pulls groin to prove point: HR sculpture not a distraction

       The roof is open at Marlins Park, where the Marlins are presently taking batting practice for the first time in advance of tonight's game against the University of Miami. The wind is blowing out, even with the glass panel closed in left. And the home run sculpture is not a distraction, that according to both Marlins president David Samson, catcher John Buck and Triple A manager Ron Hassey.

        All three stood on the mound and in the batter's box to discern if the sculpture would distract left-handed hitters facing a right-handed pitcher with a sidearm delivery. The conclusion: not a problem. In fact, Samson -- though not tall in stature -- said he reached so far to his right while standing on the mound that "I pulled a groin doing it."

        The original apple green batter's eye in center is now black. In fact, the paint is still wet.

        Samson said are experimenting with different roof and windows combinations to find out what works best when the ballpark is not fully enclosed. Today, as I mentioned, it's roof open/windows closed, and the wind is blowing out briskly to left. Everything was open for Monday night's high school game. For Wednesday's game against FIU, it will be roof closed/windows open. The first Yankee game on April 1 will be played with roof and windows closed.  And the second Yankees game on April 2 everything will be open, weather permitting.

         "What we're measuring is temperature inside the bowl, how many degrees it goes up and down, with certain things open and certain things closed," Samson said.

         In the meantime, check out this video of the Marlins' very first batting practice in their new ballpark:

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