MIAMI -- Curiosity overcoming them, several Mets strolled out to the field earlier than normal on Friday, wanting to experience firsthand everything they had heard about the new Marlins Ballpark.
"Neon" was the first thing that sprang to pitcher R.A. Dickey's mind.
"It's colorful," Dickey said. "But if you strip away all the paint, all the basepaths are the same. The distance to home plate is the same. It's a stadium."
The stadium features an electric-green outfield fence, a mechanical sculpture in center field that spouts water after a Marlins player homers and an aquarium behind home plate that is visible from the field.
But aside from the obvious cosmetic quirks, the Mets were mostly interested to see how the park plays. In large part because of a 20-foot center-field wall that stands 418 feet from home plate, the stadium has already garnered a reputation as an extreme pitcher's park.
"I've read about it and heard about it enough," said manager Terry Collins, who spoke to several big league managers about Marlins Ballpark before arriving for the first time. "They said it's big. It plays big. We're used to it."