Miami, opponents weigh in on Marlins Park's effect

Miami, opponents weigh in on Marlins Park's effect

Miami, opponents weigh in on Marlins Park's effect
MIAMI -- All season, Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen has told his players and the media not to blame spacious Marlins Park for offensive struggles.

Miami continues to not make any excuses for a lack of run production.

After being shut out in three straight games for the first time in team history, Miami veteran Greg Dobbs summed up the frustration as a "tough stretch."

"We just have got to battle," Dobbs said. "I think everybody is just trying to do what they can, what they're capable of. Sometimes you've got to tip your cap to your opponent."

But has the ballpark been a factor?

Marlins Park is among the biggest in the game. Center field is 418 feet with a high wall. The power alley in right-center is 392 feet, and the distance in left-center is 386 feet. The park plays more favorably down the lines, with the fence 335 feet away in right field and 344 in left field.

At home, the Marlins have scored 217 runs, compared to 210 on the road. But in terms of home runs, Miami has connected on more on the road -- 55 compared to 43.

According to Stats Pass research, Marlins Park ranks 26th in the league in total home runs hit this year with 84. The park also rates 19th in total runs scored, averaging 8.32 per game.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, who has a keen eye for hitting, says the ballpark could impact the approaches of players accustomed to belting a lot of home runs.

"If you're a hitter, and you usually hit home runs, it will make you swing harder or make you think about swinging harder," Manuel said. "You've got to just calm down and try to hit the ball hard instead of trying to do too much with it."

Could a big park get into a hitter's head if he has launched his share of 400-foot flyouts?

"Very much so," Manuel said. "I think they might try to put more into their swing. They'll try to actually swing harder. When you start swinging harder, you're more apt to not be in control of your swing."

Manuel said batters may try to muscle the ball, rather than have a free and easy swing.

"Basically, I look at the yard, and it's a big park for nowadays," Manuel said. "But at the same time, it still could be a good hitters' park if you use the whole field. If you hit it real good, it will go."