09/17/12 7:00 PM ET
Spacious home both a pro and con for Marlins
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
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."
Stanton sits out series opener with sore side
MIAMI -- As a precaution, Giancarlo Stanton wasn't in the Marlins' lineup on Monday night due to a sore left intercostal muscle.
The slugger said he tweaked his side on a swing during Saturday night's game against the Reds.
Stanton played on Sunday, but he felt some discomfort. Rather than risk anything, Stanton was out of the lineup for the series opener against the Braves at Marlins Park.
"Just taking a day," Stanton said.
Miami manager Ozzie Guillen didn't rule out sitting Stanton on Tuesday, as well.
"He has a little soreness in the oblique, rib cage," Guillen said. "He has been dealing with that for a little while. You have to be really, really careful about it because that thing can go for weeks. We're going to go by ear and see how he feels in the next couple of days, and from there we will make a decision on when he is playing or not."
Stanton didn't taking batting practice on Monday, opting to completely rest his side. Justin Ruggiano played right field in place of Stanton on Monday.
Stanton is batting .283 with 34 homers and 81 RBIs. The All-Star is second in the National League in home runs behind Ryan Braun of the Brewers (40).
Catching Braun already is a long shot for Stanton, who is one ahead of Cincinnati's Jay Bruce for second place in the NL.
"I'd rather him miss two games than miss the rest of the season, because that injury really can put you down for a little while," Guillen said. "That's why I think not playing him for a couple of days and all of a sudden we play him and boom he is done for the season. I don't think it's worth the risk to do that."
Marlins nemesis Chipper saying farewell
MIAMI -- In his long career, Chipper Jones has pretty much done serious damage to every team in the National League East.
The Marlins are no exception.
In fact, no other player has hurt them more than Jones, the Braves' 40-year-old third baseman who is retiring after this season.
Against Miami, Jones ranks first in games played (242), RBIs (165), runs scored (151), home runs (40), doubles (47) and hits (256).
Jones' most memorable homer against the Marlins was his 400th career shot, which came off Ricky Nolasco at Turner Field.
"Your milestones, they stick out in your mind," Jones said. "Obviously 400 home runs, that's a lot of trots around the bases. That's probably the one that sticks out to me the most."
For years, Marlins fans have dreaded seeing Jones come to the plate. Now, South Florida will have three more chances to watch the All-Star in Miami.
This week marks Jones' final visit as a player at Marlins Park.
"We had some epic battles down here the years that the Marlins ended up winning the World Series; those were some pretty good teams," Jones said. "We had some great battles with them along the way."
During a pregame ceremony on Wednesday, the final night of the series, the Marlins will pay tribute to Jones with a video, as well as a yet to be announced gift.
Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen holds high praise for Jones, his former teammate.
Guillen feels the Braves slugger should be a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee.
"I think no doubt, but you never know," Guillen said. "So many things go on behind the scenes about the Hall of Fame. But this kid, he grew up in the era where baseball was a little dirty, and he did it the right way."
As impactful as Jones has been throughout his brilliant career, Guillen notes that the All-Star still is a bit underappreciated -- at least outside of Atlanta.
"I think so," the Marlins manager said. "The way he went about his business. He's not a flamboyant guy. He's not a cocky guy. He's not a problem guy. He's not the type of guy who is going to be in the news for the wrong reason. I think that makes him not being noticed.
"He's a true leader. He's not a fake leader. He's a true leader. When you get the respect from your teammates, that means you've got a great [career]."