Jeffrey Loria is big into jewelry. Big jewelry.
The World Series rings the Marlins owner purchased for the 2003 champions were the size of golf balls and the largest World Series rings on display at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
But Loria might have outdone himself Tuesday when he presented Dee Gordon with a massive neck pendant for winning the batting and stolen base titles last season.
Gordon was left almost speechless when Loria presented him with the pendant inside the Marlins dugout during batting practice. Gordon put his face in his hands in disbelief.
“Is that a chain or a belt buckle?,” quipped manager Don Mattingly, who was looking on when Gordon received the neck piece. “That is too cool.”
After trying on the pendant, Gordon asked Loria: “Can I show this to my teammates?”
“You can do whatever you want with it,” Loria said.
Loria gave Hanley Ramirez a diamond pendant when he won the 2009 batting title while with the Marlins.
“It’s 1-0 Marlins,” proclaimed Marlins president David Samson.
Samson was referring to Giancarlo Stanton’s home run Monday, which landed just over the fence in right-center. It was the first home run this season that would not have gone out last year, before the Marlins moved in the fences.
“It’s definitely better than a double,” Stanton said of his shot, which would have likely struck the top of the old wall before the Marlins decided to give hitters a better shot at clearing the fence. “It’ll come in handy throughout the season, for sure. I didn’t know it would come this quick. But if you hit a ball like that, and it’s 430 feet off the top of the wall for a double, it’s not as nice.”
Samson said the Marlins are keeping track of which side is benefiting most from the shorter dimensions in their home ballpark. And right now, they have a one home run edge.
The Marlins placed reliever Edwin Jackson on the 15-day disabled list with a right triceps strain. Right-handed reliever Nick Wittgren was called up from Triple A New Orleans to take his place.
“Talking to him today, it sounds like he’s had this a little bit off and on,” Mattingly said. “It’s nothing he thinks is serious. But we were at a point where we knew we couldn’t afford not to have him tonight.”
Wittgren has never pitched in the majors. He was the Marlins’ ninth-round draft pick in 2012 out of Purdue University.
He’s recorded 80 saves during a five-year minor-league career.
“He throws strikes,” Mattingly said. “He’s a guy who’s probably not lighting up the radar. But he’s a guy who’s had success all the way through, and having success now.”
Wednesday: Marlins LHP Wei-Yin Chen (0-0, 5.56) vs. Washington Nationals RHP Joe Ross (2-0, 0.61), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
Thursday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (0-2, 6.30) vs. Washington Nationals RHP Max Scherzer (2-0, 3.15), 1:10 p.m., Marlins Park.