DURHAM — The Blue Monster at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park will be unguarded for the next two weeks.
The iconic 20-by-30-foot bull that has stood sentry above the left field wall for 10 years was removed Tuesday, worn and battered by wind and the occasional home run.
A new and improved bull -- two-sided so those beyond the seating bowl can see a synthetic side of beef instead of sign supports -- will take its place March 26. Opening Day is April 11.
The trademark bovine structure, complete with red eyes and a smoke-snorting snout that celebrate homers and wins, is a replica of the original built at the old Durham Athletic Park for the movie "Bull Durham."
That 20-year-old bull has been displayed at the park's main concourse, but it will be dismantled and stored until team officials decide what to do with it.
What's left of that weather-damaged bull could be sent to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, General Manager Mike Birling said.
Or it could be dismantled and sold piece by piece to fans and collectors. Or it may be stored indoors in the American Tobacco Campus or in one of the buildings surrounding the stadium.
The second-generation bull removed Tuesday will take the original's place in the concourse.
The new two-sided bull will be the same size but will be displayed 10 feet higher.
And Bulls purists, breathe easy: It still will say "Hit Bull Win Steak" and underneath "Hit Grass Win Salad."