Wednesday, January 31, 2007

 

Footnote to the Book on the 2006 Marlins

'The most poignant moment of the BBWAA dinner came when Hanley Ramirez accepted the NL Rookie of the Year Award. He ended his speech with a tribute to Joe Girardi, the fired Marlins manager, saying, "I love you Joe." The two briefly embraced as Ramirez returned to his seat at the dais.' (NYMetsBlog)

Monday, January 29, 2007

 

Tampa Bay Lightning Trying to Get the Marlins Some State Money

'Lightning officials want to rewrite current state law that gives professional teams an annual $2-million rebate in sales tax revenue. They want the new law to provide for an additional $2-million annually over 30 years .

'That amounts to $60 million in new aid for each team venue that meets certain qualifications.

'The money could only go to the sports facility, for improvements from new seating to playing surfaces.

'All nine major professional sports franchises in Florida could seek the benefit, from the Jacksonville Jaguars to the Florida Marlins and Orlando Magic.'

NOT SO FAST: There's language in the bill that may trouble a team owner with a history like Mr. Loria's....

'Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, is drafting the bill and points to provisions that require any franchise, should it leave Florida within 15 years, to agree to reimburse the state for future payments the venue would receive.'

SO JUST IN CASE: '...Sen. Rudy Garcia, R-Hialeah, has separate legislation to help the Marlins get a new ballpark.' (StPeteTimes)

DON'T-GET-YOUR-HOPES-UP-DATE: 'Still, pro-sports subsidies could be a tough sell in what is shaping up as a leaner-than-expected budget year.

'"That's a very good point, and you just don't know" how receptive lawmakers will be, Fasano said.' (OrlandoSentinel)

 

Ow! Josh Johnson Sore in the Arm Again

(Rotowire)

Friday, January 26, 2007

 

'You Gotta Be Here'

The Marlins new advertising slogan...or probably what the Georgia judge is telling juror Fredi as the trial they're involved in drags on towards spring training. (PalmBeachPost)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

 

Anibal Hurts Shoulder

'The Marlins received a scare recently when pitcher Anibal Sanchez experienced discomfort in his right (throwing) shoulder and underwent an magnetic resonance imaging exam, according to an official close to the situation.

'The MRI results are not believed to have indicated anything serious, but the situation bears monitoring heading into spring training. Sanchez felt discomfort while throwing in offseason conditioning in Venezuela.' (MiamiHerald)

DOUBLE-HOORAY: MLB.com's Joe Frisaro reports that Anibal's MRI shows "no structural damage" - but also, as an aside (as Rotowire noticed), that Josh Johnson is now considered to have received a "clean bill of health".

 

Fan Fest Coming

Fan Fest is February 10, a week after the Super Bowl, and a week before the Monster Truck Show destroys all that Super Bowl grass.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

 

'Murray Cook's Field Blog' Salutes Marshall Jennings...

...as the "Director of Field Operations at Roger Dean Stadium" prepares for another grueling year. (MurrayCooksFieldBlog)

Monday, January 22, 2007

 

Marlins Want Darin Erstad, Who's "Cautiously Optimistic" That He'll Actually Play Again

'The Marlins, who have failed in their attempts to land a young center fielder this off-season, want Erstad to be their regular in center.

'The White Sox could use Erstad, a left-handed hitter, in a center-field platoon with Brian Anderson and also as a backup to Paul Konerko at first base.

'Erstad turned down a one-year offer from the A's, Genske said; other baseball sources say the A's withdrew their bid. The Angels, Genske said, have made a "competitive" proposal. But Erstad would get more at-bats with the Marlins or White Sox...

'Erstad, who played only 40 games last season due to a chronic right ankle injury, underwent surgery to shave down a bone spur in the ankle and remove scar tissue last October.

'He recently said that he is feeling well enough to center field every day.

'"I believe in my heart I can do that," Erstad told the Los Angeles Times. "I'm cautiously optimistic. There's still some stuff I need to do to get back to full strength, but I'm happy with the way it's going. It's nice to know this isn't a career-threatening thing."' (FOXSports)

AND THE WINNER IS...???: Erstad signs with the Pale Hose. (BaseballMusings)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

 

'Brew City Sports' Audits the 2007 Marlins

But before giving opinions on players and positions, Condescendy lets the front office have it...

"The Marlins didn't rebuild properly to rebuild. They rebuilt to dump payroll. Owner Jeffrey Loria is a dick. He pocketed all of the revenue sharing money and maintained under a $10 million team salary. Without going into too much detail again this year, Loria is still trying to blackmail the city of Miami into building him a stadium. If the Marlins couldn't get a publicly financed stadium after either of their World Series Championships, what in the world makes Loria think he's going to get a stadium after putting a sub par product on the field while earning a healthy profit at the league's expense?

"Ultimately, Loria wants to move the team. Whether he moves the team or gets a new stadium, his franchise will be worth at least $100 million more than it is today. This is why the Seligs didn't sell the Brewers until after they worked a new stadium out of southeastern Wisconsin. So, Loria is a sleazedick, and, as much as I love to cheer for underdog young teams, it's difficult to cheer for Loria's Marlins - especially when they powerfuck the Brewers to the tune of a 7-0 record like they did last year." (BrewCitySports)

 

No Mo' Moe

Moe goes to the 'Stros (for his throws, I suppose). (MLB)

Friday, January 19, 2007

 

Jon Heyman Grades the NL's Offseason

(SportsIllustrated)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

 

Did Someone Mention Bryan Harvey?

He's 'decided he is getting back into baseball full-time. He will be the pitching coach this season for the Colorado Rockies' Class A team in Asheville.' (HickoryRecord)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

 

Olivo Signs; Cabrera and Gregg to the Arbitrators

(PalmBeachPost)

Monday, January 15, 2007

 

Dontrelle Can Buy $6.45 Million in Pampers Next Year

Willis agrees with the Marlins on a one-year contract, while Willis' wife agrees to have a daughter in 4 months. (Chron.com)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

 

ESPN's Phil Rogers Promoting Portland, Says MLB Could Make 'More Geographic Sense' If Marlins Move There

'(W)hether it's by relocation or another as-yet-unforeseen round of expansion, history says the makeup of the MLB membership won't stay the same for too long. Since the Dodgers and Giants moved west in 1958, the sport hasn't gone longer than 16 years without adding or moving teams, averaging an expansion or relocation every eight years.

'Look for Portland, a jewel of a city in the shadow of Mt. Hood and near Oregon's scenic coast, to be ready when the next movement comes.

'It has already earmarked $150 million for a public-private stadium partnership -- financed in part by a highly creative plan diverting the income taxes of major league players and executives of Portland's new team to retire stadium bonds -- with seven potential stadium sites, including three along the Williamette River downtown. While that stadium is being built, the Beavers' PGE Park could be expanded to about 25,000 seats to accommodate a speedy transition for an existing team, like the Marlins...

'Perhaps the most appealing thing about the Portland market is that it currently counts the NBA's Trail Blazers as the only franchises from sports' four basic alphabet groups (NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB)...

'A Portland franchise would be positioned to receive civic and corporate support. Adidas, which has its 352,000-square foot headquarters in North Portland, has supported the push to bring an MLB franchise to the city. Nike, based in nearby Beaverton, might join the battle for naming rights to the new ballpark.

'If the Marlins did wind up moving there, MLB could also realign in a way that makes more geographic sense.

'Tampa Bay could move to the National League, where it might develop a rivalry with Atlanta, with Portland's team joining Seattle in the American League West. Texas could be shifted to the AL Central -- a change it was promised more than a decade ago -- and Detroit could move to the AL East. Nothing happens easily, or quickly, in MLB, but this makes sense.' (ESPN.com)

 

Catch-Up

This Barry Jackson article brings us up to speed on the Marlins' center field and closer speculation at the moment.

Meanwhile, Willis, Cabrera and the Marlins "will swap proposed arbitration figures on Tuesday unless they reach agreements by then."

Friday, January 12, 2007

 

Manny and Fredi Talk About Their First-Time-Managerness

(BaseballAmerica)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

 

Gov. Crist 'Favorably Inclined' To New Marlins Stadium

'Gov. Charlie Crist on Wednesday cited the euphoria over the University of Florida's national football championship among the reasons the state should reverse course and help pay for a Florida Marlins baseball stadium.

'"I'm favorably inclined to it," Crist said. "I view it as an economic-development issue.

'"It's not just the players who benefit from having Major League Baseball in the community... People who sell hot dogs benefit. People who do parking benefit. And it's a point of pride for many of our communities, especially if it's a winning team like things are in Gainesville right now."...

'"In all seriousness, I think it's very important we embrace Major League Baseball," Crist said. "When I worked for Sen. Connie Mack, and even afterwards, he appointed me to a commission to try to lure Major League Baseball to our state. We've been very successful. I think we have a continuing obligation to try to nurture that. And I think there is a role for the state government in that regard." (PalmBeachPost)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

 

Dontrelle Pleads Not Guilty to DWI Charge

So, he's telling us that he pees on a city street when he's sober? Well, maybe the bidet in the Bentley needed cleaning. They should have charged him with PWI. (SunSentinel)

Monday, January 08, 2007

 

New Revelations About Latest Ballpark Deal-in-the Works

1. The site is the same one that has been talked about lately - the one just west of Metrorail and north of Stephen Clark Center. I mistakenly chopped off an operative piece of a quote in my post on last night's MLB article - let me put it back; the article said that the ballpark "WOULD BE located in a redevelopment district just miles inland from the American Airlines Arena." That is, the site where they are planning to build the ballpark is Not Now in the redevelopment district - the district's eastern boundary ends a block west of where the proposed site is. The scheme is to extend the boundary to the east and siphon off that redevelopment money.

2. 'The site...is owned by the city and the county. The plan is for the city to deed its part of the property to the county, so it can lease it to the Marlins with tax exemptions.'

3. Here's another misreading of last night's article. Remember when it said, "A sales or income tax...is not contemplated nor is state money at the moment." Well, I didn't think 'at the moment' meant just that - a moment. "(T)he new plan still requires cash infusions from the city, the county and the state Legislature. The goal is to have a plan in place to pass along to city and county commissioners before the legislative session begins in March."

4. It's "(f)ar from a done deal... Marlins executives and Major League Baseball are undertaking a new study to determine updated costs." (MiamiHerald)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

 

'Point Man' Du Puy "Really Optimistic" About New Ballpark

'"Our highest priority this winter is to get a ballpark deal done in Miami," Bob DuPuy, Major League Baseball's president and chief operating officer, told MLB.com. "We've had tremendous cooperation from the county manager and the mayor. There have been several meetings and we are really optimistic we can get this done. There's a will to get this done. It's necessary for the Marlins. We're committed to baseball remaining in South Florida."...

'Asked if a deal was imminent, DuPuy stopped short of that assessment. "Imminent is a difficult word," he said. "Everyone is working very hard and I do believe everyone is committed to getting it done. So I would hope that this winter we could finally bring it resolution."' (MLB)

NOTES: This article has some oddities. The projected site is described as being "located in a redevelopment district just miles inland from the American Airlines Arena, which is located on the banks of Biscayne Bay." If he's talking about the same site that everyone else has been talking about, my guess is that it's actually just barely a mile away from the arena, or even less.

And the statement, "A sales or income tax that would directly affect Dade County citizens is not contemplated nor is state money at the moment" is interesting. There's constitutionally no state income tax in Florida - whether a county can do what the state is constitutionally prohibited from doing seems questionable; that may be a good reason why that's not being contemplated.

Of course state money may be the deal closer, with the new governor and legislature possibly more favorable to the Marlins, so when this quote states that that's not being considered, especially since the Marlins' subsidy came so close to being passed last year under a more hostile atmosphere, is confusing.

 

Roto Authority Handicaps the Marlins' Possible Closers

(RotoAuthority)

Saturday, January 06, 2007

 

Bill James Stiffs Sanchez?

The Line Up Card journal, in reviewing the new edition of the Bill James Handbook, notes that James picked Dontrelle's Sept. 10th game against the Phils as one of the 3 best pitching performances of the year, but not Anibal's no-hitter.

Friday, January 05, 2007

 

"Marlins Announce Their Negative"

Another way of reading the Hanley Ramierez situation...

'After the examination, the director of the Marlins of Florida said he would ask the left-hand pitcher to rest for the beginning of the trainings of the next season, but the also winner of the N.L. Rookie Of The Year Award, declared a few days ago his intention of coming back to the Dominican Republic.

'However, according Andy Mota, Ramirez's agent, his return to dominican winter baseball will be a frustrated wish, since the Marlins announced their negative officially.' (from SportsYa in English)

 

Got $125? See Fredi and Mike Lowell in the Same Room!

'New Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez will be the guest speaker at Florida International's Annual Diamond Dinner at the Graham Center Ballroom on FIU's South Campus on Jan. 20.

'Former Golden Panthers infielder and Boston Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell, and other major leaguers are expected to be in attendance.

'The event is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Individual seats are $125 and tables are $1,000. To reserve a table or receive more information, contact Danny Price at priced@fiu.edu or call at (305) 348-7403. (MiamiHerald)

 

The Complete MLB 2007 Spring Training Schedule

(courtesy of NYMetsBlog)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

 

San Antonio and Las Vegas Still Looking For a Team

This time it may be the Chargers. (SignOnSanDiego)

 

Yeah, I'm Still Here...

...(although it seems that 'Fish or Cut Bait' isn't any more). I had some family business to muddle through over the 'holidays'. The Aaron Boone signing is covered here and here.

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