Wednesday, February 28, 2007

 

Tank's Out, Johnson's Looking Worse...

...and Anibal's got shin splints. (MLB)

 

The Official Start of Practice Games Today

Spring Training begins as the Marlins travel all the way to their clubhouse to face the WC Champs. (MLB)

BOO: Fish lose 6-3. And yeah, it's WS Champs, not Water Closet Champs.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

 

"Framework of a Financing Plan" for Stadium Slapped Together

Both the County Manager and City Manager issue memos of the plan, which has the Marlins shelling out $45 million up front, $207 million in rent, and whatever cost overruns happen to accidentally occur. "The Marlins declined to comment." The county pays $145 million, the city $108 million, and the state (of course) has to cough up some dough too. Doesn't sound like MLB will be handing out any of its hard-earned billions. (SunSentinel

 

Marlins Beat Hurricanes 12-7

Cabrera, Hermida, Borchard homered - Volstad went a scoreless one-and two-thirds. (MLB)

 

Let the Games Begin

The Marlins go against the Hurricanes today. Volstad is set to start.

Fredi will be using the DH for the first 12 or so games.

Monday, February 26, 2007

 

Surprise! Some County Commissioners Negative on Downtown Ballpark

(MiamiHerald)

 

Willis: Will He Stay or Will He Go?

"Two executives with interested competing teams said they believe they have no hope of prying Dontrelle Willis away from the Marlins anytime soon, not while the organization is currently involved in the latest spirited and hopeful campaign to get a new baseball stadium built in South Florida.

"Yet, Willis himself isn't quite as certain about his chances to stay..." (SI.com)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

 

Sophomore Jinx? Nah!

Many Marlins discount the concept. (MiamiHerald)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

 

"What Is a True Team?"

Nick Roy holds the Marlins up as an example that companies desiring greater teamwork in their workplaces should emulate. (WorkplaceVisions.com)

Friday, February 23, 2007

 

Mayor Alvarez Mentions Marlins in 'State of the County' Address

"It was important, too, that the mayor discussed a Marlins baseball stadium. He squarely placed the stadium site downtown (bye bye Hialeah) and said a team is working to put together a deal. Chances of getting financial help from Tallahassee have never looked better." (MiamiHerald)

 

Owens: "My Sisters Were Way Better"

Henry puts off medical career to become, almost by fate, the third-best pitcher in his family. Meanwhile, Josh looks as if he may need some medical attention. (MiamiHerald)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

 

Finally in New Blogger...

...and I didn't have to buy a new computer either. I just had to replace the pilot light.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

 

Did Florida Suddenly Turn Into Another State?

Bills to give the Marlins money for a stadium are flying through
legislative committees with unanimous support. (SunSentinel)


Monday, February 19, 2007

 

Gregg Fields Presents Today's Stadium Sarcasm

"Forget that this is Miami, where leadership suffers from the twin
afflictions of edifice complex and economic dyslexia. They love to build
big buildings, using economic projections that, as they read them, say it
can be done on schedule, with little money.

"The latest result: The Carnival Center of the Performing Arts, which
arrived two years late and a hundred million or so over budget. For what it
cost, they could have paid the Cleveland Orchestra to perform in our
houses....

"The state subsidy would provide teams up to $2 million in taxes from the
state each year, on the theory that they will generate that much in sales
taxes. The total: $60 million over 30 years.

"That's $1.15 million per full-time Marlins employee, most of who are
professional baseball players. The Marlins' typical salary, according to a
league survey by USA Today, was $327,000 last year, the lowest baseball
allows.

"The bucks don't stop there. Press reports say (Gov.) Crist suggested all
nine professional Florida teams could be eligible for the windfall. That's
$540 million.

"One has to wonder: Don't the X-Games, pro bowlers and the World Wrestling
Federation deserve equal treatment?...

"(D)oes stadium spending necessarily reflect economic growth?

"Clearly, the South Florida economy grows when tourists spend money earned
elsewhere on overpriced drinks and $35 ziti dishes.

"Similarly, the economy expands when people move here and buy a house,
purchase windstorm insurance and, shortly thereafter, develop heart
palpitations and visit a local cardiologist.

"But do sports teams bring in tourists? The Marlins can barely draw
locals."

(MiamiHerald)

 

Fredi and Kranitz Seem to Work Well Together

And Rich got a 38 percent pay raise, without arbitration.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/sfl-spmarlins19feb19,0,948622.story?coll
=sfla-sports-front


Sunday, February 18, 2007

 

Cabrera Wins Arbitration - Loria Files For Bankruptcy

Well...not yet, anyway. 'Marlins general manager Larry Beinfest said the
team budgeted for the decision to go either way.'

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/sfl-0217cabrera,0,729999.story?coll=sfla
-sports-front


Thursday, February 15, 2007

 

Miguel Speaks

"Fans are really important to me, especially the ones from Miami, and I
wouldn't like to ruin my relationship with them due to a
misunderstanding"...

"I'd already separated that date for an appointment related to my father's
health. The Marlins informed me just a week before the festival and I
coudn't cancel my meeting, and that's what I told my agents,"...

"In four years in the major leagues, I've only assisted once at that event
and it was never such a big deal. I don't know what's so different now,"...

"My absence had nothing to do with the pending arbitration, because neither
the Marlins nor me believe in the process. It's purely a business issue and
I understand it perfectly,"....

"I'm not mad with the administration, although I'm a little worried that
Miami fans could now have a distorted image of myself. I'm committed to
doing the best for the team...Moreover, to compensate for my absence, I
promise to assist in every activity the Marlins may organize in the
following days,"...

"I'm in great shape for the start of spring training, because I've been
playing winter ball in Venezuela."

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2765995


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

 

A Couple More Season Previews

http://www.nbcsports.com/mlb/972922/detail.html

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6465552


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

 

Dave Hyde Rips Into Samson For Ripping Into Cabrera

'(H)ere's some advice to Samson: You might want to act more like a major
league president and less like a Chihuahua. It hardly matters by this point
if it's an act. Hey, back in your office, talking with a few buddies, you
can rip Cabrera and anyone else for whatever reason you see fit.

'But in front of fans and media? Because he wouldn't fly from Venezuela for
a fans' banquet and FanFest? On a franchise that -- let's be serious -- has
cared as little about fans' feelings as fans have cared about this
franchise?'

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/sfl-sphyde13feb13,0,7429715.column?coll=
sfla-sports-front

MEANWHILE: Fans of other teams are hoping that the Marlins will do a
Girardi on Miguel...

http://bellevillenewsdemocrat.typepad.com/viewfromthecheapseats/2007/02/the
_cabrera_sag.html

http://mvn.com/mlb-brewers/2007/02/12/two-birds-one-stone/


 

G. W. Bush Bestows Honors on Dontrelle

...along with other individuals of distinction for a Black History Month
celebration.

http://www.nypost.com/seven/02132007/news/nationalnews/bush_fetes_subway_he
ro_nationalnews_niles_lathem.htm


Monday, February 12, 2007

 

Miggy Missing

There's a few articles today on how Mr. Cabrera 'extremely disappointed'
Mr. Samson and Mr. Beinfest for not showing up for the Caravan and Fan
Fest.

Mr. Loria would have expressed his displeasure personally, but he didn't
show up either.

The articles suggest Cabrera is not happy that the Marlins are taking him
to arbitration.

I think another possible irritant for Miguel was not being allowed by the
Marlins to play for his country in the Caribbean Series.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070202&content_id=1793376&vkey=ne
ws_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb


Sunday, February 11, 2007

 

Fan Fest

A shorter review this time....

Great sunny day for Fan Fest, and a lot of people attended. Or it seemed
that way as there was only one entry point into the festivities - gate F.
My Mets fan friend and I got there around 10:45.

The work on the stadium facade and remnants of the Super Bowl made this
year's setup much different than last year's. The activities surrounding
the stadium consisted only of a few booths for radio stations. Everything
else was inside the stadium.

Highlight of the day - the Supra Telecom girls (woo-hoo). The Mermaids
were there too, but my Mets fan friend noted that this year's crop looked
rather young, almost school-aged. I told him don't worry, they'll grow
into the role.

There were many booths at the 100 level concourse - tables for season
tickets, for the fan club, for Roger Dean Stadium. The Sun Sports table
had Rich Waltz and Tommy Hudson signing posters, but I didn't get in line.

There was a huge line to get tickets for player autographs on one end of
the stadium, and another long line to wait to get to redeem those tickets
at the other end. I didn't get in either. WQAM had a live broadcast
going, and I spied on interviews with Tankersly and Uggla.

Far from last year's disaster of a playing field. this year's was
essentially the Super Bowl field, with lots of kid games and rides, and
pitching and running games. Anyone could come for free and stomp all over
the same field that just the week before the whole country and a bunch of
the world was staring at. We took pictures at the NFL and Super Bowl
emblems that were still painted in the grass. The 2 World Series trophies
were there too.

We ended up not getting tickets, even though we could redeem his $5 parking
pass for a discount. My friend was annoyed that we couldn't get upper deck
tickets for the Mets visit in April, as the upper deck is not opened for
weekday games, as was the case last year.

I also didn't get into the 'town meeting' this time. The New York Times got
in first with a report of it. Since I'm still screwed up with my logging
in and links, here's a massive quote from it...

'MIAMI, Feb. 10 The first question posed to David P. Samson, the
president of the Florida Marlins, at the annual mixer with the
teams players and fans at Dolphin Stadium was as predictable in
these parts as a summer rain shower.

'A man in the audience of roughly 200 stood up Saturday and asked, in
so many words, if this would be the year that the Marlins finally
addressed their most pressing need a new stadium.

'Its only a record 13th year that thats the opening question at
FanFest, Samson quipped. Theres a lot of positive developments, he
started to say.

'But that was as far as he got before his voice was drowned out by
applause.

'Dontrelle Willis, the Marlins standout left-handed pitcher, had loped
onto the stage, a few minutes late, but seemingly right on cue.

'Willis, a 22-game winner two seasons ago, is the Marlins most popular
player, which makes him the franchises biggest bargaining chip in its
game of political roulette with state legislators and taxpayers over a
new retractable-roof stadium.

'The opportunity to see the charismatic Willis pitch every fifth day is
a powerful lure for a franchise that plays its home games in a
charmless stadium built for football, in a climate made for alligators
and orchids.

'As the worldwide audience that tuned in for the Super Bowl here last
Sunday can attest, it rains in South Florida. The steady downpour that
made a mess of the game between the Indianapolis Colts and the
Chicago Bears reminded Samson of the Marlins World Series against the
Yankees in 2003, when Game 3 in Miami was interrupted by rain for
39 minutes.

'It was amazing to watch the reaction of the Super Bowl in the rain and
think about how many times that happened to us here at Dolphin
Stadium, Samson said before the question-and-answer session. He added,
It certainly brought back memories and made me long for the day when
were in a retractable-roof facility....

'Certainly were optimistic, Samson said. It seems as though the stars
are aligning right now.

'The Marlins have two stars to shepherd the cause, the 25-year-old
Willis and the 23-year-old third baseman Miguel Cabrera. They are the
only recognizable faces remaining from the 2003 Marlins squad that
defeated the Yankees in six games to win the franchises second World
Series title in less than 10 years.

'This season, Willis and Cabrera will account for roughly 50 percent of
the Marlins payroll, which is again expected to be the lowest in the
league, at less than $30 million. As long as the new stadium
initiative is in play, they would appear too valuable to trade.

'But the Mets, whose starting rotation is a couple of arms short of
a championship rotation, coveted Willis last year, his supposed
comings and goings the subject of the nonstop conjecture.

'Its really funny because it was almost like I was one phone call away
from being a Met, said Willis, who agreed to a one-year contract last
month that is worth $6.45 million.

'He added, Ive never heard so much speculation, and its going on to
this day.

'A California native who married during the off-season, Willis has put
down roots in South Florida, buying a house in North Miami Beach. I
have a great deal of love and respect for this organization and South
Florida and how theyve embraced me, he said.

'But Williss future here is on a shaky foundation, seemingly tied to
the result of the stadium battle. He is reminded of it all the time.

'One of Williss neighbors, he said, is a Mets fan from Flushing. Every
time I walk outside, its like a countdown to when Im going to be a
Met, Willis said, laughing. Theyre all over me every day.

'Willis was surrounded by fans of all ages wherever he went Saturday.
The line to meet him at a V.I.P. luncheon was longer than the line for
the buffet.

'At the fan question-and-answer session, Willis smiled and nodded like
a bobblehead doll when he agreed with something a teammate was saying,
which was often. The last question posed to Willis was from Kevin
Gutman, a 6-year-old from Wellington, in Palm Beach County, who wanted
to know how many games Willis was going to win this season.

31, 32, Willis said. Smiling broadly, he added, Every time I go out
there, I want to win for you guys.

'Gutmans father, Ken, a Mets fan going back to his childhood on Long
Island, sighed. Of course he would love to see Willis in a Mets
uniform, he said.

'But they need a star here, he said, so Ill sacrifice.'


Friday, February 09, 2007

 

Pleading Cases

Gregg and Marlins scheduled with arbitrators on Monday, Cabrera next Friday
- and Fredi has finished with his jury duty. (<a
href="http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/sfl-spmarlins09feb09,0,358796.stor
y?coll=sfla-sports-front">SunSentinel</a>)


Thursday, February 08, 2007

 

Fun Time

Sorry for the last post. I'm having problems converting from Old Blogger to
New Blogger, which Mama Blogger is now forcing me to do. It's difficult
remaining archaic in a world of enforced 'upgrades'.

Meanwhile, doesn't it scare you that Samson is again speaking out about the
stadium issue? That statement that "Without the state's financial help
there's no stadium deal" could sound like a challenge to the Legislature
rather than a cozying-up to them.

I was wondering whether it could be a good idea if President DuPuy would
show up to answer questions about the stadium at FanFest. After all, he's
been designated the 'point man' on the negotiations, with the Marlins'
front office silent until now.

But with Samson talking again, some of the old divisiveness of past
bargaining may sneak in to the new talks.

Oh, well, let's see if this posts...


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

 

Many Marlins News Stories as Caravan Starts Rolling

The stories generally fit in two bunches...

- the David Samson stadium stories (from the <a
href="http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/sports/16639693.htm">Herald</a>,
<a
href="http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/baseball/mlb/wires/02/06/2010.ap.bbn.marlins.ballpark.0605/">SI.com</a>,
and the <a
href="http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/sfl-spmarlins07feb07,0,7441281.story?coll=sfla-sports-front">SunSentinel</a>)

- and the Larry Beinfest closer centerfielder stories
(from the <a
href="http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/sports/baseball/16639691.htm">Herald</a>
and the <a
href="http://www.palmbeachpost.com/marlins/content/sports/epaper/2007/02/07/a1c_marlins_0207.html">Post</a>)

There are some notes on Uggla and Owens thrown in
there. Here's another <a
href="http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6447048">Uggla
story</a>, and a story on the <a
href="http://www1.tcpalm.com/tcp/pro_baseball/article/0,2820,TCP_24442_5333466,00.html">Caravan</a> itself.


____________________________________________________________________________________
Don't get soaked. Take a quick peak at the forecast
with the Yahoo! Search weather shortcut.
http://tools.search.yahoo.com/shortcuts/#loc_weather


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

 

Indiana Lt. Gov Wins Marlins Tickets; Illinois Lt. Gov. Promises Marlins Loss

'"We congratulate the Indianapolis Colts on their victory in the Super Bowl, and we look forward to welcoming four children of Indiana servicemembers to Chicago's Wrigley Field on Memorial Day to watch the Cubs beat the Florida Marlins," Illinois Lt. Gov. Quinn said.' (MuncieFreePress)

Monday, February 05, 2007

 

"A Similar Record While The Mayflower Trucks Warm Up"

Another preview of the 2007 Marlins, this time from the Sporting News' "Fantasy Source Expert" Mark Allen Haverty. (SportingNews)


 

Miami-Dade's Legislative Delegation and County Commission Meet

After an habitually divisive recitation of the Pledge of Alliegance, they talked, amongst other things, about the Marlins ballpark. (MiamiHerald)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

 

Blogging Super Bowl from Behind Home Plate

...or where home plate would be, is Mark Curnutte of the Cincinatti Enquirer. (Cincinnati.com)

 

Tailgating

A bit of confusion permeates what has been written about the ban on tailgating at Dolphin Stadium during the Super Bowl.

This early article showed that there even was some confusion between the Dolphins and the NFL over whether tailgating would be allowed.

The confusion now concerns reports that tailgating has been banned forever at Dolphin Stadium, and not just for the Super Bowl. This New Times article is making that assumption, along with past reports of unruliness that have occurred during both football and baseball season.

Most articles, though, seem to point to it being just a Super Bowl thing.

Friday, February 02, 2007

 

Will Marlins Give an Outfielder With a 'Reputation' a Chance?

'Ten months ago (Reggie) Taylor was on the cusp of making the Detroit Tigers' big-league roster. The 6-1, 190-pound outfielder was released shortly before the team broke camp. He hasn't worn an affiliated uniform since.

'Taylor came to the Lancaster Barnstormers in April and put together a fine year. He batted .302 with 23 homers and 77 RBIs in 115 games. His on-base percentage was .395. His slugging percentage was .553.

'Once the Atlantic League season ended with the Barnstormers winning the championship in October, Taylor went to Puerto Rico for winter ball. He put up decent numbers there, hitting .249 with nine homers and 29 RBIs in 48 games.

'It still hasn't been enough to earn an invitation to spring training...

'How can a player who nearly made the final cut with the eventual American League champions last March suddenly be so strapped for work?

'There's one potential explanation. Taylor was hit with an unwanted label early in his career. Some people thought he coasted on talent and prospect status and failed to give maximum effort on the field.

'Reputations stick forever in baseball. Now that Taylor is no longer a coveted first-round draft pick, teams appear less willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

'Taylor is aware of that possibility.

"I might have taken things for granted early in my career and not played as hard as I should play," he said. "I've grown up a lot since I was 20 or 21."

'Taylor has proven his commitment over the past year. He didn't come to the Atlantic League or travel to Puerto Rico to make money. He went there to show he was dedicated to the game.

'Taylor can only hope someone noticed.

'"I did everything I could as far as staying on the field," he said. "I put up good, consistent numbers all year long. Hopefully I'll get into the right situation."

'Taylor said he has received the most interest from the Florida Marlins and San Francisco Giants. The Marlins would be an ideal option because they don't have an established center fielder and they're not likely to acquire one in the near future.

'If neither of those teams offers Taylor a contract, he'll consider playing in Mexico, Taiwan or Korea. He also hasn't ruled out a return to Clipper Magazine Stadium.' (Lancasteronline.com)

 

Super Bowl? What Super Bowl?

Why, the Caribbean Series starts today, and the Marlins Caravan gets going on Monday.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

 

'Optimistic But Wary'

Gov. Crist still supports new stadium, County Manager says "to say we're close is the mother of all understatements," but state legislators still see a bumpy road ahead. (MiamiHerald)

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