Monday, December 31, 2007

 

Happy New Year!

Hope things are great in 2008.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

 

Crist Brings Back 'Governor's Baseball Dinner'

'Florida Governor Charlie Crist will host the Governor's Baseball Dinner, a prelude to the 2008 Florida spring training and Major League Baseball season, on Feb. 26 at Tropicana Field.

'The governor, a former professional baseball executive, is reviving the annual dinner held for many years prior to the beginning of the Florida spring training season. The event will honor the Tampa Bay Rays, Florida Marlins, the 16 other teams that call Florida home during the month of March and minor-league baseball.

'Guest speakers will include Gov. Crist, Commissioner Bud Selig and members of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. Also on display will be memorabilia charting more than 100 years that Florida has served as a spring training host.' (OrlandoSentinel)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

 

3 Things of Interest

1. An essay on MVP's and expansion teams (the Marlins haven't had an MVP, but neither has the Mets, Expos, Diamondbacks or the NL Brewers). (Metaforian)

2. A comparison of NL East outfields, as they stand now. (WeShouldBeGM's)

3. And lastly a possible New Year's (sub)tropical storm in the Atlantic (it's down to the wire on whether it's the last storm of '07 or the first of '08). (NOAA)

Friday, December 28, 2007

 

Wood Wants Third

"[Third] is basically where I grew up playing...To hear my name being mentioned just thrills me to death. Hopefully, I'll be given that opportunity to compete for that spot." (SunSentinel)

 

Olivo's a Royal

The surprising announcement is met with generally positive reaction, but with little mention of his strikeout rate. (RoyalsReview)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

 

Recapping the Marlins' 2007

(MLB)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

 

Livan Needs Cash

'Free agent pitcher Livan Hernández -- asking $2.5 million for his Bay Point home, according to his real estate agent, Katrina Campins -- would welcome a return to the Marlins as the staff's veteran ace. But "they don't have any money," Hernandez said.' (MiamiHerald)

Monday, December 24, 2007

 

Merry Christmas - Marlins Sign Jose Castillo

The Pirates' castaway has played good ball in Venezuela this year. (PalmBeachPost)

HMMMM: Craig checks out the impression Castillo left in Pittsburgh. (FishStripes)

 

On The Road With Fredi

(SunSentinel)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

 

Prediciting the Future

Are its projections cautious enough, or will the new financing 'plan' destroy the economy of Miami for decades to come? (MiamiHerald)

Also, plan anatgonist Norman Braman compares how Miami and Palm Beach are designing their futures. (MiamiHerald)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

 

More Former Fish News

Robb Nen credits Richie Lewis for the pitch that made him a success. And Rene Lachemann has been named coach of Colorado Springs of the PCL.

Friday, December 21, 2007

 

Mr. Nothing-Wrong-With-Me Blames Injuries For 2007 Season

'"I pitched through some injuries, but they checked me out and everything will be OK," said Willis, who was hampered by forearm tightness last season. "I was healthy the last couple of weeks and I think that's what the Tigers saw that made them interested."' (ToledoBlade)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

 

Breather

It looks like today's County Commission meeting to finalize the ballpark plan will be pushed back to January 10.

Meanwhile it seems the agreement as it stands now gives some suite seats to the Commissioners, along with cut-price tickets to the underprivileged, and a payout if Loria sells the team within 10 years.

CORRECTION: They had the meeting; they just deferred the vote to January. And now some commissioners don't want free seats. Hey, if you don't want, then some of us 'underpriviledged' fans wouldn't mind a free seat or two.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

 

Rammed

With protesters marching outside, the Marlins win a double-header yesterday, as the County Commission voted 11-2 to allocate that "$50 million general obligation bond toward the project", and then voted 9-4 for the "massive omnibus package" that includes building the ballpark.

What's left? 'The team, the county and the city still must complete and sign a stadium finance agreement. County commissioners will meet Thursday to take another step in the process, which would authorize the county to proceed with negotiations on a stadium finance plan. Then the county and city commissions must approve the final plan.'

'"This is the biggest vote to date," Marlins president David Samson said of commissioners' approvals. "But the next vote would be the biggest vote ever."...

'The next step is reaching a binding agreement by the end of the week, which would allow all parties to move forward in hopes of drafting final design plans as early as January.

'Assuming the Marlins get more positive news on Thursday, Samson said then a "binding stadium agreement" will be reached.

'"That's when we will have a stadium deal," Samson said.'

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

 

Ramming It Through

Sure there are dissenters, but the County Commission's decision on the financial plan that will allow the ballpark (plus a plethora of other projects) will probably be made today, as rules to allow an easy postponement of the vote won't be in effect, and the "commissioners will be able to choose which members of the public can speak." (MiamiHerald)

 

Marlins Are This Year's Designated Era-Enders

Not only will they play the last regularly-scheduled game in Shea Stadium, they are now scheduled to play the Dodgers in that franchise's last-ever spring-training game in Florida. (DailyBulletin.com)

Monday, December 17, 2007

 

Select-A-Seat Attracts Dozens to Stadium

Inspiring season-ticket committments, Fredi proclaims he knew Cabrera/Willis could be traded "back when I interviewed for the (manager) position the last time in '05", and Scott announces that "he has completed a program to avoid a felony conviction." (PalmBeachPost)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

 

This Week's B. J. Blurb

"We hear the Marlins are considering free agent Dallas McPherson (the ex-Angel) and continue exploring trades, too, in their search for a third baseman. . . . Though some baseball people project Mike Rabelo as a backup, the Marlins like his bat and how he calls a game, and privately expect him to become their No. 1 catcher." (MiamiHerald)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

 

Words of Warning About the New Ballpark 'Plan'

First, from John Brattain's latest Hardball Times article:

'No matter how you look at it, this much is clear: The Florida Marlins have come agonizingly close to getting their field of schemes (with apologies to Neil deMause) but each time they do so, they move the goalposts.

'This tells us two things: One, Loria and Samson are making healthy enough profits that they can afford to wait until they get a deal to their liking. Any stated urgency is simply bogus, were they that desperate, a deal would have been brokered by now. The second thing it tells us is if ground is finally broken, you can bet that the fiscal succubi* that are Loria, Samson and MLB will demand changes to the deal in their favor once the project has hit the "no turning back" stage. They will demand concessions or announce that they are pulling out of the project and returning to Dolphin Stadium.

'Ignore Wayne Huizenga's threats about wanting the Marlins out. Don't forget, the reason the Marlins want a new stadium is that Huizenga gets a sizeable chunk of any stadium revenue (that usually goes to the team). He's not going to say "no" to more easy money. His threats are just a professional courtesy from one fiscal succubus* to another.' (HardballTimes)

ALSO: People of Overtown, the community where the original pre-altered funding plan was designed to help, are understandably angry. (CBS4)

MORE: The Herald's editorial guys want the county to take a breather. (MiamiHerald)

Friday, December 14, 2007

 

City Commission Puts New Ballpark Plan on Steriods

Uh,...maybe that's not the best analogy to use right now. (Then again, could the threat of the bad press of the steriod scandal be somehow 'inspiring' MLB and the Marlins to not make stonewalling demands in this round of ballpark negotiations?) Anyway, the city commission voted for the financial restructuring needed for the plan to work, and now it's up to the county on Tuesday. Capefish runs down the details of the plan as it stands now.

Meanwhile, Fish@Bat lists Marlins' involvement in the Mitchell Report. (And John Boles is Pissed...)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

 

Wednesday Night Update

I probably won't do a Thursday morning post, so here's how things look tonight...

The County Mayor is 'optimistic', but the 'president of the Greater Miami & the Beaches Hotel Association' is against the new plan, or whatever it is, as it is 'still in need of significant work'.

On Thursday the Miami City Comission meets to discuss why their contribution to the new ballpark is increasing by $13 million. Their answer seems to entail rerouting property-tax money to pay for the things the hotel bed tax was paying for, so the bed tax can now pay for the stadium (bring in more sleepy tourists!). Meanwhile Miami's mayor is still talking with MLS about a soccer stadium possibly adjacent to the possible ballpark to help pay for the possible parking garage.

Speaking of baseball, here's a link to someone who thinks Detroit didn't do that great of a deal.

And I won't even speculate on the appropriateness of Mr. David Samson being honored by a group whose main concern is the treatment of horrible intestinal conditions.

 

New Ballpark Plan

County, MLB and Marlins officials discuss new funding scheme where the Marlins pay a lot less ultimately but pay a lot more up front, and the county puts up less but gets less from the team. Public financing would be reduced from 95 to 70 percent. MLB's lawyers seem concerned - '"I've got a lot of reading to do tonight," said Irwin Raij, an MLB attorney.' Samson 'said for the first time that if a deal can be brokered, the team would play at the Orange Bowl site.' (MiamiHerald)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

 

D-Day in 2 Days

Miami commission's deadline for the Marlins to committ to the OB site is almost an afterthought, as decisions needed to be made on a new tunnel to the port captures the headlines. (MiamiHerald)

 

More Almost Marlins

Jae Seo says he almost signed with the Marlins, but he's now safely in Korea. Former Fish Wes Helms ain't arriving soon, and F. F. Paul Lo Duca heads to the Nats.

MEANWHILE: Jim Armstrong says the entire Marlins team should be 'almost'; he ends up dissing the National League. (AOLSports)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

 

Attendance Optional

Marlins fans get a lot of bipolar abuse. When situations like the recent trade happen (as they seem to do a lot down here), some in the press moan about how no one in their right minds would (or should) ever show up to the games. But then, during the times when the press' predictions come true (as it did last year when the Fish had that day-game where almost no one showed up), it starts whining about the horrible lack of fan support and how this town doesn't deserve the franchise.

Added to that, when a fan's mania to support the players still leads him by the throat to attempt to attend a game, he chokes on the fact that he'll be not only rewarding the goofballs that currently are making this team a national travesty, but he will also be sending a large chunk of his moola, as per lease agreement, over to the first and perhaps greatest owner/destroyer of the Marlins, a man who spends his days thinking up new ways of using that money plus the 20-or-so years left of his Marlins state tax subsidy to continue to make his stadium better for football and soccer.

I'm not saying Don't go to the games. Go and enjoy if you want. I'm saying that there's no shame in considering yourself a Marlins fan even if the thought of going to the games at this moment leaves you with a sick feeling in your stomach. As Mr. Brattain thankfullly puts it, "Rest assured Marlins fans--I would love to see a responsible owner come in and build up the market. You are not bad fans--you are people who have too much self-respect to remain in an abusive relationship. I hope one day you get treated with the respect you deserve." (Those looking for his other commiserations can click here and here.)

I end this diatribe with the quote that happily absolves us fans of all responsibility over attending Marlins games at Dolphin Stadium. This quote was actually reported almost two years ago to have been spoken by Mr. President of the Marlins David Samson, and although the link to the original article doesn't work, I thoughfully had copied and pasted the entire quote into this post.

ANOTHER-ABUSE-FIGHTER: Craig stands tall against Le Batard's fan-blaming column. (FishStripes)

Saturday, December 08, 2007

 

DuPuy Blaming South Florida For Cabrera-Willis Trade?

As Craig reports, (quoting from this article) 'Major League Baseball "will take a long, hard look" in the next two months at whether the Marlins can survive in South Florida, President Bob DuPuy told ESPN Radio on Thursday.'

What the...? Oh, I get it. This is just to light a fire under the city commissioners to get a stadium going....

'DuPuy says the answer to the Marlins' survival is a ballpark with a retractable roof. But for seven years, the team has been unable to get financial help from local and state leaders.'

Excuse me, but as noted ad nauseum on this site, the city recently found an extra $50 million to go towards the building of the ballpark, and were rewarded for their generosity by the Marlins reducing their contribution by $30-40 million. It's not the city's fault if Jeffrey's being a hard ass.

 

Someone's Questions and Answer

'If the Marlins are so unprofitable, if they are such a sinking ship...why would an owner, especially one who relative to other baseball owners is not wealthy at all...why would someone you think is a good business man...keep the team?

'Why does he say "no" to offers to buy the team?

'Any business man, especially a good one, Hades even a mediocre one, would cut the line at the first opportunity. If this is such a bad place to be ownership wise with no money to be made, why has Loria not sold? If the key to making this venture profitable is a home field, why has Loria DECREASED what was already a pathetic "contribution" to a new stadium? Well besides him wanting something without having to pay for it.

'The answer...the team is not the financial black hole Loria...make(s) it out to be.' (CardsClubhouse)

Friday, December 07, 2007

 

Clarification

Juan Rodriguez points out that Jeffrey gave that $20 million to Yale several years ago, referencing a Yale Daily News article (probably this one) that also mentions more gifts that Loria has given to Yale in the form of expensive art works, the value of which could have funded many players' salaries.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

 

Dayn Perry Points the Finger of Blame

"(H)ere's a fiscal reality of baseball: arbitration-eligible players, in the grand scheme, are eminently affordable commodities for any organization, including the Marlins. Parting with two so gifted especially Cabrera is mismanagement of the highest order. Loria is adept at manipulating this "chicken or egg" dilemma i.e., are people not showing up because our team is lousy, or is our team lousy because people aren't showing up? to suit his interests. In this case, as it was in Montreal, his interests are in rendering the Marlins not-viable in South Florida. Doing so gives him the political cover to move his team to a market that will pony up with the tax dollars. Or perhaps he'll sell to investors in such a market and, once again, pocket an obnoxious profit.

"It's true that Loria and the Marlins have an unfavorable lease at Dolphin Stadium, but that should be incentive for him to and here's a novel idea pay for his own damn ballpark. The San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals, among other teams, have succeeded in parks that, for the most part, are privately financed, and there's only one reason the Marlins can't join them. That reason, of course, is Loria's galling lack of commitment.

"If nothing else, critical mass is approaching. The Marlins' lease expires in 2010, and with the University of Miami football program headed for Dolphin Stadium, there simply may not be the room or infrastructure for the Marlins to remain as Wayne Huizenga's tenants. It's possible that the City would be willing to work with the Marlins on a ballpark built on the current site of the Orange Bowl, but Loria and MLB insist they want a downtown locale. It bears repeating: if that's what Loria wants, then he should foot the bill himself.

"The shame of it is that a baseball team, operated properly, could thrive in South Florida. The Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Pompano Beach area is the seventh-largest media market in the country, and an owner willing to reinvest in the team could easily make the Marlins a top destination for free-agent talent. Certainly, it will take a new ballpark and a winning team for that to happen, but Loria is apparently unwilling to do business in a sensible manner unless he's lavished in corporate welfare." (FOXSports, hat tip to brickell)

 

Marlins Sell Off Major-League Rule 5 Pick, Keep Cheaper Minor-League Picks

Surprise surprise. (MLB)

 

Bye Bye Aaron

Boone turns away from the new Marlins, signs up with his daddy's team in D.C. (WashPost)

 

No Tigers-Marlins Game This Spring

The closest the Tigers will get to Jupiter will be a split-squad game against the Mets in Port St. Lucie on March 16. The Tigers are scheduled to play every NL East team this spring, except the Marlins. (Freep.com)

 

Dave Van Horne Traded For 2 College-Radio DJs and a Guy on a Walkie-Talkie

Uh, not really,...but this did seem to happen - supposedly while the Marlins and Detroit were making the deal the Tigers called the Mets about a 3-way, with Dontrelle and Pudge going to New York. (Mlive)(AOL)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

 

Done Deal

It's official - Miggy and D-Train are Tigers, and the Marlins are full of prospects. MLB

THANKS: Say goodbye to Dontrelle through here.

 

Some Thots

1.) I bet Ozzie's P.O.'ed with having to face Cabrera as a division rival. He's probably right now mailing Miguel 5 or 6 chocolate cakes to congratulate him.

2.) There's been talk on how this trade will ruin the Marlins' chances for a new stadium. Ha ha ha. The way the front office has gone about its recent deal-making with the city, it's almost as if they're sabotaging their own efforts to get a new stadium anyway. Talk like this has accompanied each of the Fish's fire sales, and still for some reason stadium attempts continue.

3.) To be a Fish fan in this era means living with, if not embracing, the fire sale as the guiding principle of the organization. A year like 2007, when most of the 2006 Marlins players returned, is the anamoly rather than the norm. And we all know how the 2007 Marlins did in the standings. The big problem is now we have Flakey Fredi instead of G.I. Joe to run next year's team. Don't know if Fredi can somehow inspire these guys to play beyond their potential.

4.) Think Jeffrey now has scarfed up enough extra cash through this trade to sign his buddy Barry Bonds? Think Barry can play with that tracking bracelet on his leg?

 

Dave's a Frick Finalist

(MLB)

 

Select-A-Seat on Dec. 15, 10AM - 2PM

Be sure to rush in, fight the crowds and pick from the highly limited selection.

Meanwhile, in some other news, Cabrera and Willis are about to be traded to the Tigers for 6 players. Asked to comment, Dontrelle said, "I'm in Mexico right now with my family. I'm kind of busy."

Here's some more links, if you're interested...

(FishStripes)(MiamiHerald)(SunSentinel)(Freep.com)

(GoogleNewsSearchLatestArticles)

(Jayson Stark)(DetroitReactions)(MLive)(Fish@Bat)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

 

Ozzie Says Miggy Not Piggy Anymore

(MiamiHerald)

 

Work For Fish

"The Florida Marlins will host a Job Fair on Dec. 11 for college students and graduates seeking internships, gameday jobs and seasonal positions. The Job Fair will be held at Dolphin Stadium (Gate G) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and job seekers planning to attend are encouraged to RSVP with a resume via e-mail (hr@flamarlins.com) by Dec. 7." (MLB)

Monday, December 03, 2007

 

Speculation Station: Steve Finley Good for the Marlins?

As the Marlins have made known their desire for a greater veteran presence on the team, Tom Krasovic writes:

"Maybe it's not a great idea to sign up Finley, but if I was a GM, I'd want my younger players to run through their paces alongside Finley in spring camp. Finley knows a lot about workout routines that build flexibility and strength. His attention to detail is excellent. He could help a centerfielder refines his skills. No one is better, for example, at landing safely after making an all-out dive for a ball. That's something Finley learned how to do.

"There are rumblings that the Marlins would like to move shortstop Hanley Ramirez to center field someday. If that were to happen sooner than later -- which is doubtful -- I'd want a guy like Finley around him all spring." (SignOnSanDiego)

 

Message Board Malevolence

The overall baseball world discovers that Loria's "$20 million dollar donation (to Yale) is more than the Marlins payroll in both 2005 and 2006" and starts flinging invective, promoting Mark Cuban to take over Marlins. (Sportsline)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

 

State of the Stadium (End-of-2007-Might-As-Well-Forget-About-It Edition)

"So, let's see, since we last chronicled the ballpark saga four weeks ago, the Bonds case has surfaced, Mr. Cabrera is packing his suitcase, Major League Baseball says the site they were okay with in August is now dogmeat and, oh yes, the frustrated Miami City Commission has told the Marlins if they don't make a firm deal by Dec. 13, forget about the Orange Bowl land or any city money....

"Now, factor in one more impediment to the stadium: everyone in Florida government is trying to change property tax laws that underpin both Miami- Dade County's and Miami's income stream. So many heavy-hitters have their oar in this that the outcome could be anything at all.

"How can government deal away a half billion when it has no idea about future revenues and when the property values upon which taxes are based are about to decline next year for the first time in memory? It's fine to say the money comes out of this pot or that pot, but in the end there is only one pot that pays the freight -- us." (MiamiToday)

EVEN-MORE: Craig reveals another potential financial disaster for local governments in Florida, occuring right at this moment. (FishStripes)

 

Another Barry Jackson Blurb

Remember two weeks ago when B.J. reported that Commissioner Sanchez was frustrated that the Marlins shrunk their share of the future stadium's costs by $30-40 million? Today B.J. says that Mayor Diaz "is determined to get a Marlins stadium deal by year's end", even though "the funding gap hasn't closed (between $30 and $40 million)."

Saturday, December 01, 2007

 

No Saturday Marlins News

I'm sorry, but absolutely nothing happened with the Marlins today.

Oh, a couple of Rockies-related things occured a day or two ago. If you missed it the Rocks resigned Torrealba, so we don't have to think about that for the moment. And the Rocks resigned Matt Herges again, which is cool, since he's a former Marlin, and they seem to do pretty well (e. g. the Mets).

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