Siberian Baseball

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Marlins offically put down roots in Miami

The Tulsa Sound Machine.

Spokane Vice.

The Miami Marlins?

Monday marked the day that the Florida Marlins signed off on a new home and a new-ish name, as the Miami city council approved a stadium deal to take the Marlins out of Dolphin Stadium and give them a home of their own. Who says the housing market is tanking?

According to the Palm Beach Post:

The financial breakdown on the $634 million stadium plan is top-heavy for the county. Miami-Dade is on the hook for $297 million from tourist taxes, another $50 million from a separate bond referendum, and $12 million for road and utility repairs.

Miami pledged last week to spend $94 million on the parking structures, $13 million toward stadium construction, and $12 million for other improvements.

Miami will also operate the garage and pay the yearly debt payment, though the Marlins have agreed to buy most of the expected 6,000 parking spaces at between $10 and $12 over the 35-year stadium contract. The Marlins keep any profits made from selling those spots.

The Marlins will spend $120 million in the later years of construction, and pay the county back another $35 million of borrowed money.

Additionally, the team is penalized if it backs out of the deal early, with the city and county splitting profits on a descending scale for the next decade. If the Marlins ownership should choose to sell the team in the first year of construction, the city and county would split 70 prcent of the profits. The team retains all profits beginning in 10 years.

Good for them.

Also, as NPR pointed out this morning, the team is backing away from the trend to market to a region (the Minnesota Twins, New England Patriots or Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) to try and snap up more merchandising revenue. The team will go from the Florida Marlins to the Miami Marlins, in a move that makes me like that team a little more, despite their participation in the 2003 post-season games that mentally crippled the city of Chicago for several years.

What really caught my eye was a throwaway line in the article, which read, "The Marlins, despite their winning ways, are consistently among the bottom in baseball in payroll and attendance."

While I guess all of those statements are true - counting two World Series titles as winning ways and not dwelling the low spots in between - it surprises me a bit that there's not a bigger fan following of the team. More than that, the Marlins seem to be caught in the middle ground after a series of fire sales following their championship runs that have to be damaging to the team.

While prior owners have cried poor (especially regarding the stadium issues) before selling off a winning team, hopefully this new deal helps to cut down on that. My only question is why south Florida needs a retractable roof, when Minnesota decided to pass on that option. Must be those balmy Minneapolis autumns I miss so dearly.

(Image from:


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Didn't they just do this?

Correct me if I'm wrong. but didn't they just resod Wrigley Field last season?

Is this a new yearly tradition, or is the Chicago Tribune struggling for copy to put on the web site these days?

Regardless, there's a small photo gallery up of the whole shooting match, for you to peruse. Also, is it too much to ask the grounds crew to maintain the grass from year to year?

I mean, part of the romance of baseball is seeing the same stadiums that hosted Babe Ruth, Willie Mays and Ted Williams. With that is the idea that the field is the same as it was for those Hall of Famers.

Now to learn this? It's downright shocking.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Petey to the Cubs?

Not that this is practical for either Pedro Martinez or the Chicago Cubs, but the possibility is out there that everyone's favorite Dominican hurler might end up in Cubbie blue.

I assume this is in the same vein as the DePaul men's basketball team possibly making the NCAA tournament by winning the conference tourney (they didn't) or the Cubs possibly winning the World Series this year (they probably won't) or the beer vendors at the Cell possibly exercising discretion in serving patrons in the upper deck (another probably won't).

Still, it's something fun to talk about until you realize that Martinez will likely sign anything placed in front of him to play in Los Angeles with his old pal, Manny Ramirez. This includes an In n Out Burger napkin with the words, "Pedro + Dodgers = 10-15 games or so in 2009?"

Keep in mind the stories that came out of New York after Martinez left the Red Sox and was supposeedly sending Ramirez notes on a consiteint basis, trying to sweet talk Manny into heading to the Big Apple. I'll be surprised if he ends up anywhere but there, assuming his arm keeps looking as solid as it has in WBC play.