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Marlins Receive MLB’s Permission To Investigate Relocating
Published November 23, 2005
Marlins, Pierre On The Move?
RELOCATION: Two sources said that the Marlins “plan to talk with officials” in Las Vegas, Portland and Charlotte about relocating (MIAMI HERALD, 11/23). In Ft. Lauderdale, Sarah Talalay reports Oregon Sports Authority CEO Drew Mahalic’s organization made the first call to the Marlins on Tuesday. Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman said through a spokesperson that he is “aware of the Marlins’ situation and that he’s ‘going to play it by ear’” (Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL, 11/23). ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark: “People who know Loria continue to predict that if Vegas builds it, the Marlins will come.” Samson said the team expects to make a trip to Las Vegas within the next two weeks. Stark put the odds of the Marlins moving to Las Vegas at 2:1; Portland 25:1; New Jersey 2.9 Trillion:1; and staying in South Florida 5:1 (ESPN.com, 11/22). In Newark, Matthew Futterman reports New Jersey officials contacted Loria about the Marlins moving to the Meadowlands. NJSEA President & CEO George Zoffinger said, “We think New Jersey is a viable market for baseball. If we can keep the Giants, Jets and horse racing, build Xanadu and add baseball, we’ll really have something here” (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 11/23).
MOVE ON? Also in Ft. Lauderdale, Dave Hyde writes under the header, “Loria Not To Blame If Marlins Forced To Leave South Florida.” Loria has “spent money. He built a winner. He kept the World Series champions mostly intact these past two seasons, offered to dig deep to help fund a stadium and now becomes the third Marlins owner in eight years to reach the same distressing conclusion: Leaking money is no way to survive” (SUN-SENTINEL, 11/23). In N.Y., Murray Chass writes while he advocated folding Florida’s MLB teams when contraction “was the hot topic in baseball” a few years ago, the CBA now “bans contraction until at least the 2007 season, and there probably aren’t two baseball-vacant cities left in the country that could successfully support major league teams” (N.Y. TIMES, 11/23). In Miami, Greg Cote writes Tuesday’s announcement “could prove to be the best thing that could happen for the sport’s long-term future here. ... The Marlins should be thankful to be rid of both the [Orange Bowl] site and the waffling, dubious, buffoon support of can’t-do Miami city officials.” The Marlins are “forced to finally consider a far more logical, preferable, centrally located site” (MIAMI HERALD, 11/23).
Loria (l) Looking To Reduce Marlins' Payroll
FAULT LINES: Free agent Jeff Conine, who played with the Marlins for more than seven years, said, “I don’t blame them for seeking an alternative to make their franchise more profitable.” Beckett added, “It’s a shame they’ve got to break that team up, but it’s the worst lease in baseball” (SUN-SENTINEL, 11/23). In Toronto, Jeff Blair wrote the Marlins “can’t be blamed” for reducing payroll. Despite winning a World Series, the team has “not been able to convert that goodwill into a concrete plan for a new ballpark. And while the Marlins were an exciting and competitive team this past season with one of the game’s most marketable faces in [P Dontrelle] Willis, they failed to capture the imagination of south Floridians” (GLOBEANDMAIL.com 11/21). In West Palm Beach, Greg Stoda writes, “Anybody who’s surprised by the situation hasn’t been paying attention. The issue involving a stadium has been around almost since the time the Florida Marlins became the Florida Marlins, and nothing has changed” (PALM BEACH POST, 11/23).