MLB Franchise Notes: Union Keeping Tabs On Marlins Following Payroll Dump
The AP’s Ronald Blum noted the MLBPA will monitor the Marlins following their “payroll purge, saying it is too early to determine whether the salary cuts will cause any issues under baseball's labor contract.” After complaints by the union that the Marlins “weren't using revenue-sharing money to improve," the union, MLB and the Marlins "reached a three-year agreement in January 2010 that the team would increase payroll annually as it prepared to move into its new ballpark in 2012” (AP, 11/20). In Ft. Lauderdale, Dave Hyde writes under the header, “Time For Marlins’ Owner Loria To Talk.” Marlins Owner Jeffrey Loria has not spoken "to fans and taxpayers” following last week's multi-player trade with the Blue Jays despite last winter having “sold us on the new Marlins.” All the free-agent acquisitions “are gone, the atmosphere is toxic and Loria is nowhere to be found” (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 11/21).
LONG-TERM PLANNING: In Boston, Peter Abraham noted Red Sox GM Ben Cherington’s “goal is long-term success, not a quick fix after last season’s 93-loss debacle.” However, after the Blue Jays’ trade with the Marlins landed them SS Jose Reyes and Ps Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson, it “created the perception among some fans that the Sox are stagnant.” With MLB's Winter Meetings still two weeks away, the Red Sox are “well ahead of the glacial pace of last fall” (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/20).
NO BURYING THEIR HEADS: YAHOO SPORTS’ Mark Townsend noted the Phillies’ Double-A Eastern League affiliate in Reading, Penn., Saturday announced it will “now be known as the Reading Fightin Phils, adding the Phillies' longtime nickname to their own, and the new logo will feature an ostrich striking a fighting pose.” GM Scott Hunsicker said, “Our main impetus (in the rebrand) was that we felt the Reading Phillies (logo) didn't speak to kids. It was a word. We've got to speak to the children of our community; we've got to engage them, and kids really latch onto animals.” He added, “Look at (minor league) franchises that are resonating: The (Lehigh Valley) IronPigs, the (Richmond) Flying Squirrels, the (Lake Elsinore) Storm, the (Clearwater) Threshers. They all have fun (names and images), something that speaks to children. We didn't have one” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 11/17).