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Volume 24 No. 117
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MLB Franchise Notes: Casey Close Mentioned As Possible Target For Marlins

In Miami, Barry Jackson cited a source as saying that prospective Marlins co-Owners Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter have mentioned the "possibility of hiring" Excel Sports Management MLB agent Casey Close, Jeter’s "longtime friend and agent." Close "hasn’t said if he would be interested, and Jeter and Sherman have declined to comment." Jeter "intends to run the team’s baseball side but he and Sherman are looking for someone on the business side to take over" for President David Samson, who "isn’t expected to be retained" (MIAMIHERALD.com, 9/12).

STERN WORDS
: Rays Owner Stuart Sternberg said he would "rather win and compete with the lowest payroll" in MLB and have 1 million fans show up annually at Tropicana Field than win 70 games with a $120M payroll and "having 2 million fans" show up. Sternberg: "A million more fans show up, it obviously puts a ton of money into the team’s resources and those resources go to pick up players." But he added, "It’s about winning baseball games, it’s not like that stuff goes into my pocket." Sternberg also noted there is a "larger drumbeat to do something" regarding a new ballpark. He said, "We have had the opportunity to look for a new stadium and have been doing that. We’re waiting on Hillsborough County and the city of Tampa to come forward with a proposal to be able to study it and see if it’s feasible” (“High Heat,” MLB Network, 9/11).

NATIONAL INSTITUTION: In DC, Barry Svrluga wrote the Nationals have established themselves as "one of the most reliable winners in their sport," as the team has won its fourth NL East division title in the past six seasons. The franchise is "entrenched" in the DC sports culture, as there are "kids in the stands at Nationals Park who aren’t jaded by a 33-year gap without baseball." People can "walk around the city and see Nats hats on heads and Nats flags on houses, and there wasn’t a lot of that" when the team moved to DC from Montreal in '05. Nationals 1B Ryan Zimmerman: "This fan base has kind of grown up with us, which has been fun" (WASHINGTON POST, 9/12).