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Relocation isn't the answer for Marlins

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Ken Rosenthal / FOXSports.com

Posted: 10 minutes ago

 

The Marlins are threatening to relocate. Try not to yawn.

 

Oh, the team's plight is real, as evidenced by its latest fire sale, in progress on your friendly neighborhood transaction wire. But everybody knows what it means when an owner like Jeffrey Loria issues a grave pronouncement such as, "No longer can baseball in South Florida be assured."

Loria wants a new ballpark. Immediately, if not sooner.

 

Terrific. Let's see Major League Baseball do something completely different, reach into the bulging pockets of its owners and help Loria finance the sucker.

 

Loria, willing to contribute $212 of his own money, can't do this on his own, and the city and state shouldn't be asked to extend itself any further.

 

Commissioner Bud Selig, it's your turn.

 

Relocation isn't a serious option. And no, the Marlins won't be contracted when Major League Baseball gains the right to eliminate two teams after next season without union consent.

 

Loria will simply strip down the Marlins, operate with a payroll in the $30 million range and reap the benefits of revenue sharing, making money while losing games.

 

It isn't Loria's preferred way of doing business; he has demonstrated that he wants to win. But the stadium-financing issues in Las Vegas, Portland or any other city the Marlins might wish to relocate would be just as vexing as they are in Miami.

 

Sorry, Jeffrey, you're staying a while.

 

MLB can't abandon a city that Loria calls "the gateway to the Americas" at a time when it's starting the World Baseball Classic and entering a new era of internationalization.

 

Contraction? Makes even less sense.

 

"Baseball, particularly under Bud Selig, doesn't make cataclysmic moves; it makes glacial moves," says Andrew Zimbalist, a professor of economics at Smith College and the author of several books on sports business.

 

Contraction certainly would qualify as cataclysmic, but the threat of the owners eliminating 50 jobs and flooding the free-agent market with players will be a negotiating ploy in the next labor talks, nothing more.

 

MLB is in a much stronger financial position than it was when Selig first uttered the "C" word in 2001. Franchises are rising in value, and the cost of buying out two owners would be exorbitant.

 

The solution, much as it might horrify Selig and Co., is for MLB to put its newfound economic might to good use and help eliminate the funding gap in the Marlins' proposed $435 million retractable-roof ballpark in Miami. The gap, projected to be a mere $30 million last May, has since grown to more than $100 million, according to Miami-Dade County officials.

 

Whatever the price, government officials in a hurricane-ravaged state suddenly might become more flexible if MLB offered to make a significant contribution; some have even suggested the Marlins' new facility could serve as a hurricane shelter. The NFL routinely helps finance stadium projects. Heaven forbid that MLB engage in such visionary activity when it might cut into the owners' profits ? and make no mistake, most of them are profiting now.

 

No, MLB would rather continue making threats.

 

On April 25, 2001, Selig sent a letter to the Florida legislature warning that the Marlins would be moved or eliminated if they did not get a new ballpark, prompting one state senator to remark that the warning sounded as if it was coming from Johnny Soprano of HBO's "Sopranos."

 

Last May 12, MLB chief operating officer Bob DuPuy sent a letter to the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County saying that they had until June 9 to revise financing plans for a new ballpark. Like most MLB deadlines, it passed without a whimper.

 

Now comes Loria's solemn statement, which came one day after the Marlins traded right-hander Josh Beckett, MVP of the 2003 World Series, to the Red Sox.

 

Nice timing.

 

The 1-2 punch to the gut is not completely unwarranted; public money helped finance two basketball arenas and one hockey arena in South Florida, and the question of whether MLB can survive in the region ? and across the state in Tampa Bay ? is the subject of legitimate debate.

 

The Marlins failed to sustain their fan base after winning the World Series in 1997 and 2003. Former owner Wayne Huizenga's fire sale after the '97 title created lasting ill will, and not even Loria's good-faith efforts have boosted attendance significantly.

 

The simple analysis is that fans in South Florida don't care, but the Marlins' strong TV ratings indicate otherwise. For the 632nd time, baseball fails markets; markets don't fail baseball. Fifteen years ago, Atlanta, Cleveland and Seattle were trouble spots for MLB, but new ballparks helped revive the teams in those cities. The Marlins need more than a new park; they must better cater to Hispanic fans and continue working to erase past scars.

 

Loria tries. MLB, by paying its share for a change, needs to help him succeed.

 

The solution isn't in Vegas or Portland or San Antonio or Buffalo.

 

The solution is in South Florida.

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Wow, how spot on the money is this guy. Hire him for team president.

 

he was interviewed earlier on Boog's show, and he provided solid arguments for his position.

 

Basically,

 

- South Florida situation sucks right now, but there isn't anything better out there

- MLB is not going to change a large market, for a 2ndary type market

- Baseball should work in Florida with a new stadium

- MLB is fumbling the ball, by not backing up the Marlins and providing the missing piece to get the stadium deal completed. too pasive, they aren't looking at the bigger picture.

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The Marlins are threatening to relocate. Try not to yawn.

 

Oh, the team's plight is real, as evidenced by its latest fire sale, in progress on your friendly neighborhood transaction wire. But everybody knows what it means when an owner like Jeffrey Loria issues a grave pronouncement such as, "No longer can baseball in South Florida be assured."

 

Loria wants a new ballpark. Immediately, if not sooner.

 

Terrific. Let's see Major League Baseball do something completely different, reach into the bulging pockets of its owners and help Loria finance the sucker.

 

Loria, willing to contribute $212 of his own money, can't do this on his own, and the city and state shouldn't be asked to extend itself any further.

 

Commissioner Bud Selig, it's your turn.

 

Relocation isn't a serious option. And no, the Marlins won't be contracted when Major League Baseball gains the right to eliminate two teams after next season without union consent.

 

Loria will simply strip down the Marlins, operate with a payroll in the $30 million range and reap the benefits of revenue sharing, making money while losing games.

 

It isn't Loria's preferred way of doing business; he has demonstrated that he wants to win. But the stadium-financing issues in Las Vegas, Portland or any other city the Marlins might wish to relocate would be just as vexing as they are in Miami.

 

Sorry, Jeffrey, you're staying a while.

 

MLB can't abandon a city that Loria calls "the gateway to the Americas" at a time when it's starting the World Baseball Classic and entering a new era of internationalization.

 

Contraction? Makes even less sense.

 

"Baseball, particularly under Bud Selig, doesn't make cataclysmic moves; it makes glacial moves," says Andrew Zimbalist, a professor of economics at Smith College and the author of several books on sports business.

 

Contraction certainly would qualify as cataclysmic, but the threat of the owners eliminating 50 jobs and flooding the free-agent market with players will be a negotiating ploy in the next labor talks, nothing more.

 

MLB is in a much stronger financial position than it was when Selig first uttered the "C" word in 2001. Franchises are rising in value, and the cost of buying out two owners would be exorbitant.

 

The solution, much as it might horrify Selig and Co., is for MLB to put its newfound economic might to good use and help eliminate the funding gap in the Marlins' proposed $435 million retractable-roof ballpark in Miami. The gap, projected to be a mere $30 million last May, has since grown to more than $100 million, according to Miami-Dade County officials.

 

Whatever the price, government officials in a hurricane-ravaged state suddenly might become more flexible if MLB offered to make a significant contribution; some have even suggested the Marlins' new facility could serve as a hurricane shelter. The NFL routinely helps finance stadium projects. Heaven forbid that MLB engage in such visionary activity when it might cut into the owners' profits ? and make no mistake, most of them are profiting now.

 

No, MLB would rather continue making threats.

 

On April 25, 2001, Selig sent a letter to the Florida legislature warning that the Marlins would be moved or eliminated if they did not get a new ballpark, prompting one state senator to remark that the warning sounded as if it was coming from Johnny Soprano of HBO's "Sopranos."

 

Last May 12, MLB chief operating officer Bob DuPuy sent a letter to the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County saying that they had until June 9 to revise financing plans for a new ballpark. Like most MLB deadlines, it passed without a whimper.

 

Now comes Loria's solemn statement, which came one day after the Marlins traded right-hander Josh Beckett, MVP of the 2003 World Series, to the Red Sox.

 

Nice timing.

 

The 1-2 punch to the gut is not completely unwarranted; public money helped finance two basketball arenas and one hockey arena in South Florida, and the question of whether MLB can survive in the region ? and across the state in Tampa Bay ? is the subject of legitimate debate.

 

The Marlins failed to sustain their fan base after winning the World Series in 1997 and 2003. Former owner Wayne Huizenga's fire sale after the '97 title created lasting ill will, and not even Loria's good-faith efforts have boosted attendance significantly.

 

The simple analysis is that fans in South Florida don't care, but the Marlins' strong TV ratings indicate otherwise. For the 632nd time, baseball fails markets; markets don't fail baseball. Fifteen years ago, Atlanta, Cleveland and Seattle were trouble spots for MLB, but new ballparks helped revive the teams in those cities. The Marlins need more than a new park; they must better cater to Hispanic fans and continue working to erase past scars.

 

Loria tries. MLB, by paying its share for a change, needs to help him succeed.

 

The solution isn't in Vegas or Portland or San Antonio or Buffalo.

 

The solution is in South Florida.

Link

 

Trash if posted.

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At least this gives me some hope that the Marlins might remain the Marlins. I don't care how this gets done, I want to see this team stay in Florida somewhere. In the end, this might be the spark that ignites somebody to do something to get this done. And I agree, there are no other locations that really sound that appealing for them to move to (out of state that is).

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I just don't understand why we're supposed to get all this help when no one else has to. I mean, sure, if MLB wants to help build us a stadium, that'd be great. But, they won't, and why should they?

 

 

Why should the City help finance a private corporation building using tax payers money>

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Desperate times call for desperate measures. While there's a lot of smoke in that article, I think the reference to the Gateway is a legitimate one. Montreal and Miami are not the same case, the Tri-County is the 7th largest TV market in the country. In what is fast becoming an economic renaissance for the city and the county, Miami is primed to on a large scale become to the Western Hemisphere what New York is to the Northern Hemisphere. The buildings that are going up, the large scale changes going on in the downtown of Miami (and destined to happen in the Fort Lauderdale downtown area with all the rebuilding necessary there). Losing a city like Miami would be tough, because the chances of any acceptance happening here again would be small. We don't forget things (or forgive, for that matter) easily (as I'm sure out of towners can still see in the Marlins' attendance figures). It's now or never for South Florida, and the onus is on baseball to make it work. If they can pull rabbits out of hats in other cities they should be able to do it in one of the most successful (pro-rated, of course) franchises in baseball's history performance-wise.

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I just don't understand why we're supposed to get all this help when no one else has to. I mean, sure, if MLB wants to help build us a stadium, that'd be great. But, they won't, and why should they?

 

Well you could make the argument that South Florida is a more important market than say Oakland or Minnesota are. Teams like the Yankees and Red Sox are always going to show its strong support in any of the Latin American countries, but its the Marlins due to its vicinity that most probably follow. If Bud Selig is serious about wanting a team to remain here, he'll help the Marlins with the gap. Its not like they are asking for the full $435 million for the stadium, but perhaps a $50-100 Million dollar contribution that can be repaid somehow will guarentee that the Marlins finally have a chance to grow into one of the premier teams in the league and remain competitive for many, many years.

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I just don't understand why we're supposed to get all this help when no one else has to. I mean, sure, if MLB wants to help build us a stadium, that'd be great. But, they won't, and why should they?

 

 

Why should the City help finance a private corporation building using tax payers money>

 

Florida has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in trying to lure the Scripps Research Company to Palm Beach County. Let's not pretend that professional sports is the only example where this kind of thing happens.

 

Cities give all kinds of breaks to corporations for different things. My office building is in western Miramar where the area has boomed in the past couple of years. You don't think all the huge companies that now have offices along the Sawgrass Expressway didn't get some kind of incentive to move there?

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Great article! MLB has done nothing but hurt the chance for baseball to succeed in South Florida. From allowing the immediate dismantling of the '97 team to taking away the All-Star game when we needed it most (giving it to Atlanta just rub salt) to allowing John Henry to sign that ridiculous lease, etc., etc.

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this might sound dumb, but why don't we create a paypal account, and receive donations?

 

Well, I already created an email address (savethemarlins@gmail.com, I'm so creative) so it could work.

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ive always wondered why MLB doesnt help with some money since they see SoFla as such an important market.

 

great article none the less

 

As much as I dislike conspiracy theories, the bottom line is that MLB WANTS the Marlins to relocate. Not because MLB dislikes the SouthFL market, but because Selig promised Loria he could move out of South FL (assuming Loria would be unable to secure a stadium deal) in order to get Loria to sell the Expos to MLB. That allowed:

 

1) John Henry to purchase the RedSox (MLB wanted this, because Henry was already on owner)

2) MLB to get out of Montreal

3) MLB to put a franchise in DC (at a substantial profit to MLB itself - who owned the Expos and pocketed substantial expansion fees)

 

Allowing Loria to relocate is all just a part of the deal.

 

Plus, the truth is that once the Marlins are out of SouthFL, SouthFL will probably get a PAC together to build a stadium (ala Cleveland Browns) to EXPAND a franchise in SouthFL (along with a new 100% publicly funded stadium and HUGE EXPANSION FEES that would go right in the pockets of MLB and team owners).

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it just seems to me that if they help the twins, marlins, and A's help their new stadiums it would improve the market like atlanta, seattle, and cleveland.

 

overall having improved markets means more money for those owners and more money for MLB

 

instead of seeing it as a cost, MLB should see it as an investment for the future of their league

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