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Marlins looking, but baseball still keen on South Fla.

By Hal Bodley, USA TODAY

 

Major League Baseball is far from giving up on having a franchise in South Florida even though two weeks ago Commissioner Bud Selig gave the Marlins permission to explore moving to a new city.

"We believe that baseball should remain in South Florida," MLB President Bob DuPuy said Tuesday after going to Florida last week to meet with team officials and politicians who've been trying unsuccessfully to get a new stadium for the Marlins.

 

While in the area, DuPuy also talked with Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga, who's offered 15 acres and about $50 million for a baseball park near his Dolphins Stadium.

 

Huizenga was the Marlins' first owner when MLB chose South Florida for an expansion team that began play in 1993. His team won the World Series in 1997 after which he dismantled it and then sold the franchise to John Henry.

 

The Marlins, who won their second World Series in 2003 under current owner Jeffrey Loria, have played at Dolphins Stadium since their inception. The lease expires after the 2007 season. Loria has repeatedly said for the franchise to survive financially a baseball-only stadium with a retractable roof is necessary.

 

Marlins officials, who have abandoned plans for a ballpark near downtown Miami, recently visited San Antonio, one of several sites interested in landing a major league franchise. Las Vegas; Portland, Ore.; northern New Jersey; Charlotte; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Monterrey, Mexico, also are possibilities.

 

DuPuy said Selig is in the process of setting up a meeting with Huizenga. No date has been set.

 

"So much time has gone by the commissioner has decided it's entirely appropriate to explore what other options might be available," DuPuy said. "In the meantime, we're going to continue to work toward getting a facility in South Florida that will allow the team to stay there and be successful for the next 50 years."

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Well, if they really want us to stay down here so badly, why haven't they done anything to help us in the 9 or so years we have been hunting for a new stadium? It doesn't make any sense to me. I can't recall a single instance where baseball tried, even in the slightest bit, to help out our team.

 

They even took away an All-Star Game from us because we didn't HAVE a new stadium.

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Well, if they really want us to stay down here so badly, why haven't they done anything to help us in the 9 or so years we have been hunting for a new stadium? It doesn't make any sense to me. I can't recall a single instance where baseball tried, even in the slightest bit, to help out our team.

 

They even took away an All-Star Game from us because we didn't HAVE a new stadium.

 

 

That's because you haven't been looking.

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Well, if they really want us to stay down here so badly, why haven't they done anything to help us in the 9 or so years we have been hunting for a new stadium? It doesn't make any sense to me. I can't recall a single instance where baseball tried, even in the slightest bit, to help out our team.

 

They even took away an All-Star Game from us because we didn't HAVE a new stadium.

 

 

That's because you haven't been looking.

Care to expand?

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Well, if they really want us to stay down here so badly, why haven't they done anything to help us in the 9 or so years we have been hunting for a new stadium? It doesn't make any sense to me. I can't recall a single instance where baseball tried, even in the slightest bit, to help out our team.

 

They even took away an All-Star Game from us because we didn't HAVE a new stadium.

 

 

That's because you haven't been looking.

Care to expand?

 

At every step of the way Dupuy especially (and his deputies), and through him Selig and MLB, have been part of the negotiations ongoing in South Florida since 2003. That's why, having the intimate knowledge that they do, they have sided with the Marlins regarding relocation. They have firsthand knowledge of what's transpired and where the blame falls and recognize the Marlins have no other choice but to start down the road they are on now.

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