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Ron Hartman: Marlins lose Vlad; new park still possible

By RON HARTMAN, [email protected]

January 12, 2004

 

All things being equal, Vladimir Guerrero said he'd prefer to play for the Florida Marlins.

 

That's the problem. Things are never equal with the Marlins. Sure, they wound up drinking champagne last season despite operating on a beer budget, but they have to constantly keep an eye on their tab.

 

And they simply couldn't compete for a top-shelf player like Guerrero.

 

The Marlins reportedly offered Vladdy a one-year deal for a little more than $10 million. The Anaheim Angels ponied up $70 million over five years.

 

Which contract would you sign?

 

Many baseball fans were beginning to wonder if Guerrero would ever leave Montreal, because the events leading up to his signing ? which is contingent upon him passing a physical ? remain somewhat puzzling.

 

Here's a guy who might be the best all-around player in the National League, certainly one of the top five players in all of baseball, and nobody seemed to want him.

 

First, the Baltimore Orioles looked to be in the catbird's seat, offering a five-year deal worth $65 million. But Guerrero kept stringing them along, waiting for a better deal.

 

The Mets were in the mix, too, but they were only willing to offer three years of guaranteed money, although Guerrero, if he were to stay healthy, could have earned $71 million over five years with incentives in New York.

 

When Vladdy said no to the Mets, there were those who thought the Marlins, by process of elimination, were the front-runners. The Newark Star-Ledger even reported Saturday that Guerrero's first choice was the Marlins ? if they could sweeten the pot just a bit.

 

In actuality, though, Florida was never close to reeling in Vladdy, who was intent on signing a long-term deal.

 

Now, the Fish can concentrate on an even bigger catch ? a new ballpark, and there are signs that it might really happen this time.

 

A proposal to build a baseball-only stadium that would adjoin the Orange Bowl has been gaining steam. The Marlins have set a March 15 deadline to reach a deal.

 

The project is expected to cost at least $375 million, and the county has pledged $73 million in tourist tax money, while the Marlins said they would foot $137 million of the bill. The stadium won't have a retractable dome but will be "roof ready" should the Marlins want to add one later.

 

After renovations are completed on the Orange Bowl, which would be equipped for soccer as well as college football, the adjoining baseball park could turn the complex into one of the nation's top sporting facilities.

 

Plus, it would allow the Marlins to stay afloat financially, and to keep their best hitter, Mike Lowell, whose four-year contract becomes void next season if the team doesn't secure a new ballpark.

 

For the Marlins to stay competitive, they need a new stadium in the worst way. Even more than they need Guerrero.

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Ron Hartman: Marlins lose Vlad; new park still possible

By RON HARTMAN, [email protected]

January 12, 2004

 

All things being equal, Vladimir Guerrero said he'd prefer to play for the Florida Marlins.

 

That's the problem. Things are never equal with the Marlins. Sure, they wound up drinking champagne last season despite operating on a beer budget, but they have to constantly keep an eye on their tab.

 

And they simply couldn't compete for a top-shelf player like Guerrero.

 

The Marlins reportedly offered Vladdy a one-year deal for a little more than $10 million. The Anaheim Angels ponied up $70 million over five years.

 

Which contract would you sign?

 

Many baseball fans were beginning to wonder if Guerrero would ever leave Montreal, because the events leading up to his signing ? which is contingent upon him passing a physical ? remain somewhat puzzling.

 

Here's a guy who might be the best all-around player in the National League, certainly one of the top five players in all of baseball, and nobody seemed to want him.

 

First, the Baltimore Orioles looked to be in the catbird's seat, offering a five-year deal worth $65 million. But Guerrero kept stringing them along, waiting for a better deal.

 

The Mets were in the mix, too, but they were only willing to offer three years of guaranteed money, although Guerrero, if he were to stay healthy, could have earned $71 million over five years with incentives in New York.

 

When Vladdy said no to the Mets, there were those who thought the Marlins, by process of elimination, were the front-runners. The Newark Star-Ledger even reported Saturday that Guerrero's first choice was the Marlins ? if they could sweeten the pot just a bit.

 

In actuality, though, Florida was never close to reeling in Vladdy, who was intent on signing a long-term deal.

 

Now, the Fish can concentrate on an even bigger catch ? a new ballpark, and there are signs that it might really happen this time.

 

A proposal to build a baseball-only stadium that would adjoin the Orange Bowl has been gaining steam. The Marlins have set a March 15 deadline to reach a deal.

 

The project is expected to cost at least $375 million, and the county has pledged $73 million in tourist tax money, while the Marlins said they would foot $137 million of the bill. The stadium won't have a retractable dome but will be "roof ready" should the Marlins want to add one later.

 

After renovations are completed on the Orange Bowl, which would be equipped for soccer as well as college football, the adjoining baseball park could turn the complex into one of the nation's top sporting facilities.

 

Plus, it would allow the Marlins to stay afloat financially, and to keep their best hitter, Mike Lowell, whose four-year contract becomes void next season if the team doesn't secure a new ballpark.

 

For the Marlins to stay competitive, they need a new stadium in the worst way. Even more than they need Guerrero.

I wish these writers would work for the herald or the sun-sentinel :confused

 

great article :thumbup

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Nice to read a positive article concerning the proposed stadium for a change.

It would be great to see Beckett pitching on a new mound with the Beautiful Miami skyline in the backdrop of the New Fish Bowl in Miami. Heck, This may even allow us to attract A-ROD!! back home to Miami a few years down the line, when his salary becomes more reasonable.

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Nice to read a positive article concerning the proposed stadium for a change.

It would be great to see Beckett pitching on a new mound with the Beautiful Miami skyline in the backdrop of the New Fish Bowl in Miami. Heck, This may even allow us to attract A-ROD!! back home to Miami a few years down the line, when his salary becomes more reasonable.

His salary gets worse at the end:

 

2004: $21.0M~

2005: $25.0M*

2006: $25.0M*

2007: $27.0M*

2008: $27.0M~

2009: $27.0M~

2010: $27.0M~

-Deferred salary: ^$5M *$4M ~$3M deferred at 3% to 2011-2020

-Can void deal after 2007, 8 or 9. Guaranteed salary increase for 2009&10

-Numurous bonuses for MVP awards, All Star appearances, Gold Glove etc.

 

 

Don't even dream about that, not happening. When his contract is fully paid out, ARod will be worth more than Loria probably ;) .

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Here is an article on Javy Lopez a while back. He is a good writer and will be covering the Marlins mostly for the Naples Daily News. I would bookmark him. He writes a new article on Mondays.

 

Ron Hartman: Javy would be perfect catch for Marlins

By RON HARTMAN, [email protected]

December 15, 2003

 

The collective groan could be heard throughout South Florida.

 

Uh-oh, here we go again, Marlins fans wailed after their team traded Derrek Lee to the Cubs.

 

The dismantling had begun, just like 1997, when the world champion Fish were gutted beyond recognition.

 

The cries got worse when they were unable to keep Pudge Rodriguez and then had to cast aside Juan Encarnacion and Ugueth Urbina.

 

But the Marlins, who have to keep their payroll in the $50 million range, are making all the right moves.

 

In the D-Lee trade, they picked up Hee Sop Choi, a good contact hitter who might be a better fit in their "small ball" plans.

 

The biggest deal, however, could occur today as the winter meetings wrap up in New Orleans. The Marlins hope to sign free agent catcher Javy Lopez, who belted 43 homers in just 129 games for the Braves last season.

 

He might hit even more in Miami, as the Marlins would like to have Lopez catch and split time with Choi at first base, which would allow Ramon Castro a chance to earn his stripes behind the plate.

 

They're also making a run at Vladimir Guerrero, arguably one of top three hitters in all of baseball. It's probably a pipe dream ? his asking price is said to be upwards of $15 million a year ? but Vladdy might take less to play in South Florida on a team with a distinct Latin flavor.

 

Marlins manager Jack McKeon is called "Trader Jack" for good reason, so if there's an enticing deal on the table, he won't be afraid to pull the trigger.

 

It would seem that the biggest key is landing Lopez, whose clutch hitting and leadership would give Florida a chance to get back to the World Series. Their lineup would be equally as good as the 2003 version, and the young pitching staff ? if A.J. Burnett makes a healthy return ? figures to be even better.

 

Unfortunately, the Marlins could win the next three or four World Series and they still wouldn't convince voters to help them pay for a new stadium.

 

That means that the team's best hitter, Mike Lowell, whose new four-year contract is contingent on getting a new ballpark, could be gone after next season.

 

And the Marlins themselves could be gone after another two or three years, because they're losing money every year by sharing Pro Player Stadium with the Dolphins.

 

The taxpayers say there are many better ways to spend their money, and maybe they're right. Miami has bigger concerns than how their baseball team winds up in the standings.

 

Hopefully, though, the team's owners will find another way to finance their new ballpark, because the Marlins have injected a lot of life into a city in dire need of a lift.

 

The Marlins might well have been the sports story of the year in 2003. It would be a shame to see them go.

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I bet you it would happen if not for the freaking players union. A-Rod wants to win, and after two or three more years of making humongous loads of money I bet he would re-negotiate his deal if the players union would only let him. If we paid 10 million for pudge (well worth it), we definately would could afford 13-15 mill a year for the best player in baseball who would undoubtedly sellout the 35,000 capacity fish bowl.

 

Freaking MLBPA!!!!!

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If we paid 10 million for pudge (well worth it),

over 4 years?

 

I don't even think he's worth 10 mill for ONE year, much less four.

 

I hate to turn to stats, because they're (imo) overrated, but anyone who hits 16 HR's, 85 rbi's, and bats below .300 is not worth 10 million, not in a long time. He was a good team prescence, but his prescence wasn't worth 10 million. 10 million can be spent in MUCH better ways than pudge, no matter how many gold gloves he has- he's deteriorating- as a catcher, i think he's very lucky to be at the level he is at for his age, but he has about two more years left in the tank.

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What was so great about those articles? No original material whatsoever.

They liked it because it was pro-Marlins I guess..... :shrugs :

 

Most everyone knew getting Vlad here was a tremendous longshot.

 

I'm still trying to figure out why the article is titled "Marlins lose Vlad".... did we ever have him?

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