Dr. James Andrews To Join Marlins Pitching Rotation

Just when you thought the Marlins helped finance a new yacht for Dr. James Andrews, he now can buy a private jet.

Henry Owens visited the famed surgeon yesterday and today will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff. Even better, no one will know the extent of the damage (and therefore the extent of the recovery) until after the surgery.

Owens has been on the DL since early June, so why did it take so long for this surgery to occur?

After reviewing the films from Owens’ initial MRI in late June, Andrews didn’t think surgery would be necessary. Not until he compared those results with Wednesday’s test did Dr. Andrews identify a pronounced tear.

I’m no expert but I’m guessing Dr. Andrews had fallen behind on some credit card bills so he went back to the Marlins ATM for more cash (just kidding – Dr. Andrews is the best in the biz… please don’t sue me).

Update: He can’t throw for 6 months.

Photo by Flickr user totalAldo

Looks Like We Won’t Lose a Starter to Jail

Good news for Scott Olsen:

“Scott Olsen has agreed to participate in the Pretrial Diversion Program,” Walter A. Reynoso, Olsen’s attorney, said in a statement that he e-mailed to numerous media outlets on Wednesday afternoon. “Upon his successful completion, all felony charges will be dismissed.”

I guess David Samson doesn’t have to worry about kicking Scott off the team.

MLB Puts on a Show of Force to Push for Stadium

In the Best Interests of Baseball: The Revolutionary Reign of Bud SeligMajor League Baseball launched a big push to resolve the Florida Marlins ballpark situation by sending Commissioner Bud Selig and President Bob DuPuy to meet with Jeffery Loria and Miami’s political leaders.

“We want to get a stadium deal down here as expeditiously as possible,” Bud Selig said on Tuesday in Miami.

So Bud is on board. Great. But couldn’t he use some of MLB’s money to close the funding gap instead? I’m sure he flew first class but writing a check may have saved him the trip.

First, Bud and co. met with Miami Mayor Manny Diaz and city manager Pete Hernandez. Then, they met with Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez, county manager George Burgess and county chairman Bruno Barreiro.

While I’m sure the conversations focused on both the economics and the location of the ballpark, I won’t be surprised if location is the real issue right now.

Any optimistic parting words from the Commish?

“…the Mets are building a new ballpark. Washington is moving into a new ballpark. Philadelphia is in a new ballpark, and Atlanta has a new ballpark. If I didn’t feel that South Florida wasn’t a market you can compete in, with the right stadium, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Update: The Palm Beach Post adds:

Selig, though, said neither side discussed key details about building the Marlins a stadium, including where to put it and how to pay for it.

“It was clear to me that all of us were on the same page,” Selig said. “They want to get a stadium deal done here as expeditiously as possible.”

Wear What We Wear

If you like our site (and we hope you do) then why not wear our logo?

Yes, you can get your very own Fish@Bat branded gear from our store. Send us photos of you wearing the gear and we will post them on the site. Better yet, send us a photo of one of the Marlins wearing it and we might just send you something for free from the store.

As a special to our readers and contributors, we are offering $15 off $75 or more through 9/1/07. Simply visit our store and use coupon FALLTEE2007.

Link:  Fish@Bat Gear

Building a Ballpark at the Orange Bowl is Complicated Too

We told you about the Miami Herald’s traffic expert chiming in on the ballpark. Now comes the view from the Sun-Sentinel’s “Business in Sports” expert Sarah Talalay.

Sarah, take it away:

Don’t assume, despite what the politicians say, that the $490 million financing deal debated earlier this year only to stall when the state Senate adjourned without considering a $60 million sales tax rebate, can just be moved to the OB site.

But listen to what our leaders have to say:

“I believe we had the financing in place, even six to eight months ago,” [Miami City Manager Pete] Hernandez said. “The only item missing was what we were looking for from the state. At this point, I don’t think it’s insurmountable. We have the funding in the place.”

Added [Miami Mayor Manny] Diaz, “The meat of whatever agreement is there, the adjustment is the site. We’re really modifying the agreement. I’m hoping we can move with all deliberate speed to get a deal done as soon as possible.”

Why the pessimism? Continue reading Building a Ballpark at the Orange Bowl is Complicated Too

Traffic Expert Tells Us Why the Orange Bowl Site Sucks

The NW 7th Ave and 5th St Bridge Leading to the Orange Bowl (Closed until 2011)With Miami pushing for an Orange Bowl ballpark, the local papers have started penning critical articles about the idea.

The Miami Herald takes this issue outside of the sports pages with a column written by its traffic/commuting/”streetwise” expert Larry Lebowitz.

Purely from a transportation perspective, the Orange Bowl site is a lousy one.

Thanks Larry. Everyone knows that. But please, tell us why:

Without serious highway and mass-transit improvements, it would be bad for the Little Havana neighborhood near the OB, bad for the ball club, bad for fans. Continue reading Traffic Expert Tells Us Why the Orange Bowl Site Sucks

Miami-Dade Pushing for the Orange Bowl Site

Proposed Marlins ballpark next to Orange BowlWe think that if we polled Fish fans (and we may just do that soon), the majority would admit that they prefer a downtown site but they would also say that they’ll take a stadium anywhere as long as it solves the teams financial problems and ensures they stay in South Florida. We should all remember that as we analyze the latest ballpark news.

Miami-Dade county manager George Burgess contends that the downtown Miami site is just too expensive and he wants everyone to focus on the Orange Bowl site. Since Burgess has long been one of the biggest advocates for a Marlins stadium, it maybe time for reality to sink in and for all of us to just get over that downtown site.

The good news is that $38 million of the Orange Bowl renovation funds can probably be directed towards an OB ballpark. That should easily close most of the gap. Now, construction costs always exceed expectations so the sides still need to work through the cost overrun details. Initially, the Marlins were going to take care of that. But if they have to take the OB site instead of downtown, it is likely that they will push back on this issue and demand more from the County. In fact, the Miami Herald openly suggests that the Marlins might drop their own contribution from the current $207 million. This sounds like something that came from inside the Marlins organization.

In another interesting twist, Miami Mayor Manny Diaz spoke with Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber about an expansion team playing in a duel-purpose baseball/soccer stadium. It is safe to say that the Marlins would not be happy with that scenario. Hopefully the city and County aren’t dumb enough to prioritize this adventure ahead of the Marlins (as they did with the UM situation).

We have a suggestion. Miami-Dade should focus on a downtown ballpark for the Marlins. It makes the most sense for the game, the team, and MLB. Between MLB’s willingness to buy some of the land and the Marlins’ willingness to throw in more money for a good site, there must be a way to work this deal. As for the Orange Bowl, the county should wreck it and work with developers to build things that would benefit the local community (examples: supermarket, stores, library, park). This money could help offset some of the added costs of the Marlins downtown site while bringing the right kind of development to the community (instead of the ballpark which doesn’t really help). Oh, and if MLS wants in, then cut a deal similar to the one being discussed in DC where DC United wants to build a stadium on land not far from the new baseball stadium and is seeking commercial development rights around the new stadium to offset some costs.

Trade, Wave, Release, Sign: BK Kim is Back

He’s back.

Yes, the Marlins just signed Byung-Hyun Kim a mere three weeks after letting him go on waivers.

Following a decent run with the Marlins (5-3, 4.16 ERA), they let BK go to Arizona who claimed him off waivers. Then, pitching for the Diamondbacks, he had a horrendous start against the Marlins, after which Arizona released him. Now the Marlins, desperate for anyone who can throw a strike every other pitch, will pitch him out of the bullpen.

This little trick pulled by the Marlins (unintentionally, of course) means they get to pay Kim about $65,000 for the rest of the season. Since the Diamondbacks claimed him of waivers and then released him, they owe him about $735,000 for a total of 2-2/3 inning pitched.

Update: Ross Wolf is going to compete in the playoffs for the Isotopes.

Fun With Merchandise: Marlins iPod Case

GameWear Florida Marlins Baseball iSeam iPod CaseIt seems like these days people are making everything for iPods: iPod alarm clock, iPod jukebox, and even an iPod Transformer robot.

So it should not surprise you that we now have the first official Florida Marlins iPod accessory. Meet the GameWear Florida Marlins Baseball iSeam Case.

This case is designed to look and feel like a baseball (complete with stitches) and includes the Florida Marlins logo on the wheel and has Marlins written on the side in our favorite teal. Available for $29.99 from the MLB store, this case fits all full sized iPods (meaning it doesn’t work with the Shuffle or Nano).

Link:  GameWear Florida Marlins Baseball iSeam iPod Case

Breaking News: Marlins Mermaids Shoot Calendar

With an 8-game losing streak and the ballpark situation reaching a critical point, we figured we will distract you with some breaking Marlins Mermaids news.

Yes, the ladies just shot their 2008 calendar at dusk on the site of the famous Nikki Beach nightclub. If you want to get your hands on one of those (the calendars, that is) you will want to mark your old Mermaids calendar for September 23rd when the Marlins play the New York Mets. Prior to the game, the first 10,000 fans will receive the free calendar. Make sure you show up early before the 35,000 Mets fan get to the game.

Not Conine!

Jeff Conine - All Star Game MVPThe New York Mets continue stacking their team with former Marlins and this time they have Mr. Marlin himself Jeff Conine.

The Mets picked him up from the Reds in exchange for a couple of minor leaguers. I laugh when I hear that because I think of all the great minor league talent we’ve picked up from the Mets over the years, including A.J. Burnett, Preston Wilson, Matt Lindstrom, Henry Owens, Mike Jacobs and Gabby Hernandez to name a few. Not that he’s to blame for all these trades, but maybe one day someone in baseball will wake up and admit that Omar Minaya is not that good of a GM (unless you have an open check book and great talent to give away).

Anyway, back to Niner, the Mets needed him, ironically, after former Marlin Damion Easley sprained his ankle.

UM Leaving Orange Bowl

The Orange BowlToday may turn out to be on of the most important days in Florida Marlins history.

Following their president’s recommendation, the University of Miami Board of Trustees is expected to approve moving the football team out of the Orange Bowl and into Dolphin Stadium. This should hopefully set off a series of events culminating with the Florida Marlins announcing a new ballpark.

UM’s decision takes a $205 million package offered by the County off the table. Without that money, the stadium will be torn down. The County can now focus on saving its baseball team and overcoming two big issues: where to build the stadium and how to close a funding gap.

There are ways to close this funding gap either through MLB, the Marlins, or even some of that money the County is no longer sending to UM. As for the site, it appears that several County leaders insist on using the Orange Bowl site, despite the Marlins’ and MLB’s push for a more logical downtown location. The question is how long the Marlins will hold onto that position since a ballpark in the Orange Bowl is better than no ballpark.

Update: It’s official

Are the Marlins and UM Working on Stadium Solution?

UM president Donna Shalala sat next to Jeffery Loria at tonights game. Any chance they negotiated a mutually beneficial solution to their respective stadium dilemmas? I mean, could they have seriously sat there and neither raised the issue?

Update: Field of Schemes finally weighs in on the latest Marlins ballpark news.

UM May Decide Soon; County Thinks Orange Bowl is “Urban”

If you’re familiar with our frustration over UM’s impact on the ballpark situation, you can imagine our dismay as we read the latest updates.

First, we are reminded that the ballpark is on hold while the world waits for the University of Miami to make up its mind on whether to renovate the Orange Bowl or move to Dolphin Stadium.

[T]he University of Miami’s indecision over whether to stay in the Orange Bowl is stalling arrangements to move the Marlins into a Miami home, says Ian Yorty, who handles baseball negotiations for Miami-Dade County

And of course, the County wants the Marlins to play at the OB site:

Major League Baseball is “willing,” Mr. Hernandez said, to bring the Marlins to the Orange Bowl should the university choose to leave … Orange Bowl still fits the Marlins’ desired bill of “an urban ballpark setting.”

Really? Continue reading UM May Decide Soon; County Thinks Orange Bowl is “Urban”

Best Young Shortstop? Hanley a No-Brainer

Yes, we all know that Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins are great players but when you look at the total package (and the stats) Fish fans know that Hanley Ramirez is the best of the bunch.

Now Sports Illustrated agrees with us.

This season, Hanley is batting a league-leading .343 with 21 HR and 61 RBI. He is also second in the league with 93 runs scores and third in stolen bases (37). Heck, he is eighth in the league in slugging. His only weakness is his defense where he’s committed 17 errors.

Update: From ESPN’s Jason Stark:

One of the sharpest scouting minds we know was talking the other day about Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez — and uttered a sentence we can’t get out of our heads:

“Other than Alex Rodriguez,” he said, “Hanley Ramirez may be the best all-around player in the game.”

Yes, sir. He really said that. About Hanley Ramirez.