Miami-Dade was scheduled to review all the details of their $3 billion improvement plan (including the ballpark) at today’s meeting, but the ballpark piece was pushed back to January 10th. Sounds to us like they’re delaying any discussion until the definitive agreement is concluded between the parties. This makes sense because the Marlins want to only have one more public discussion and vote at the county level — the final vote. So now we know that Samson and company have 3 weeks to draft, negotiate, and execute the final deal.
After a long day of debating, Miami-Dade County approved transferring the Orange Bowl fund ($50 million) to Project Number 50A (the Marlins Ballpark) and approved a $3 billion investment package which includes the port tunnel, street car, museum, and of course the ballpark. Quite a few commissioners openly expressed their support for the ballpark and it looks like the momentum is moving in the right direction.
Next up: the sides need to finalize the actual agreement.
Update: Notice the use of the word “will”:
“It’s the biggest vote to date,” Marlins president David Samson said. “It sets up a process in which a stadium deal will be completed.” [Emphasis added]
From the good guys at FishStripes:
Lo Duca was traded to the Marlins in July 2004 and the last evidence in the report of him buying performance enhancing drugs was in August of the same year. Lo Duca signed a three-year deal with the Marlins in January of 2005.
If the report is accurate, the Dodgers juiced him up and sold the Marlins a bill of goods and the only way I can see to right the wrong is to give us Brad Penny back and have the Dodgers pay out Penny’s existing contract. And you wonder why I’m not the commissioner.
“I think over the past 13 years and three ownership groups, this is certainly the closest,”
Marlins president David Samson discussing ballpark situation.
The City of Miami did its part today by approving the agreement with the County and the Marlins to fund a new ballpark. Other items were thrown into the approval including the proposed soccer stadium which may be built near the ballpark for an MLS expansion team.
The Marlins are optimistic:
“It’s a huge day for the city of Miami and the county of Miami-Dade,” Samson said. “What’s next is, we have to get together and finish the baseball stadium agreement, because a lot of what happened today is dependent on that agreement being completed.”
The city is happy:
“Finally, after eight years, I think we’re very close to building a baseball stadium,” said commissioner Joe Sanchez, whose district would house the proposed ballpark.
Next up is for the County to approve the agreement on Tuesday. Once that happens, the parties will finalize the definitive agreement and, once signed, push for the accelerated construction to begin.
Since many of you are wondering how former Marlins appeared in the Mitchell Report, here are highlights for each player (source: ESPN).
As for specific players using substances while with the Marlins, from what we can tell, Paul Lo Duca was known to have purchased just days prior to joining the Marlins, Ricky Bones was caught with it in his Marlins locker, Matt Herges received his HGH in the off-season before joining the Marlins, while Chad Allen used it in the off-season after his only season with the Marlins. There is, of course, that devistating statement by Luis Perez, a former Marlins bullpen catcher saying “Virtually every player on the Marlins was ‘doing something’ ranging from steroids and greenies, to marijuana, etc.”
- Kevin Brown
In the notes of the October 2003 meetings among Dodgers officials, it was reportedly said of Brown: “Kevin Brown — getting to the age of nagging injuries … Question what kind of medication he takes … Effectiveness goes down covering 1st base or running bases. Common in soccer players and are more susceptible if you take meds to increase your muscles — doesn’t increase the attachments. Is he open to adjusting how he takes care of himself? He knows he now needs to do stuff before coming to spring training to be ready. Steroids speculated by GM.”
- Paul Lo Duca
Radomski produced copies of three checks from Lo Duca, each in the amount of $3,200. All are included in the Appendix. Radomski said that each check was in payment for two kits of human growth hormone. Lo Duca’s name, with an address and telephone number, is listed in the address book seized from Radomski’s residence by federal agents.
- Josias Manzanillo
Radomski said that he did not sell any steroids to Manzanillo and that his only substance-related involvement with Manzanillo was when he injected him with steroids in the clubhouse. Radomski stated that he remembered the event clearly because it was the only time he ever injected a player with steroids.
- Gregg Zaun
…in September 2002 Luis Perez, a bullpen catcher for the Montreal Expos, was arrested for possession of a pound of marijuana. In January 2003, he was interviewed by investigators from the Commissioner’s Office.400 Perez told those investigators that he had personally supplied anabolic steroids to Zaun and seven other major league ball players.
- Ricky Bones
In late June 2000, a clubhouse attendant with the Florida Marlins brought a paper bag to the club’s athletic trainers that had been found in the locker of Marlins pitcher Ricky Bones. The bag contained over two dozen syringes, six vials of injectable medications – stanozolol and nandrolone decanoate, two anabolic steroids that are sold under the names Winstrol and Deca-Durabolin, respectively – and a page of handwritten instructions on how to administer the drugs.
- Ron Villone
Villone first purchased human growth hormone from Radomski during the 2004 season. Radomski sent this order to Villone at the Seattle Mariners’ clubhouse. For the second transaction, Radomski met Villone during the 2004-05 off-season at a diner where Radomski personally delivered the human growth hormone to him. Villone’s third purchase from Radomski took place during the 2005 season. Radomski sent that package to Villone’s residence in Seattle.
- Matt Herges
Radomski produced one check from Herges dated November 1, 2005 in the amount of $3,240 … Radomski said that this check was in payment for two kits of human growth hormone, plus $40 for shipping. A piece of an undated shipping receipt to Herges and a copy of an Express Mail receipt dated November 2, 2005 sent to the same address were seized from Radomski’s residence by federal agents.
- Chad Allen
According to Allen, the 2003 off-season was the only occasion when he used steroids. Allen explained that he did not want his teammates to know that he used steroids, and he did not want to use anything during the season because he “did not want to be on a different playing field from his teammates.” He also was concerned about testing positive.
- Ismael Valdez
According to [the San Francisco Chronicle], on September 7, 2002, while he was playing with the Mariners, Valdez “used a credit to card to buy nearly $2,500 worth of human growth hormone,” which was shipped to him at the Texas Rangers ballpark in Arlington, Texas where Valdez had been playing until he was traded to the Mariners the prior month. Ten days later, Valdez reportedly purchased Novarel, clomiphene, and Arimidex from the center, all of which are used to counteract the effects of steroid abuse.502 The article reported that “Valdez’s prescriptions were written by the same dentist who prescribed drugs to [Paul] Byrd, [Jose] Guillen and [retired infielder Matt] Williams.”
- Gary Sheffield
In September 2003, when federal agents executed a search warrant on Greg Anderson’s condominium, they cited a February 2003 FedEx receipt from Gary Sheffield to BALCO as evidence of probable cause to conduct the search.354 In his 2007 book entitled Inside Power, Sheffield acknowledged he had received a bill from BALCO for what he called “vitamins” and claimed he did not know whether the “cream” he acknowledged using during his grand jury testimony had contained steroids.
- Benito Santiago
At the end of the 2003 season, Mike Murphy, a Giants clubhouse attendant, was cleaning out Santiago’s locker when he found a sealed package of syringes. Murphy brought the syringes to the training room, handed them to Conte, and told Conte that he had found them in Santiago’s locker. Conte responded that he “would take care of it.”
“Virtually every player on the Marlins was ‘doing something’ ranging from steroids and greenies, to marijuana, etc.”
— Luis Perez, former Marlins bullpen catcher
The Mitchell Report is out and you can view it here.
Former Senator Mitchell served on the Florida Marlins Board of Directors in 2000 and 2001.
The Marlins are named in an incident that happened in 2000:
C. Discovery of Steroids in Florida Marlins Player’s Locker, June 2000
In late June 2000, a clubhouse attendant with the Florida Marlins brought a paper bag to the club’s athletic trainers that had been found in the locker of Marlins pitcher Ricky Bones. The bag contained over two dozen syringes, six vials of injectable medications – stanozolol and nandrolone decanoate, two anabolic steroids that are sold under the names Winstrol and Deca-Durabolin, respectively – and a page of handwritten instructions on how to administer the drugs. Soon thereafter, the athletic trainers returned the bag and its contents to Bones at his request.
The athletic trainers’ initial reaction not to report the discovery of steroids in a player’s possession did not comply with this policy. The next day, however, the matter was brought to the attention of Dave Dombrowski, the Marlins’ general manager, who immediately reported it to the Commissioner’s Office, which said its staff would “take it from here.”
F. Bullpen Catcher Admits to Supplying Steroids to
Eight Major League Players, September 2002 On September 26, 2002, during a game against the Florida Marlins at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, Montreal’s bullpen catcher Luis Perez asked a Marlins clubhouse attendant if he would carry a duffel bag back to Florida for him. The Marlins employee, who knew Perez from his previous tenure as a bullpen catcher with the Marlins, agreed. Perez later delivered a large padlocked duffel bag to be included with the Marlins luggage. Marlins equipment manager John Silverman was suspicious because of the padlock and directed that the bag be opened. When it was (using a combination that Perez provided), Silverman and the clubhouse attendant discovered a box coated on the inside with pine tar that contained two plastic packages amounting to one pound of marijuana.
After the criminal process had ended, Hallinan and his deputy, Martin Maguire, traveled to Miami to interview Perez. Perez explained that during his time as a bullpen catcher for the Florida Marlins, between 1998 until 2001, two players asked if he could obtain steroids for them. After he was successful in doing so, word spread and he became a source for players to acquire steroids and other drugs. Perez alleged that he had witnessed widespread use of steroids and other drugs. According to Hallinan’s memo, Perez told baseball officials “. . . that virtually every player on the Marlins was ‘doing something’ ranging from steroids and greenies, to marijuana, etc. He also claimed that every pitcher in Montreal’s bullpen was on some form of steroid.”
Perez told Hallinan that when teams were in San Diego, players often crossed the border into Mexico to obtain illegal substances. He said that he knew of clubhouse employees with other teams who were similarly called upon to obtain drugs for players, including in particular a visiting clubhouse attendant in Philadelphia. Perez also claimed that he was paid as much as $500 by certain players to carry their bags on trips to and from Canada. At the conclusion of their interview of him, Perez’s lawyer handed to Hallinan and Maguire a typed list of players and their “drug of choice” that had been compiled by Perez. The list identified eight players (with the Marlins, Astros, and Expos) for whom Perez personally had acquired anabolic steroids, in addition to identifying twelve players for whom Perez had obtained other drugs.
Congrats to the following former Marlins for being named as steroid or HGH users (although, not all used it while playing with the fish):
- Kevin Brown
- Josias Manzanillo
- Gregg Zaun
- Paul Lo Duca
- Ricky Bones
- Ron Villone
- Matt Herges
- Chad Allen
- Ismael Valdez
- Gary Sheffield
- Benito Santiago
As expected, the Marlins chose to not tender a contract to Miguel Olivo so he is a free agent. Justin Miller, on the other hand, signed a one-year deal for $750,000. The remaining arbitration eligible players are heading to arbitration.
Update: Since he was once a member of the Marlins it is no surprise that Detroit wants him.
Here is the link to the official memo regarding the new Miami Marlins ballpark. Yes, we’ll need to get use to that name by 2011.
Update: Reading through the memo, it hurts to read that the site in downtown was actually cheaper and better than the Orange Bowl site. Alas, we’ll take whatever we can get. Also, construction begins November 2008 with opening day scheduled for the 2011 season.
Update 2: The County wants to look into the fabric roof concept introduced by Tampa Bay’s proposed pirate ship of a stadium. They believe it saves both construction and air conditioning cost. I say we we build a real roof — hybrid roofs don’t have a good track record (see Olympic Stadium in Montreal).
Update 3: Forgot to mention: total of 37,000 seats, 3,000 club seats, 60 private suites, 7,200 affordable seats, and parking. Total cost: $525,000,000 ($489,800,000 for construction and design + $4,200,000 for furniture fixtures and equipment + $9,000,000 for owner contingency + $12,000,000 for site work + $10,000,000 demolition of the Orange Bowl, infrastructure and site prep).
Update 4: If the Marlins are sold to a new owner in the first 10 years (except for the unfortunate death of the team’s principle owner), the team would have to pay the County a percentage of the sale price with the assumed price at signing being $250,000,000.
“We have a funding plan in place we think works — finally…” – George Burgess
What started off as a get together grew into a bigger meeting resulting in the unveiling of the plan for a new Marlins ballpark at the Orange Bowl site.
Miami-Dade County Manager George Burgess offered the Florida Marlins a revised plan for the Orange Bowl site Tuesday that shifts a large out-of-pocket cash burden to the ball club, yet costs the county more long term.
Burgess’s plan, detailed in a cramped third floor County Hall conference room with Major League Baseball in attendance, prompted team officials to break a year-long silence on publicly discussing stadium issues.
While the Marlins’ overall investment was reduced from the previously reported $207 million to $155 million, the Marlins will now have to come up with all that money up front.
As for the county:
the county will put up $199 million in mostly tourist tax dollars and chip in $50 million from a General Obligation Bond. While that $249 million total is less than the $307 million previously discussed, the county would not be getting additional payments back from the team.
The Marlins would be responsible for cost overruns, and the city of Miami would be on the hook for building a 6,000-car garage. The county would own the stadium.
As for next steps, the County Commission will meet next Tuesday to discuss the plan. The City of Miami, which is investing $121 million tourist tax dollars, also needs to sign off on the deal. Additionally, the team must sign a non-relocation agreement.
Former Marlin Paul Lo Duca is staying in our division after signing a 1-year $5MM deal with the Washington Nationals. You can strike him off our list of potential catchers.
We’ve all wondered how the trade happens and in this Detroit-loving article by Jason Stark, we discover that after the Tigers rejected the Marlins’ Cabrera for Miller and Maybin offer, the Marlins came back with the 8 player lineup (meaning: included Dontrelle) and Detroit said yes.
Oh, and one bit of commentary. Trading away your entire minor league system and spending millions on free agents doesn’t make your GM a genius. For every good GM like Dave Dombrowski there is an incompetent GM like Omar Minaya.
The Rule 5 Draft just concluded and the Marlins picked up RHP Jose (don’t call him Che) Guevara from the Reds and then traded him to the Padres for cash. Since the Marlins have to guarantee him a spot on the roster, it’s safe to say that they simply didn’t have room for the screwball pitcher.
Let’s hope this wasn’t a mistake, such as the last time we picked a pitcher in the draft and traded him away.
Here is a good interview with Larry Beinfest on the Dan LaBatard Show. So much there — team is looking for 3B, they feel like they have several great starters, and Miller is front of the rotation guy.
If you like pain, here is an interview with David Samson. BTW, he says the Marlins minor league system costs $20MM and that the franchise has huge expenses which is why they don’t make money. Additionally, he insists the ownership isn’t taking a penny out of the ballclub.