Marlins Tie Cardinals in 2009 Spring Training Opener

The first Spring Training game for 2009 is in the books as the Marlins rallied to tie the Cardinals 5-5. Among the bright spots for the Marlins was a Hanley Ramirez 2-run home run. Unfortunately, Anibal Sanchez had a rough start, allowing 3 hits and walking 3 in 2 innings and the defense performed like it’s 2008. Since the game ended in a tie, the only winners are people like us, Fish fans who are excited to see the team back in action.

Stadium Vote Moved Up

Another day, another schedule change for the “final vote” on the new ballpark. This time the vote has been moved up from March 12th to March 4th for the City of Miami and March 5th for Miami-Dade County.

There’s really nothing else to add at this point because this process has become completely unpredictable. I suggest prayer as the only reliable way out of this mess.

Update: There is even talk of compromise.

Fredi Gets an Extension

Just before the first team workout, the Marlins have announced that they’ve extended Fredi Gonzalez’s deal through the 2011 seasons. The next 3 seasons, hopefully leading to the first season in the new ballpark, will require stability and growth as payroll will probably remain low. Despite some criticism, Fredi has done a good job with a young team and, most importantly, does not yell at the owner in the middle of games.

Stadium Vote Postponed Until March

Well all expected today to be a good day for Miami and the Marlins but all hell broke loose and now the City of Miami has postponed the vote until March.

It all began when Commissioner Marc Sarnoff decided to renegotiate the entire deal during the hearing. He primarily focused on cost overruns for building a garage, the City getting a bigger share of the naming rights and penalties related to future sale of the team or death of the owner. An upset David Samson offered to cap the garage at the City’s contribution (meaning no overruns) and then said that reopening the other issues would require reopening the entire package. I guess Commissioner Sarnoff didn’t think that impacting the team’s estimated costs would upset the entire financial equation.

Commission Chair Sanchez said it best:

”What’s alarming is that I am appalled at how we have handled this,” Sanchez said, criticizing Sarnoff for attempting to re-write the deal on the day of the vote.

You can share your thoughts with Commissioner Sarnoff here

Marlins Willing to Sign Pudge at a Big Discount

After hearing that the Fish have no chance of signing Pudge Rodriguez, we are obviously not too surprised to find out that it’s all a ploy to convince the still-unsigned catcher to return at a huge discount. Pudge is looking for something around $5 millions while the Marlins could see an incentive-based $1 million deal.

The question is if Rodriguez’ is willing to accept a six-figure base salary and modest incentive package. The source said even though owner Jeffrey Loria is on board with a Rodriguez reunion, it would have to happen for around $1 million, including performance bonuses.

No doubt that Pudge will be an upgrade from Rabelo so let’s hope this dry market, which has left several big name players without a contract, allows an opportunistic front office to bring him back.