Forbes March 2012 update: Recap of their yearly reporting on the Marlins since 2002

April 2003

Recap of Forbes view on the Marlins based on their 2002 finances — Operating loss of $14 million and an *estimated franchise valuation of $136 million . *Jeffrey Loria purchased the team prior to the 2002 season for for $158 million:

Shoddy marketing delivered second lowest attendance in baseball. The Florida Marlins play in Pro Player Stadium.

April 2004

Recap of Forbes view on the Marlins based on their 2003 finances — Operating loss of $11 million and an estimated franchise valuation of $172 million:

Last year’s World Series title brought glory and slightly more revenue to the Florida Marlins. Give management credit. Unlike some other low-revenue owners who pocket the payouts from high-revenue teams, Jeffrey Loria invested in players like Pudge Rodriguez (since departed to the Detroit Tigers). But the long-term viability of this franchise in south Florida remains in question, unless the team can convince legislators and taxpayers to help finance a new ballpark.

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Union squares off with PETA in Marlins aquarium dispute

Marlins Park saltwater aquarium

Appearing alongside a Lawnmower Blenny which had lost a fin during an elaborate 1st Communion party and had not been able to perform since, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka leveled his harshest attack yet on the PETA organization which had advocated the use of “robotic fish” in the saltwater aquarium at the new Marlins Park. Trumka stated, “those are jobs which should be going to species of Americans. Everyone knows the world of robotics is a right-wing scam underwritten by the Ed Koch brothers. Those PETA guys wouldn’t know a coral reef from Coral Gables.”

When the Blenny was asked if he had any comments on the aquarium issue, he replied “no, but I urge all Americans, even those with freshwater aquariums, to reject the new Ryan budget proposal.”

Vowing that they would never allow themselves to be out-outraged, PETA fired back at Union president Trumka.   They released a video of PETA’s talks with the Marlins in which Trumka was allowed to participate. In the video, Trumka appears to confuse the material the Marlins were touting as helping to protect the fish, by limiting how much the aquarium would vibrate, neoprene, with neosporin.  Trumka can be seen in the grainy video, asking “how in the world will they would be able to spread the material on the fish without clogging up their gills.”

Thanks to my friends at Hardball Talk for the idea and they are hereby absolved of all puns.

MLB in Little Havana: Walking through the Houses of the Holy

This Sunday I took a 4 mile walk in preparation for what I hope will be frequent nighttime walks during many MLB seasons to come.  Since the possibility that a baseball stadium would rise up on the Orange Bowl grounds [The Battle for Evermore], I have looked forward to taking my walks around the new stadium even as I listened to radio or internet broadcasts of the game.

Those walks to come are already vivid in my head.  I know that I will unhook my earphones as I pass homes who are watching the game or people outside their apartments listening like me.  At first there will a series of imperceptible acknowledgements.  But by June, my MLB fandom established,  there will be waves, quick head-shakes inspired by Stanton and actual conversations.

Who knows, there might also be fellow bloggers along the path.  Like Lourdes girls who know of Sandy Denny, they are rare but do exist, so sayeth the book of Daniela.  I already have a few suggestions.

The Led Zeppelin song Houses of the Holy [see below] — through an admittedly parochial prism — written nearly 40 years ago, nicely captured my mood on the walk to the opening of a MLB park in my neighborhood.

Let me take you to the [Tower Theater] movies. Can I take you to the [Domino Park] show

Let me be yours ever truly. Can I make your garden [Brigade 2506 Memorial Park] grow

From the houses of the holy, we can watch the white doves [Giancarlo Stanton dingers] go

From the door comes Satan’s daughter [New York Yankees], and it only goes to show. You know.

There’s an angel on my shoulder [Miami-Dade County Hotel and Restaurant Taxes], In my hand a sword of gold [SEC investigation]

 
The song rambles on after that …

See what my Little Havana GPS reads like for the 2 mile [one way] walk:

  1. Start out going north on SW 26th Rd.
  2. Turn left at Sts Peter and Paul Catholic Church.
  3. Turn right onto SW 13th Ave at the Anaut’s house.
  4. Go past the 2506 Brigade Memorial.
  5. Go past Calle Ocho / Olga Guillot Way.
  6. Go past Flagler St.
  7. Turn left at St John Bosco Catholic Church.
  8. Take right onto NW 14th Ave.
  9. The OB2 / Marlins Park is 3 blocks ahead.

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Restoration and Miamians

Marlins Park opened to a game between Miami’s most prominent Catholic boys high schools, Columbus and Belen on Monday night. Archbishop Thomas Wenski threw out the first pitch. The crowd consisted mostly of Catholic high school parents who have spent the better part of the last decade contributing to building funds which rarely produce actual buildings. Yet there we were, in a new stadium built over our old stadium located in the type of a neighborhood first generation Cuban exiles worked hard to leave behind. That was good.

Much was left behind. The type of things that couldn’t move. Churches, schools, cheap housing and one stadium. The mobility of second generation Cuban exiles was much appreciated by those who followed from Nicaragua, Colombia and Venezuela etc. Turns out they wanted and needed our Little Havana neighborhood. That was good. So was that one stadium.

The Orange Bowl was like some magical yearbook whose last page you never thought to imagine. Its history seemed to be the Miami’s history, mainly in sports, but also in music and politics. The new stadium would have been a hit anywhere it was built. But because it was built on the site of the Orange Bowl, it feels like more of a restoration. The transition from football to baseball almost incidental. That is good.

In standing on the mound for the first pitch, if Archbishop Wenski had turned towards first base, he would be about two miles away from another historic restoration of a Miami institution, Miami Senior High. That school, my high school, is one of the rare places in Miami which preceded even the Orange Bowl. When that restoration is complete sometime next year, that will be good.

If Archbishop Wenski had turned and faced center field, he could actually see the golden dome on top of one of the churches he leads which is about a half mile away. St John Bosco Catholic Church, my Parish, has in the last few years undergone its own restoration. While the old St John Bosco building was torn down and a beautiful new one erected fifty yards away, no one thinks of it as a new Parish for good reason.

G.K. Chesterton wrote in Orthodoxy:

I freely confess all the idiotic ambitions of the end of the nineteenth century. I did, like all other solemn little boys, try to be in advance of the age. Like them I tried to be some ten minutes in advance of the truth. And I found that I was eighteen hundred years behind it. I did strain my voice with a painfully juvenile exaggeration in uttering my truths. And I was punished in the fittest and funniest way, for I have kept my truths: but I have discovered, not that they were not truths, but simply that they were not mine.

To all these places I’ve felt a tribal allegiance of varying degrees over the years.  I have come in and out of their buildings with pride and affection.  But when I reflect on their longevity, survival and now restoration, I am forced to acknowledge the missing link in my ‘truths.’  My fellow Miamians.  There would be nothing to call ‘mine’ without those who preceded and proceeded me in all these places.  The ones who surrounded me last night.  People with whom I gladly go, adelante!

Halloween and the Miguel Cabrera Trade

Like a character in the Halloween franchise, the horror of the December 2007 Miguel Cabrera trade never seems able to go away completely. The Padres just ripped open the MRSA-type wound by signing Cameron Maybin to a $25 million contract extension. This after updated defensive metrics indicate that Maybin may have been the 3rd best center fielder in MLB last year. This after he was named the Padres MVP for 2011. This after Chris Coughlan’s disastrous 2011 season put his MLB career in jeopardy. This after the 23 year-old Maybin was traded by the Marlins for 2 middle relievers after the 2010 season.

In a post at the end of last year, I looked at Marlins trades and draft choices since 2005 and quantified a rather mediocre performance in evaluating talent by the Larry Beinfest and the Marlins. The Sun Sentinel’s Juan C. Rodriguez points out how Sean West is the Marlins equivalent of the Last of the Mohicans, 2005 draft edition. Trading Maybin is now one of their more obvious mistakes.

They haven’t asked, but I’ll hand them one possible explanation. They may have been suffering from Roger Abercrombie fatigue syndrome. Could the failure of an earlier similar prospect been projected onto Maybin? Heck, I don’t even believe that. But I also can’t believe the Marlins gave up on a 23 year-old center fielder when they had no answer to replace him other than converting a left fielder who was still adjusting to his conversion from second base.

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