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35 posts from February 2012

February 15, 2012

Yankees tix go on sale Saturday

    Tickets for the Marlins' two exhibition games with the Yankees on April 1 and 2 go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m.

     About 25,000 tickets will be available for the April 1 game against the Bronx Bombers. About 30,000 tickets will be available for the April 2 game.

     Tickets will be sold exclusively online at marlins.com. Tickets range in price from $15 to $150.

     The Marlins also announced today that, so far, 52,000 fans have registered for a chance to purchase two tickets to the Opening Day game against the Cardinals on April 4.

     Single-game tickets, with the exception of Opening Night, go on sale March 3 at 10 a.m.

February 14, 2012

Ozzie: Hanley not "100 percent on board" with 3B -- yet

     Ozzie Guillen said Hanley Ramirez isn't 100 percent on board with his pending move to third base -- at least not yet. But Guillen said he expects Ramirez will warm up to the idea by the time the Marlins open the season April 4 against the Cardinals.

     See and hear for yourself what Guillen has to say about Ramirez:

February 13, 2012

Did Marlins and Logan Morrison disrespect memory of Carl Barger?

       Who's more important? Joe DiMaggio or George Brett? Because that's what it comes down to in the retiring and unretiring by the Marlins of No. 5, a uniform number they have allowed no player to wear until now.

       The Marlins retired the number to honor Carl Barger, their first president, who died before the team's first season in 1993. Then owner Wayne Huizenga had the number retired because it was once worn by DiMaggio, Barger's favorite player.

       But when Morrison asked recently to wear the number to honor his late father, who was a George Brett fan, the Marlins obliged. Until now, Morrison had been wearing 20. The Marlins will allow Morrison to wear Brett's "5" but place a plaque in their new ballpark to honor Barger.

       The decision is not sitting well with the Barger family, which said it was never contacted by the Marlins to discuss the change.

        "My family and I are disappointed that that is the decision," said Betzi Barger, a daughter of Carl Barger. "We weren't informed of it. We were not contacted by anyone in the Marlins' organization. I would have liked to discuss it with the family. He was certaintly dedicated to that organization."

Marlins not stunned by Cespedes decision

     Nothing about the Marlins is mundane anymore, and today's annual media luncheon in Coconut Grove -- a somewhat ho-hum event in previous years -- was more evidence of that. It was during the middle of the luncheon that news broke of Yoenis Cespedes' decision to sign with Oakland.

     "Is it (true)?" responded Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest when I relayed the info, which had just broken on the internet.

     It was indeed.

     To be truthful, though, the Marlins weren't all that surprised. I spoke to one front office executive, who told me beforehand that he was not optimistic about signing Cespedes, this despite several reports indicating that the Marlins were frontrunners to land the Cuban outfielder.

     The Marlins had offered Cespedes a six-year, $36 million deal, but refused to increase the bid after being told that it wasn't enough. The A's ended up landing Cespedes with a reported offer of $36 million for four years.

     "When you're going after a player who has not played at the major league level, it is important to make sure that you will have him long enough to reap the benefit of the risk," Marlins president David Samson said after learning of Cespedes' decision. "And so you have to make sure the term is long enough that right when he is at his peak, he is not leaving."

     Do you think the Marlins make the right decision in holding firm on their offer for Cespedes? Or do you feel they should have raised their bid to land the outfielder?

February 11, 2012

Carl Barger's No. 5 is "unretired" for Logan Morrison

Barger     No member of the Florida Marlins has ever worn No. 5. That number was retired by the organization following the death of Carl Barger, the franchise's first president. The Marlins chose to retire "5" because it was worn by Barger's favorite player, Joe DiMaggio.

     But the Miami Marlins are allowing outfielder Logan Morrison to have the number and will commemorate Barger's memory with a plaque in the new ballpark. Morrison had been wearing "20." Now the only remaining number that is retired by the Marlins is Jackie Robinson's "42."

     Have the Marlins ever had a player whose number needs to be retired, in your opinion? Do they have such a player in the making?

February 09, 2012

Yelich is only Marlin in Keith Law's Top 100 Prospects

     Outfielder Christian Yelich is the only member of the Marlins' organization to crack Keith Law's Top 100 Prospects list, not a surprise given the low opinion of the team's minor league system these past few years by virtually every expert out there.

     Yelich checks in at No. 48 overall on Law's rankings, which were published today and are available to ESPN Insider subscribers only. Yelich was the Marlins' first-round pick in 2010 and spent last season at Low A Greensboro, where he hit .319 with 15 homers and 32 stolen bases.

     But, as far as Law is concerned, the cupboard is bare for the Marlins beyond the 20-year-old Yelich. The only other organizations with just one player ranked in his top 100 are the Phillies, Giants, White Sox and Indians. The Rays, Padres and Cardinals lead the way with six players each making the list.

     Law has the Marlins' farm system ranked 28th of 30 teams, ahead of only the Indians and White Sox.

     "They have one top-100 guy and only two others who would merit consideration in the next 50 or so," Law wrote. "The system has produced a lot of big league talent in the past few years, including one star in Mike Stanton and another future star in Logan Morrison, that doesn't count here."Yelich

       For his rankings, Law considers only players who are currently in the organization that have not lost their rookie status. Law's ranking of the top 10 players in the Marlins organization: 1. Yelich; 2. Jose Fernandez, rhp; 3. J.T. Realmuto, c; 4. Chad James, lhp; 5. Marcell Ozuna, rf; 6. Matt Dominguez, 3b; 7. Austin Brice, rhp; 8. Rob Rasmussen, lhp; 9. Jose Ceda, rhp; 10. Mason Hope, rhp.

      How concerned do you think the Marlins should be that, based on what is an almost universal belief, their farm system is so thin on talent?

February 08, 2012

Bonifacio prevails as Marlins lose again in arb

      Chalk up another victory for a Marlins player in a salary arbitration case against the team. Emilio Bonifacio became the latest winner on Wednesday when arbitrators awarded him his asking price of $2.2 million for the 2012 season. The Marlins felt the do-it-all speedster deserved $1.95 million.

      Since 2003, the Marlins are 3-6 in arbitration cases that go to hearing and are on a five-case losing streak dating back to Miguel Cabrera's win over the team in 2007. That's a pretty lousy record considering that, overall, clubs have a 23-15 record over players dating back to 2005. If you remove the Marlins, teams own a commanding record of 22-10 against the players in hearing decisions since '05.

      So far this year, arbitrators have rendered four decisions and it's an even two-two split between teams and players. But the Marlins, who also lost to Anibal Sanchez ($8 million) on Monday, represent both losses.

      Bonifacio, who was in his first year of arbitration, is coming off a career year in which he hit .296, stole 40 bases, and played six different positions in 152 games. He is expected to begin the season as the Marlins' Opening Day center fielder. 

February 07, 2012

Cespedes is Miami-bound for likely Marlins visit

     Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who is the last remaining target of the Marlins' offseason acquisition spree, is scheduled to arrive in Miami later this afternoon and will more than likely meet with team officials tomorrow.

     Cespedes will first meet today with his agent, Adam Katz.

     A handful of teams are believed to be interested in the 26-year-old slugger, and there are reports that bidding for the free agent could hit the $60 million mark. The Marlins have been outspoken in their desire to land Cespedes, which is most unusual of the typically tight-lipped organization.

     Even if the Marlins are successful in signing Cespedes, he will almost certainly start the season in the minors. Once he's proven himself there, the Marlins must then decide where to position him once they call him up. Cespedes has been playing center, a position that will be occupied to start the season by Emilio Bonifacio (Bonifacio, by the way, had his salary arbitration hearing this morning.)

     Scouts believe Cespedes is better suited in a corner outfield spot, both of which are currently taken on the Marlins by Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison.

     But those are details for later. More than likely, the Marlins will give him the grand tour of their new ballpark, take him to Joe's Stone Crab for lunch, and give him their best sales routine to convince him that South Florida is the place to be.

February 06, 2012

Anibal Sanchez awarded record $8 mil in arbitration win

    Anibal Sanchez notched a victory on Monday that won't be counted on his won-loss record. But it will count big in his wallet.

    Sanchez not only won his arbitration case against the Marlins, but pocketed the largest award ever given to a starting pitcher at the hearing stage. A three-member panel of arbitrators decided in his favor, awarding him the $8 million salary the pitcher and his agent, Gene Mato, felt he deserved. The Marlins had countered with a salary of $6.9 million.Anibal

    It was the largest salary ever awarded to a starting pitcher whose arbitration case went to a hearing, topping the $7.365 million awarded last year to the Angels' Jered Weaver. But in Weaver's case, the team prevailed.

    This could very well be Sanchez's final campaign with the Marlins. Marlins president David Samson said last week that the team has no plans to discuss a contract extension with Sanchez during the season, after which the pitcher will become eligible for free agency.

    Emilio Bonifacio is scheduled to have his arbitration case heard on Tuesday. Bonifacio is asking for $2.2 million while the Marlins will argue his salary for next season should be $1.95 million.

    With the Sanchez decision, the Marlins are now 3-5 in arbitration hearings since 2003.

February 04, 2012

The field is down at Marlins Park -- PHOTO

   Well, what do you think?