The Marlins 2013 Spring Training schedule includes 20 games at Jupiter's Roger Dean Stadium including a game against the Yankees March 8th, the Red Sox March 11th, and Venezuela's World Baseball Classic team on March 5th.
The Marlins, who will play 32 exhibition games in all, will have pitchers and catchers report for physicals and the club's first on-field workout Feb. 12. Position players have physicals on February 15, with the first full-squad workout taking place that afternoon.
Season-ticket packages and 6+ Plans, which are the best options to ensure great seats for the Yankees and Red Sox games in Jupiter, are currently available by calling (561) 799-1345. Individual tickets for games in Jupiter will go on sale at the Roger Dean Stadium Box Office and local Ticketmaster locations on Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 10 am. For more ticket information, contact Roger Dean Stadium at (561) 775-1818 or check the stadium's website, www.rogerdeanstadium.com. Additional ticket information can also be found at the Marlins official website, www.marlins.com.
Here's the complete schedule
Sat., Feb. 23 vs. Cardinals, 1:05 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 24 at Nationals (Viera), 1:05 p.m.
Mon., Feb. 25 at Braves (Orlando), 1:05 p.m.
Tue., Feb. 26 vs. Mets, 1:05 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 27 at Nationals (Viera), 1:05 p.m.
Thu., Feb. 28 vs. St. Louis, 1:05 p.m.
Fri., March 1 vs. Minnesota, 1:05 p.m.
Sat., March 2 at Mets (Port St. Lucie), 1:10 p.m.
Sun., March 3 vs. Mets, 1:05 p.m.
Mon., March 4 Off day
Tue., March 5 vs. Venezuela World Baseball Classic team, TBA
Wed., March 6 vs. Cardinals, 1:05 p.m.
Thu., March 7 at Mets (Port St. Lucie), 1:10 p.m.
Fri., March 8 vs. Yankees, 1:05 p.m.
Sat., March 9 ss-vs. Cardinals, 1:05 p.m.; at Nationals (Viera), 1:05 p.m.
Sun., March 10 at Braves (Orlando), 1:05 p.m.
Mon., March 11 vs. Red Sox, 1:05 p.m.
Tue., March 12 vs. Astros, 7:05 p.m.
Wed., March 13 vs. Braves, 7:05 p.m.
Thu., March 14 Off Day
Fri., March 15 at Yankees (Tampa), 1:05 p.m.
Sat., March 16 at Mets (Port St. Lucie), 1:10 p.m.
Sun., March 17 vs. Cardinals, 1:05 p.m.
Mon., March 18, at Minnesota (Fort Myers), 1:05 p.m.
Tue., March 19 vs. Cardinals, 1:05 p.m.
Wed., Marc 20 vs. Nationals, 1:05 p.m.
Thu., March 21 Off day
Fri., March 22 vs. Mets, 7:05 p.m.
Sat., March 23 vs. Cardinals, 1:05 p.m.
Sun., March 24 at Astros (Kissimmee), 1:05 p.m.
Mon., March 25 vs. Tigers, 1:05 p.m.
Tue., March 26 vs. Nationals, 1:05 p.m.
Wed., March 27 at Red Sox (Fort Myers), 1:05 p.m.
Thu., March 28 vs. Cardinals, 1:05 p.m.
When Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports tweeted today that the Marlins "need" a centerfielder and mentioned the Angels' Peter Bourjos and free agent Nate McLouth as potential targets, Justin Ruggiano was quick to reply with a tweet of his own: "no we don't. I got this."
"I came out of nowhere when I was 30 years old and it seems like people are already forgetting what I did last year," Ruggiano said in a phone interview. "Personally, I'd like to be given that opportunity to play out there every day."
Ruggiano need not fret. The Marlins have neither forgotten Ruggiano, nor dismissed him as a center field candidate. While the Marlins are set in right with Giancarlo Stanton and left with Juan Pierre, they are looking at a host of in-house candidates for the job in center: Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest mentioned Ruggiano, Gorkys Hernandez, Bryan Petersen and even Kevin Mattison (no mention of Chris Coghlan, conspicuously enough, for any outfield spot) in a pre-winter meetings phone session this afternoon with beat writers. Coghlan is hitting .213 in winter ball.
Long term, Beinfest said he envisions top prospect Christian Yelich in center. Yelich is expected to start out at Double A Jacksonville but could reach the big leagues by the end of the season.
"He can play the wings, but we like him in center field," Beinfest said. "He's kind of transformed himself into a pretty good center fielder. He gets good jumps. The arm strength is not above average, but he gets himself in position, makes good, accurate throws. We've been happy with his progression in center field."
But, for now, Ruggiano would seem to have the inside track on the Opening Day job. After all, Ruggiano's .313 average last season is tops among any returning Marlin and he's outranked by only Stanton in home runs with 13.
Beinfest has said the Marlins are looking around for some power to put into the lineup, someone to protect Stanton, if possible. But that will be difficult given the team's paltry payroll. Beinfest said that the trade route might be the best way to go.
"We do have some inventory, if we decide to move it, at the minor league level," Beinfest said. "There may be some free agents that haven't been on our radar that maybe we need to look at. And maybe there will be some non-tenders in the next day or two."
Ruggiano said he thinks he can be that guy, though.
"I can provide enough power to protect Stanton," Ruggiano said.
But the Marlins obviously have some reservations. Beinfest declined to call them "concerns," though.
"I don't think concerns, other than he really hasn't done it in the big leagues for a full year," Beinfest said. "What he showed in the 3 1/2 months we had him last year, he had a very good year and was very productive. But, until you've done it, you can't say you've done it. That would be my only concern, is that he hasn't done it for a full year in the major leagues."
Said Ruggiano: "I feel like I definitely need to prove to them all the time."
Beinfest said the Marlins have spoken to Yunel Escobar about moving to third base and "he was good with it."
"We have talked to Escobar and we spoke to him about playing third base," Beinfest said. "We actually met with him."
The Marlins have been shopping Escobar, though, so don't count him in just yet.
Beinfest all but said the Marlins plan to tender reliever Ryan Webb before tomorrow''s deadline, as he mentioned Webb and Mike Dunn as possible set-up relievers for closer Steve Cishek. Webb is the Marlins' only arbitration-eligible player.
Beinfest said reliever Jose Ceda (Tommy John surgery) should be ready for spring training.
Mark Buehrle took a parting shot at the Marlins on Wednesday, saying team officials lied to him.
"I'm upset with how things turned out in Miami," Buehrle said in the written statement. "Just like the fans in South Florida, I was lied to on multiple occasions. But I'm putting it behind me and looking forward to moving on with my career."
Buehrle and four others players were traded by the Marlins to the Toronto Blue Jays. Buehrle, who bought a home in Broward County after signing a 4-year deal, spent only one season with the Marlins before being dealt.
Sources said Buehrle was told he did not have to worry about being traded.
Buehrle's agent, Jeff Berry, also issued the following statement:
"In an off-season of change and uncertainty, the overriding factor in Mark's signing with Miami was Ozzie Guillen and the level of comfort his presence provided Mark and his family. While the Marlins were the highest bidder, baseball had already made Mark a wealthy man, so money was far from the most important factor in his decision. Throughout the recruiting process, the Marlins made repeated assurances about their long-term commitment to Mark and his family and their long-term commitment to building a winning tradition of Marlins baseball in the new stadium. This was demonstrated by their already completed signings of Ozzie, Heath Bell and Jose Reyes.
"At the same time, given the Marlins history, we were all certainly aware of and voiced concern about the lack of no-trade protection. This is unquestionably a business, and signing with the Marlins was a calculated risk. Mark held up his end of the bargain; unfortunately, the same can't be said of the Marlins.
"That said, Mark is a consummate professional and is looking forward to joining his new teammates in Toronto."
Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes aren't the first Marlins to be traded only one season into multi-year deals after receiving verbal assurances that they wouldn't. Carlos Delgado was also told not to worry when he expressed concerns about the team's unwillingness to grant him veto power with any trade.
And in all three instances, it appears that Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria was the one doing the comforting. A source told The Herald's Barry Jackson that was the case with Reyes, and I've heard it was the same for Buehrle.
Delgado's agent, David Sloane, said it was Loria who tried to allay his client's concerns when the Marlins were courting the free agent slugger In 2005. Sloane said that during the bidding process, Delgado had received an offer from the Texas Rangers that promised full no-trade rights while the New York Mets had agreed to provide limited no-trade protection that would allow Delgado to veto deals to a set list of specified teams. The Marlins, per team policy, refused to write binding, no-trade language into the contract.
But Loria -- anxious to sign the first baseman -- gave Delgado verbal assurances that the Marlins wouldn't trade him. Sloane remembers the moment vividly. Sloane said that after taking Delgado to lunch at Joe's Stone Crab, he and members of the Marlins front office returned to Sun Life Stadium to continue negotiating. That's when Loria looked Delgado in the eye and told him there was no need to sweat.
According to Sloane, Loria's exact words were: "If you play like you have in the past and I try to trade you, the fans will hang me in front of the stadium."
Delgado agreed to a 4-year/$52 million deal that was so heavily backloaded he received just $4 million from the Marlins in '05. Despite a banner season in which he finished sixth in the voting for NL MVP by hitting .301/.399/.582 with 33 home runs and 115 RBI, Delgado was traded to the Mets for Grant Psomas, Mike Jacobs and Yusmeiro Petit. The scaffold never went up.
"He wasn't happy about it," Sloane said.
It's probably no coincidence that in terms of total dollars, the three richest contracts awarded by the Marlins to free agents have gone to Reyes (6 years/$106 million), Buehrle (4/$58) and Delgado. With all three, the outcome proved to be the same. When it came time for salaries to escalate, the players were gone. One and done. Good riddance.
Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest acknowledged on Monday that the lastest episode may make it difficult for the team to attract free agents in the future.
"I understand there may be some disdain in the market place," Beinfest said. "We don't know until we get into those negotiations with free agents or until we show over a sustained period of time that we operate in a certain manner. It's definitely not great for the club and we're going to have to deal with it."
But Beinfest said he remains in favor of maintaining the club's policy of not giving no-trade protection.
"It's not going to be my recommendation we change our view of no-trade clauses," Beinfest said. "It was certainly not the intention, and I'll speak for Jeffrey on this, when we signed these guys, to be where we are today...."
New manager Mike Redmond has talked things through with Giancarlo Stanton after the slugger openly complained about the Marlins' salary dump.
"I reached out to him," Redmond said Tuesday on SiriusXM's Inside Pitch with Casey Stern and Jim Bowden. "I've been through that as a player, where guys have been traded, and it's tough. I appreciate the fact he's upset. As a player myself, and now as a manager, that's the kind of intensity and fire you want in your players.
"I told him how much he means to this organization and to our team. He understands what is at stake as a player, and what he has got to do to go out there, and not only to be successful for the Marlins, but to have a great year for himself and his family. I'm not worried about him. I know he will be ready for spring training, and ready to help us win ball games."
The Marlins on Tuesday added four players to their 40-man roster: outfielder Marcell Ozuna, catcher Kyle Skipworth, outfielder Kyle Jensen and left-handed pitcher Edgar Olmos. The roster now stands at 37.
As expected, Bud Selig put his stamp of approval on the Marlins' blockbuster trade with Toronto on Monday, though he took the unusual step of issuing a statement in which he said he sympathized with fans in South Florida and will continue to monitor the franchise.
But the big revelation came when Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said that, with the trade, the team is now within its payroll range for 2013. If that's the case, the Marlins could have the lowest payroll in the majors and the lowest for any Marlins team since either 2009 ($36.8 million) or '10 ($47 million), depending on the final figure and how it's calculated.
At present, the Marlins have salary commitments to seven players for $24 million, $11.5 million of which belongs to Ricky Nolasco. Throw in another $1 mil for arbitration-eligible reliever Ryan Webb and $9 million or thereabouts to round out the rest of the roster, and the total comes to $34 million. In order to pad that number, the team is bound to count the $4 million they're sending to Arizona in the Heath Bell trade and the $8 million that's going to Toronto in the latest deal.
So much for a major premise in the Marlins' argument for building the new ballpark, which was that the team promised to increase payroll once it had its own, retractable-roof facility. One year into the new joint and that premise has gone poof.
"We did receive a payroll range from ownership that we needed to achieve and with this transaction, we have achieved that payroll range...and are prepared to move forward," Beinfest said.
Asked for an explanation why the payroll decrease (from last season's $95 million figure ) was so pronounced, Beinfest said he's "not intimate with the numbers, why we have to be there" and also tried to make the case that success isn't tied strictly to higher payrolls.
"This isn't about payroll," Beinfest said. "We've been through the payroll thing a million times, going all the way back to 2002, all the way back to (Antonio) Alfonseca and (Matt) Clement, where payroll was shedded and we just flat out got better. And I'm hopeful that's what happens this time. We won a World Series with a lower-third payroll. We won a bunch of years ranking in the lower third of payrolls."
It's been reported that the Marlins lost $40 million last year, in part due to attendence that fell well below what one source told me were "worst-case scenario" projections. But teams are about to rake in even more revenue-sharing money thanks to a more lucrative television rights agreement that was recently worked out by MLB. And the Marlins did just move into their very own ballpark, the one they absolutely had to have in order to enjoy higher payrolls, right?
-- Beinfest acknowledged that it could be difficult in the future for the Marlins to sign free agents in the aftermath of trading Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell only one season after those three players signed long-term deals. "I think it'll be a factor," Beinfest said. "It's definitely not great for the club and we're going to have to deal with it." But Beinfest said he does not want the see the team break from policy and start giving no-trade protection to players. "It's not going to be my recommendation that we change our view of no-trade clauses," he said.
-- Beinfest said Juan Pierre, who was signed Monday, would lead off and play left. Beinfest also indicated a desire for finding a power bat to insert in the lineup. At the moment, Beinfest said the team is looking at Justin Ruggiano, Gorkys Hernandez and Bryan Petersen as the leading candidates to play center.
-- Beinfest said he has not spoken to disgruntled outfielder Giancarlo Stanton since the trade. Stanton has voiced his displeasure with the deal. Said Beinfest: "I'm sure it's been tough for him. I hear it. I hear the frustration. I think it's not unexpected. It's an emotional time for everybody. I've had conversations with Jeffrey (Loria) that have been emotional on both sides. This has been a tough go." Beinfest said he would probably try to speak with Stanton eventually. "Our feeling was to maybe let the dust settle a little bit and maybe some of the emotion go away, and we can get to Giancarlo and talk about getting to spring training and some of his new teammates."
-- Of the $191 million in contracts the Marlins awarded (to much fanfare) to Reyes, Buehrle and Bell, only $38 million of it will end up coming out of their own pocket. Arizona and Toronto are now on the hook for the rest.
Juan Pierre is back. The Marlins have agreed to terms with Pierre, a key catalyst on their 2003 World Series team, on a 1-year deal worth $1.6 million.
Pierre, 35, had a bit of a resurgence last season with the Phillies when he hit .307 and stole 37 bases in 130 games. He ranks first among active players in stolen bases with 591 and 19th in hits with 2,141.
With both Jose Reyes and Emilio Bonifacio bound for Toronto, Pierre would appear to be the likely candidate to move into the leadoff spot. Pierre, who lacks a strong throwing arm, was used exclusively in left by the Phillies and has not played in center -- where he was a permanent fixture during his three seasons with the Marlins -- since 2009.
Pierre did not miss a game with the Marlins from 2003-05.
Pierre was unloaded the last time the Marlins had a major roster overhaul. He was traded to the Chicago Cubs in December, 2005, for Ricky Nolasco, Sergio Mitre and Renyel Pinto.
Pierre and new manager Mike Redmond were teammates on the 2003 and '04 Marlins.
Add Chuck Hernandez and Rob Leary to the burgeoning list of new names on the Marlins. While the Marlins wait for Bud Selig to put his stamp of approval on their trade with Toronto, the team announced its entire coaching staff on Friday by naming Hernandez as pitching coach and Leary as bench coach.
Hernandez was the pitching coach for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (2004-05) and Detroit Tigers (2006-08), as well as the Angels. He has 31 years of professional experience, most of it spent working in the Rays, Angels and Yankees organizations. Hernandez has spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach at the University of South Florida.
Leary has Marlins roots, having served in the organization in various capacities (catching coordinator, minor league field coordinator, major league advance scout) from 1995-2001. Leary spent 2010-11 with the Boston Red Sox as a coaching staff assistant and last year served as the Indians' minor league field coordinator.
They join a staff for manager Mike Redmond that also includes hitting coach Tino Martinez, infield/first base coach Perry Hill, third base coach Joe Espada and bullpen coach Reid Cornelius.
Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said he has the Marlins/Blue Jays trade "under review," but industry experts don't believe he'll use his "best interest of baseball" powers to disallow the deal, which has baseball fans -- and non-baseball fans -- seething in South Florida.
"What I can say to you today is I have the entire matter under review," Selig told reporters following the conclusion of the quarterly owners meetings in Chicago. "That's as much as I have today."
Selig was making his comments as Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria was slipping out a side door of the hotel where the meetings were held, according to the Chicago Tribune.
It would be difficult for Selig to kill the trade given that other teams have made similar types of trades in the past -- such as the Red Sox sending Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to the Dodgers last summer -- without having them overturned by the commisioner.
"It's a good analogy," Selig said Thursday of comparing the Red Sox trade to the Marlins' sell-off. "That's a fair analogy."
Sports economist Andrew Zimbalist told The Miami Herald that he could not see Selig invoking his powers to nix the deal because of the precedent it might set. "I do think that the commissioner is always concerned when there's an appearance of a fire sale, or of an owner giving up," said Zimbalist, who wrote the book, In the Best Interests of Baseball: The Revolutionary Reign of Bud Selig. "But I don't think this is a battle Selig would choose to fight. My guess is that the commissioner, although he will have some concerns, will say it's up to the team owner to make that decision."
Selig, though, is said to be "not happy" about what's taking place with the Marlins and told reporters in Chicago that he spoke with Loria about the trade. Because the 12 players involved in the trade continue to undergo routine physicals, Selig said the deal has not yet been submitted to him for approval.
Marlins President David Samson joined the Dan LeBatard Show on 790TheTicket Wednesday to discuss the trade and the direction of the ballclub.
Q: When and how did you guys make the decision to do what you did yesterday, which is trade all the players everyone knows?
"Basically, the decision was made when we sat down after the season and talked about the team and said we cannot keep finishing in last place. It just doesn't make sense. We lost 93 games and we trusted all of our scouts and development people and upper level baseball people and said 'What we can do to possibly start this to turnaround? What needs to happen? How can it work?' And all sorts of different plans were possible. And it just so happens we found a way to possibly in one fell swoop get a whole lot better and get on the road to getting better. I actually recognize the names coming back are not names people are familiar with. But in the baseball world, people are familiar with them and so as far as I'm concerned what I really hope will happen and what I plan on happening is win more games. Each year, starting to win more games. That's what we want to do."
Q: The anatomy of the trade to the Blue Jays. How did it begin?
"I was just thinking about some of the calls we had during the season when the team wasn't playing well and losing all those games. I remember very well that our fans spoke to us and they said they were not happy with what we were doing and what the team was doing. So we said what can we do and where can we start and what can flexibility do we need going forward. We just started -- meaning the baseball guys -- started talking around something possibly came to fruition.
Q: Any part of you embarrassed today?
"No. To lose 93 games was the most embarrassing thing, far more embarrassing than this. Putting together a team in 2012 that we expected to win and the fact they didn't that was the most embarrassing. I think when we made the managerial decisions and player decisions we made last year we could not have guessed that our season would end that way. It's time to change. I'll be embarrassed if our team is as bad next year as it was last year."
Q: What do you say to the people who feel betrayed?
"I think people should feel betrayed by the fact we were losing so much and I would think they wouldn't want us to stand pat and keep losing because that's what everybody wants and that's what we want. We didn't think it would happen so many years in a row that we would finish in last place. But we don't want a team that for 20 years doesn't win 81 games or doesn't make the playoffs. We've already gone 10 years without making the playoffs. That's too much. I absolutely understand that. On the positive side, it's a great ballpark and now we need a great team go with it. We thought we had it last year. The evidence was overwhelming that we didn't."
Q: What do you say to those people who think this is a sham?
"What I say to them is we spent it wrong and it showed with everything off the field and on the field. We didn't approach anything we needed correctly. I don't blame more fans for not coming out because who wants to see 93 losses. But the fact is we think we have a young team that is maybe hungrier and should more. So, I say to them the difference with Montreal there was no ballpark, there was no future. There is a long term future for baseball in Miami and that is what the ballpark has been about and has always been about was making sure an All-Star Game comes to Miami, making sure that generations will see baseball. There's going to be losing seasons over the years. You just want to try to curb with as few as possibly. In our opinion, we were just having too many in a row."
Q: Why should anybody trust you guys just a year after you invested so much money in players that are no longer here?
"That's exactly what we said and exactly what did not happen. That's the whole issue. If we had all those starters pitching to where we thought they would pitch, then I don't think we're losing 93 games. So, that's my exact point. You may not know the name Jacob Turner or Henderson Alvarez or Nathan Eovaldi, but the fact of the matter is we think we're in better position to win more games. So, I hear you, it's the names. But at the end of the day the names added up to 93 losses. So shame on us if we go at it the same way."
Q: But why should anybody trust you guys?
"Trust in the fact we chose the right players. No, I will give you the fact we haven't been choosing the right players recently. But the faith we have in our scouts and our upper baseball management to come to our fans with names of players who can win more games, we still have that faith. We've been with them a long time. They were a big part of how we got a World Series ring in 2003. We have to trust them. If we move in a new group of pitchers and lose the same 93 games, that's not great."
Q: Right now, you're on the hook for about $16 million on books for 2013. Give us an idea of what the payroll will be next year?
"Those numbers aren't right. I'm not sure what range the payroll will end up at, but I know we will have the players in place to do better than last year and that's what it's about. We tried to raise payroll and ended up losing more games. Whatever the payroll is, the real important part is having better players. That's what it's about. It's been 10 years that most teams don't talk about a final payroll number. The final number that matters wasn't our payroll, it was 69-93. Because at the end that's all anybody focuses on."
Q: When a ballpark is publicly funded here is why a payroll is relevant: If a fan base doesn't know a payroll is going to be large, it sounds like you're just lining your pockets with money.
"Yeah, but I think everyone knows that can't be true. Everyone looks at the ballpark last year and saw the fact the team wasn't winning and the games weren't selling out, so obviously we have to do something different. Obviously, it was a public/private partnership. Let's not forget how much money Jeffrey Loria put it. $160 million of his money to get a ballpark, which has been a very positive thing and will continue to be long after all of us are gone."
Q: What was your reaction to Giancarlo Stanton being angry on Twitter
"Honestly, I have none. He's a good young player, very good young player and I don't expect players to be anything other than emotional. I get that. I didn't even call him about it."
Q: How did the players react? It's seem that now you would have a free agency problem
"I think at the end of the day players do come where the money is and that's okay. Listen, I spoke to Mark Buehrle and he said he was sorry things didn't work out. I said I'm as sorry as you are that they didn't work out. That's truly how I feel. If there was a year not to lose 93 it wasn't last year. It was just the perfect storm, starting with the Castro comments moving to the fact we couldn't win a game. It all snowballed. He was the only one I spoke to. Larry spoke to the others."
Q: It feels like the experiment with Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes and Heath Bell lasted only three months.
"I don't know where you got three year experiment from. That was never a word we used. This is about 30 to 40 years of baseball. It's no longer whether or not baseball can exist in Miami. We have a ballpark that exists in Miami and the Marlins aren't going anywhere for generations. So, it's not about three years. It's about a crop of players we put together thinking it would be better and then looking in the mirror and saying we don't want to drag our feet and then pray to have different results by doing the same thing over and over again."
Q: Do you feel the distrust, anger from the public?
"Of course I feel it and I understand it because the proof is in the win-loss record. There was no distrust when the team won the World Series in '03. And when we were going into '05 with the great and we didn't win, that was bad, people were upset. When went in '12 with a good team, everybody including us picked us to do better. Everybody and it just didn't happen. So, I think the distrust in warranted in terms of not winning enough."
Q: But it's personal than that. It's not just the distrust of the franchise or winning, it's a distrust of the owner, of you, of Larry Beinfest. It's a very personal distrust.
"I think that distrust again is based on the fact we're not performing. I get that. I think this isn't about me, Jeffrey or Larry. It's really about baseball and about winning. We have to try, whatever we have to do. We're custodians of this franchise, whatever period of time we're all working here. Everybody in the company is custodians of the Miami Marlins franchise because that franchise will go on long after all of the current employees are gone. There will be another group of employees, owners and presidents, just like before us. So, it was up to us during our time to get a ballpark built and now it's up to us to try to do better for everybody."
Q: You say what specifically to the angry Marlins fans today who feels bilked, betrayed?
"I can tell you that I hope that you believe you were not satisfied last year and the year before you weren't satisfied and that better days are coming with a team that's younger and hungrier to win more and that's our goal every year."
Q: What's the angriest you've heard a fan? What are you getting via email?
"Your listeners are fully supplying us with short jokes. Many of the emails are from people not exactly analyzing the players from just the names, they go right to the short jokes. I've got a bunch of emails analyzing all the players who say listen there is a chance. Josh Johnson. I love him. We had him for seven years. At the end of the day, he went 8-14. We love him. But we didn't win with him so we have to try something else. There's a bunch of people who try to follow what goes on in other team's farm systems and we haven't been as good on drafting as we'd like to be. So therefore That was another issue we had to address and one way to do it is to get some people who are scouts who we love on other teams. What we think we're doing of is trading up. But we'll see. Last December I made the mistake of saying all the signing we did and everything we did is going to be add up to being one of 10 [playoff teams]. I was completely wrong. I completely failed in that regard. So, the question is can you win a pennant in November? Can you lose a pennant in November? I guess I'm now convinced it's no to both of those."
Q: How active is the team going to be in free agency?
"It depends. It depends on who is out there and how many holes we have to fill. We just filled a bunch of holes on the team with the players we got back. We got a left side of the infield. We're looking for a center fielder. We got a No. 3 starter to go behind Ricky [Nolasco] and Jacob Turner. We've got two or three other guys that could come that are absolutely superb to go along with Christian Yelich and Jose Fernandez. There's a shortstop that's being discussed, [Adeiny] Hechevarria, who if he becomes a Marlin is one of the great Cuban signings of all time -- a perennial All-Star, supposedly. But we have to do it. I guess all the talking we did last season didn't add up to any wins. So maybe less talking and more winning is in order."
Q: When you trade your name players, your expensive players and don't specifically answer we're going to spend this much, we're going to go after so-and-so, we're going to spend the money, people are going to assume you traded all the salary so you can just profit off the ballpark.
"That's just not accurately obviously. Dan, I know what to tell you. I don't know how to answer that. All I can tell you is we're trying to win games. We're trying to get people to believe that we're going to win more games. We just want to win more games and if you win more games with the players you have and they're younger, then that's good. If you lose more games with expensive players then you're like other teams that we just don't want to be like."
Q: To me this is the second worst day in history for the Marlins in terms of how the customer-base feels about the product.
"I hope if we do things right that people will look back on this day as the first day."
Q: But people want you to sell the team and Jeffrey Loria out of town.
"Okay, I don't know what to tell you. Jeffrey Loria stepped in and I will defend him because he stepped in when no one else wanted to buy this team. He got a ballpark done when no one else could and that ballpark goes to the benefit of everybody in our community."
Q: Yes, but nobody benefits more than Loria.
"It's immense personal risk. But it's not about that. No one cares about Jeffrey, no one cares about me, no cares about you. I think at the end of the day, people are trying to care about the team and the way people feel good -- just go around to other cities and ask them when you feel good about your team. It's when you win."