Results tagged ‘ Miami Marlins ’

Could the Rays Hook Their Own Marlin Prize?

Just when you thought the Miami Marlins aka the MLB version of Save-a-Lot food stores might have exhausted their goodwill gesture to the rest of the MLB I have heard loud and clear that there might be another nice and tantalizing ballplayer the Tampa Bay Rays might want to kick the tires on and possibly bring into their fold for 2013.

Sure most of the potent 2012 version of the Marlins has vacated the South Beach region, but there is one unique player with some MLB credo that could be had for the right asking price. And an added bonus that should not only tweak but excite the Rays is the fact he is a young player who can play both an outfield corner position and First Base. If you asked the Marlins brass about this player you might be a mixed bag of opinions from him having an attitude problem to possibly not being “MLB material during the 2012 campaign, but this is the same franchise who sent him down a few times in 2012 and eagerly also promoted him as if neither of those situations had materialized.

This was the player chastised by the Marlins top tier who themselves are not even Double-A material after he did not attend a Miami Season Ticket event because he has done a previous event that same Sunday morning for the team and was told by his MLBPA Rep he did not have to make an appearance. He was then ripped inside out by the Marlins upper management then sent packing to Triple-A New Orleans, but seriously, if you are being disciplined doesn’t getting a ticket to the Big Easy seem more like a present than a punishment?

I found it kind if ironic Marlins owner Jeff Loria is more carpetbagger than baseball businessman called Morrison “an embarrassment” when what King Loria is currently doing to this South Florida franchise and their fan base is by itself humiliating and totally disrespectful. So if the Marlins top echelon really feels about Morrison like this, you would think a inter-state rival like the Rays could get Morrison for a song.

I can personally vouches for Morrison’s character having been around him for half a season doing some part-time gigs with the franchise. The guy was always accommodating, open to suggestion and fan friendly to a “T”. He would definitely not only fit into the Rays clubhouse, he could evolve and become a great addition with his zeal and gamesmanship.
LoMo” as some in the Miami zip code have come to call Morrison is actually an even-tempered, basically good ol’ boy who has some pop in his lumber posting 11 Home Runs and 36 RBI during his back-and-forth stints to Triple-A or the Disabled List in 2012. Morrison also could be another left-handed option for Maddon with Carlos Pena possibly not being in the financial cards for the team in 2013. And the Rays truly should look at LoMo’s 2012 numbers as a anomaly and instead look at his 2011 numbers that shows his true power (23 Hrs & 73 RBI) over a span of 123 games that season at the MLB level.

If the Marlins front office has such a distaste for the personality of Morrison, you would think their cross-state rival would not being asking for an arm or a leg, but possibly the Rays could offer them just that to secure Morrison. With the Rays having a bit of a logjam in pitching right now, possibly Rays Executive VP of Baseball Ops Andrew Friedman could suggest a nicely packaged offer of a Rays MLB caliber like SP/RP Wade Davis or maybe even SP Jeff Neimann. But if the recent change are any suggestion, the Marlins might want someone more like SP Alex Cobb or maybe bring in some Miami homegrown talent like INF Sean Rodriguez and possibly LHP Alexander Torres to part with Morrison.

I would like to think the Rays will call the Marlins GM Larry Beinfest and find a mutual ground the evolve and transpire some dialog that could end up with Logan possibly wearing a Rays uniform this Spring. All it takes is a first bit of conversation, possibly suggest the package above or another well-suited present the Marlins would salivate over and LoMo might find his way North to Tampa Bay. This situation could solve 2 roster holes currently vacant and needing filled in the Rays 25-man roster. Morrison can either man First Base, play a corner outfield position or be a strong and willing hammer off the bench. I see it as a ++ opportunity for the team, but then again, I have met the guy and know the ruse from 2012 is totally baloney and full of Marlins cheese.

While Miami Celebrates, Tampa Bay Sits Wondering

I was visibly upset last night as I watched the Miami Marlins open their new state-of-the-art retractable roof stadium. It seemed like the journey for new baseball digs in our state started between our two respective teams about the same time. Where the Marlins have found favorable loopholes and provisional political help, the Tampa Bay Rays gave into a small local based group that did not have the votes to condemn their project or a Mayor who played the legal card much to the scoffs and chagrin of all involved.

Maybe I am a bit overly jealous that the Miami community and the (then Florida) Marlins found a way to fortify financially and as a unified community and get their alabaster white monument completed and looking simply amazing even before the Rays break ground on their own casa. I truly envy the South Florida community for getting things done, proving that baseball deserves to be in this great state at its highest level, and providing new and innovative fun for their fan base and (hopefully) promote a emphasis of growth for a future Rays home.

Of course my mood is irritated largely by the honest fact I still believe the Tampa Bay Rays could of/should of had their own “christening” in 2012. Over the last 4 seasons the plight of a future Rays home has eroded and been a  huge community sore spot, but that was not always the case.

I remember standing in Centerfield of Progress Energy Field at the end of the Rays 2008 Spring Training home schedule straddling the make-shift proposed batter’s box and imagining Carlos Pena taking a looping swing into an invisible breaking ball that would eventually disappear into afterglow of the distant Pier.

I was excited and glad to be among the crowd when Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg stood at a podium downtown and announced the future home of the Rays would be nestled among the glass masterpieces growing skyward in the St. Petersburg, Florida downtown and would feature a radically designed sail roof designs and the emphasis for a vibrant and renewed nightlife in this sleepy hamlet.

This was about the same time the South Florida region began their own journey towards building a new fish tank for the Marlins with emmenities and features unheard of in a baseball stadium.

I was extremely envious last night as the television crews spoke of the special touches in and around the new Miami digs. The Bobblehead Museum idea was so awesome it still makes me chuckle. The fish tank behind Home Plate where people sitting in those expensive seats can thrust their camera phones or Canon lenses up close to the tropical fish and snap off a photo through the glass getting a special “up-close and personal photo op with their favorite Marlin as he strides towards the batter’s box.

Dang you POWW for your “David versus Goliath” moment making Sternberg cave and pull the entire downtown stadium and Tropicana Field redevelopment project off the table, sail and all to be stuffed into some darkened Trop. cubbyhole possibly forever. I was a part of the “Let’s Build the Ballpark” movement that never could get firm traction to move the POWW machine into a deep pothole. Even today we are as close to a new stadium now as we were in 2008, and that is totally disheartening. If the stadium proposal had even gotten to a city-wide vote…well you know which lever I would have pulled.

It especially bothers me that the Marlins will have a chance to host an future All-Star Game now while the Rays know in their present home, the event will never materialize. The only joy I had last night was knowing the rest of the Nation did not have a chance to laugh and put down this state while watching that fluorescent circus act the Marlins are calling a Home Run Celebration nestled above Centerfield.

I am tired of the Rays current “wait and see” attitude. After seeing “what could have been”, it is time to thump out “what could be” and get at least a iota of forward motion towards Tampa Bay having their own National moment at their own new pristine baseball palace. Unfortunately I think when the ball stopped rolling in 2008, the Rays lost all momentum and motion towards finding a solution. The stadium presently is like a sailboat with no wind, destined to sit idle until the seaward winds kick up.

I got to see Marlins Park under construction in 2011 when I was in the area transporting cars for Google.  Boggles the mind this stadium is completed and the Tampa Bay facility is not even on the proverbial drawing board. I sit here watching the roof peeled back like a sardine can with a glimpse of the moon looking in and throughly wishing it was nestled along the waterfront of St. Petersburg.

I am not totally cruel tonight. I do applaud the Marlins and their ownership for building a facility that makes so many of the grand baseball stadiums built over the last 15 years tremble with the interesting technology innovations and fan-based treats nestled beneath the stadium’s glistening white retractable roof. I know there were hard decisions, rough moments surrounding the planning, building and primping of this space, but all has turned out simply magnificent. The Miami region radiated a glow into downtown sky accented by the open roof and the light flowing out into the warm Florida air.

Meanwhile in downtown St. Petersburg a tract of land once deemed the future home of the Rays stadium sits darkened and decaying. The Rays stadium movement seems stalled in the sugar sands of the local political arena, washing away any realization or hope of a new Rays stadium within the next 5-7 years….if ever. But tonight another region, who started their own quest for a new stadium gets to drink in the National praise and good tidings. If the presentation of the new Miami facility doesn’t stir the Rays punchbowl enough to get some Rays stadium momentum stirring, maybe nothing will.

Further Downward Spiral of the Marlins

I am not sure if it is politically correct yet to call them the “Miami Marlins” or do we still have to introduce them as the Florida Marlins until April? No matter which name is appropriate for the moment, the air in South Florida is becoming a bit foul recently, especially since the leaking of the Marlins newly proposed uniform and logo designs. They look and smell more like a forgotten pail of fish than the christening of a new Marlins era.

I commend the franchise for their want to change their public image and bare footprint in the Miami as the club nears their new stadium unveiling ceremony this April. Some would warrant the passing of the famed fish logo into the deep Atlantic abyss.

This redesign, the team’s transition from the famed Fish has so far gone from a fresh and vibrant transformation into something more mundane and muddled. It has begun to smell more like a forgotten and rotting Marlins carcasse. Why would the Marlins ownership and front office leave the pleasantries of the comforting Florida pastels and color palette and dive deep into this proposed logo and uniform monstrosity.

Bits and pieces of the Marlins intended 2012 changes to the franchise’s “look” and “feel” have leaked out into the cooling Florida air. Some have been greeted with consumer disdain and utter confusion on why the team took a 180 degree turn and sprint from their original aquamarine and grey undertones which typically were more “Miami” in concept than their present proposed Marlins re-creation.

The Marlins surely decided with great excitement and anticipation that their upcoming name change which would facilitate them dropping the “Florida” moniker and embrace their “Miami” community would become an enormous merchandising opportunity. But in my opinion the team went from heroes to zeros in nanoseconds when they lost their touch with their locale’s vibrant color scheme.

I know the Merchandising arm of the Marlins wanted to capitalize on their budding new look and surge forward in the MLB merchandising ranks just like the Tampa Bay Rays franchise experienced when they redesigned their uniform and logo back in November 2007. Possibly the huge success in merchandising sales combined with the Rays vibrant new logo and club colors warranted the Marlins wanting to ride this same merchandising and imagery wave.

This new Marlins concept is right up there with the Chicago White Sox old shorts and radically modernistic logo back in the 1980′s. Both quickly found themselves in the collectible piles, never to see the light of day again on a MLB field.

This new color scheme seems to solidly embrace more the hues experienced during those dreaded January-February Florida cold spells that try to yearly ruin our early Spring citrus/strawberry harvests. The Marlins uniforms remind me of color combinations from their “home” uniform which has the complexion of an orange on the tree as soot slightly covers the citrus and their “away” jersey reminds me of the accompanying blackening clouds that hang close to the crops perpetuated by the hundreds of smut pots littering Florida groves.

This uniform color combination looks great upon the Baltimore Orioles players because of their storied bird’s own color palette, but this color doesn’t seem to embrace or celebrate the magic that is the highly Hispanic region of South Florida.

The scaling back of the team cap logo into a more futuristic “M” doesn’t do this highly vibrant region any pure justice. It is just doesn’t convey the Florida region with any clarity or gusto. The design needs more Mojito and less dismal. Why in the name of Bud Selig did the club have to go and look more like the San Francisco Giants than the “Fun in the warm Florida Sun” Marlins?

I embraced the initial prototype Marlins logo when it was first introduced. It seemed to fully comprehend the Miami vibe with it’s art deco style lettering and that majestic Marlin making its jump along side the classic “F”. The new cap design doesn’t speak to the Florida mystic like the first version. It is a pity a franchise that has celebrated 2 World Championships has to feel this kind of ridicule or embarrassment, but it is definitely warranted.

I understand change has to happen and the Marlins uniform and logo will change with their surrounding environment, but how in the heck did this color pattern realistically emerge as a possible alternative? I just want to know if Marlins Manager Ozzie Guillen is re-thinking his invlovement with the club not wanting to look like a Grim Reaper or the Great Pumpkin in the dugout. I can’t wait to hear Ozzie speak on this topic.

From Little Havana to Coconut Grove you know the Marlins faithful will feel the urge to revolt, throw their opinions skyward hoping someone in the Marlin’s lofty tower will heed their concerns. Calling this design hideous is too lean a word. The Marlins hopefully have a back-up plan, a proposal that might unite and reconnect their community with the team. If not, the Marlins franchise might not see their vision of an increase in attendance or a resurgence in merchandising come to fruition in 2012.

The Marlins have to own up to their error now or face the possibility of a further disconnection with the South Florida communities that make up the Marlin’s fan pool. This is not to suggest the team needs to go over-the-top in their color analysis, but the present compilation will make an immediate disassociation between the ball club and their community.

I wish the Marlins fans luck. If this uniform change stays on track, you are going to need more than your I-pod earplugs to mute the laughs being heard in the stands around the National League. Possibly the worst MLB uniforms ever imagined. There is still time to tweak and change the prototypes, but that window is quickly closing. Maybe they are changing their name to the Miami Mundanes….It would fit the uniform changes.

Rays Casting a Keen Eye on Marlins Ballpark

Ever since the Florida Marlins proudly announced their plans to build and relocate the team into the heart of the Miami metro area, you know the Tampa Bay Rays have been a bit envious of their Citrus Series rival.

 It has not been an easy road for the Marlins, but in the end it will be a prized locale and a stadium worthy of the lofty investment. With their new abode also comes a name change to the Miami Marlins, finally bringing their community name to the front of the Marlins jerseys.

 Already their have been rave reviews on the shell configuration of the complex, and even a recent  Marlins batting practice “ showcase” in which more than a few pitches thundered off the bat into the current vacant spaces in deep Centerfield. The retractable roof would save the suspect of rain-outs, which had happened 191 times since the team first took the field 16 mile north.

 Now the Marlins could open or close the roof at will, forever banishing the elements to the exterior.

 You know the Rays are really jealous of the fact the Marlins got their financing and approval intact before the economic downfall that might thrust the Rays into more privately invested waters instead of tapping the public side of the equation.

 With the Marlins Ballpark’s current operations running on budget and on-time for the 2012 completion mark, the Rays still sit in total limbo in their own stadium dreams.

 As if the Rays needed to be strung anymore by the Marlin’s success, people within the “Marlins inner circle” have been “ unofficially” whispering enthusiastically around the community that Marlins Ballpark will host the New York Yankees in the team’s last 2012 Spring Training contest as a rehearsal for their April 4th M L B home opener against their Spring Training roommates in Jupiter, Florida, the St. Louis Cardinals.

 I still think one of the surface smart decisions of this stadium configuration has been the future Marlins cutting back their official capacity to 37,000 which will make the stadium capable of possibly dishing out a few sell-out contests in 2012….a rarity in South Florida right now.

 The reduced capacity does come with a glaring possibly Catch-22 situation that their stadium will have the smallest actual capacity within Major League Baseball. That could dampen and drown possible chances for the Marlins getting overall M L B approval for such events as the 2015 All-Star game.

 This mid-season celebration is a coveted prize, but one that could slip through the Marlins fins as a result of a reduced chance for M L B  to cash in totally on a huge crowd. If the Marlins do get their All-Star game, it solidifies the Rays also wanting to have a possible reduced seating capacity facility. If the Marlins are trumped, it will show the Rays that possibly a 40,000 seat stadium in a must to get such events.

 As the stadium has risen on the Miami horizon, there has always been doubt or speculation that the Marlins could bring the masses into their new home. The inclusion of a Metro rail line and increased public transit will also be closely watched by the Rays. It has been envisioned by so many in the past that the Rays future stadium and their success might also hinge on transit and the ability to bring people to the ballpark without huge traffic concerns.

 The Rays organization has to be monitoring this Marlins Ballpark  transformation with eager hearts and minds. So many of the same unforeseen variables the Marlins face, the Rays currently share the same anxiety and stumbling blocks. Odd that once again as in the initial M L B expansion into the fertile Florida market the Marlins will be the first to dive in and see what floats.

 The Rays front office has to be frustrated and perplexed that their own community could not harness the same lighting bolt energy that got the Marlins their dream stadium. Political unrest, posturing on both sides of the Tampa Bay estuary has brought rough waters even to beginning honest discussion and proposals.  As public funds are being drained like the Florida aquifer, the chances of a highly public funded stadium are sinking into the quicksand.

 Suddenly it seems the Rays stadium situation might be on the agenda soon within the closed confines of the M L B ownership. M L B Commissioner Bud Selig has postured in the past, even during a reception under the Teflon roof of Tropicana Field that the Rays need a better facility, but the Commissioner’s voice went silent to  many movers and shakers within the community Soon the words will end and some harsh realities will resurface for all to see and judge. Time has past for this Rays stadium chatter to begin, the Florida sands of time ate quickly falling from the top of the hourglass.

 I plan on buying a ticket for the Marlins home opener. I might not attend it, but it is a valuable piece of Florida baseball history. If the Tampa Bay community leaders do not quickly put their community pride and judgment in check, it might be the last M L B stadium built in Florida for a long, long time. Most people forget, baseball is a business and when the book begin to show more red than black…changes happen quickly…..even in the slow moving South.

 

 

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