Bud Selig was on hand when the Miami Marlins played their first regular-season game in their swanky new ballpark in April. The commissioner provided a glowing review of the $634 million project and boldly declared that opposition to the facility would fade away within five years.
So far, it’s not looking so good for that last prediction.
Selig said Thursday he is examining the pending blockbuster trade that sends at least three of Miami’s best players to Toronto for a package of prospects just seven months after the Marlins moved into their new home, which was financed primarily with tax money.
Speaking at the conclusion of the owners’ meetings, Selig said he also is aware of fan anger in South Florida but is going to do what’s in the best interests of the sport.
“People have different views of that as to what you should do and how you should do it, but I think I’ve been able to come through all these situations and the sport’s been stronger and better as a result,” he said, pointing to his recent experience with the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers going through bankruptcy proceedings.
The Blue Jays, who finished fourth in the loaded AL East last season, are bringing in All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes, left-hander Mark Buehrle and right-hander Josh Johnson under the deal, which is contingent on physicals for the players. Selig also said there is money going from Miami to Toronto, but did not offer any details and said the trade hadn’t been officially presented to his office yet.
The Marlins get infielders Yunel Escobar and Adeiny Hechavarria, right-hander Henderson Alvarez and several top prospects, a nice haul but certainly not enough to satisfy a fan base that went through similar rebuilding after the franchise won the World Series in 1997 and 2003.
PITCHER CLEARED: Brandon McCarthy is ready for a normal off-season after being medically cleared this week to resume his regular routine, less than three months after being struck in the head by a line drive and undergoing emergency brain surgery.
McCarthy is a free agent right-hander who was Oakland’s opening-day starter last March in Tokyo.
INSTANT REPLAY: Joe Torre, MLB’s executive vice president for baseball operations, said the league still is looking into expanded use of instant replay.