BOB: Marlins stadium update and trouble In Puerto Rico

Citizens Bank Park Most Vegetarian-Friendly Ballpark

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recently unveiled a list of the top 10 vegetarian-friendly ballparks. Topping the list was the Philadelphia Phillies’ Citizens Bank Park. Menu items like veggie dogs, flame-grilled gardenburgers and Philly mock-steak sandwiches “put the Phillies over the top.” The ballpark also won Food Network’s 2007 Best Ballpark Eats Award.

I was across the state this past weekend at the Pirates’ PNC Park and I was impressed with the food selection there, at least compared to my hometown Comerica Park. PNC didn’t even get an honorable mention, while Comerica Park did for some of the meatless menu items. San Francisco’s AT&T Park came in at number two, while Seattle’s Safeco Field rounded out the top three.

Marlins Stadium Rhetoric Heating Up

With the draft signing deadline in the not-too-distant past, it looks like MLB and the Florida Marlins are using the news void to create yet another stir in their quest for a new ballpark. The Marlins lease runs out at Dolphins Stadium at the end of the 2010 season, and with a two-year construction period, the Marlins are starting to crank up the public relations machine by making the point that something needs to be done right now. Of course the same was said a couple of years ago when San Antonio courted the team and the Marlins backed off from their relocation rhetoric.

As usual, the actual word “relocation” wasn’t used, but that’s always the underlying threat. It just seems though that there aren’t a lot of options for the team right now outside of Florida. San Antonio and Charlotte have taken themselves off the market for an MLB team and Las Vegas is unlikely to warrant much consideration. That leaves some of the fringe candidates that put in a bid for the team back when the Montreal Expos were moving, but you’d think at that point, the Marlins would be better off standing pat in their larger market in the Miami area.

The Marlins will most likely take a page out of Minnesota Twins book. It might take a few years, but eventually they’ll wear down the Florida legislature and get what they need. And if things progress past 2010, then I find it hard to believe that the lease at Dolphins Stadium won’t be extended.

Puerto Rican Winter League Cancels Upcoming Season

The Puerto Rican Winter Baseball League cancelled its upcoming season last week. While the specifics weren’t provided, it appears that the league wasn’t economically viable; it’s faced declining attendance over the past several years. In the meantime, the league was expected to talk to MLB about some collaborative efforts that might allow it to at least salvage some of the schedule this upcoming winter. This upcoming season was supposed to be the league’s 70th.

Player to be Named Later

Lynn Henning at the Detroit News recently penned an excellent article on the history and application of the player to be named later which frequently appears in trades. It was a 1987 trade between the Detroit Tigers and the Chicago Cubs that forced a rule change that necessitated a list of players be provided from which the team would then choose. The player to be named later also comes up when one of the players involved in the trade hasn’t been the property of the club for a year. It’s a neat read on a subject we hear about often but where the details are rarely revealed.

Twins Win Land Battle In Court, Sort Of

Earlier this week, a court panel valued the land where Hennepin County and the Minnesota Twins are building their new stadium at $23.8 million, which is right around what the county offered up for the land. While things seemed straightforward, a curve ball was thrown when one of the members of the panel who just happened to be the only real estate appraiser amongst the three provided a dissenting opinion that the land was worth $33.2 million. While the dissenting opinion has no official bearing, it could pave the way for the land owner to file an appeal that will involve a court trial in November which will further drag things out. The land owner was looking for $65 million, while the county’s initial offer was for just $13 million.

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