Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said Miami Marlins’ proposed trade with the Toronto Blue Jays is under review and if Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado has anything to say about it, the deal will be scuttled.
“What I’m doing is sending a letter to the Major Leagues because they were here, lobbying for this stadium, and they told me as a commissioner that if we did not build a stadium; the team would have to move away,” Regalado said Thursday. “They urged us to build a stadium, have a first-class stadium.”
Regalado continued, “Now, it’s the Major League’s responsibility to uphold the promise. Because they promised they would have a team that’s competitive.”
- Click here to read Regalado’s letter.
The key word there is competitive, because the Marlins can argue that last year’s team with the increased payroll wasn’t “competitive.” Still, the team was made up of free agents and young players that didn’t even have one year to mesh together as a team.
A second Miami Marlins player spoke up Thursday saying Marlins fans have reason to be angry and frustrated with the franchise.
“The Marlins fans have every right to be mad and should be mad,” Logan Morrison told SI.com. “They were told one thing and that didn’t quite work out. I feel for them.”
In reality, there’s not a lot Regalado can do about the Marlins actions. The Marlins deal with the city and county put all the power on the team’s side of the table and even Regalado said Thursday the city doesn’t “have any legal recourse.”
For his part, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said that the trade is being reviewed by his office.
“I am aware of the anger…We have this entire matter under review,” Selig said, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
Selig said he talked to two independent baseball people who felt the Marlins did well in the proposed trade.
Selig is employed by the owners and so far, no owner has gone on record as saying that the deal between the two teams shouldn’t go through. Selig is also not a very active commissioner when it comes to deals like this one. Remember, baseball went for more than a decade without proper drug testing under Selig’s watch. Plus, Selig is an ex-owner himself.
History isn’t on Miami’s side either. The last time a Major League Baseball commissioner got involved in a major trade was in 1976 when then baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn struck down a deal that would have seen Oakland A’s owner Charlie Finley sell off three of his best players to the Yankees & Red Sox.
At the time, Kuhn struck down the sales as “not in the best interests of baseball,” according to the New York Times. Finley had dismantled his team from the previous years getting rid of Reggie Jackson and Ken Holtzman and then trying to sell off pitcher Vida Blue, Rollie Fingers, and Joe Rudi.
Then players union chief Marvin Miller said the decision by Kuhn was “sheer insanity” and put “baseball into the biggest mess it has ever seen,” according to the Times.
While Regalado understands the limited amount of weight he, the rest of South Florida government, and the fans have on the deal; he still feels like it’s a cause worth trying to fight for in the end.
“We have to draw the line. I mean they can’t get away with everything. They have a stadium, they have a first-class stadium. They have all the revenue go to the team and it’s not fair that the fans are being deprived of a good team.”