Notes: Talks ongoing for new stadium

Notes: Talks ongoing for stadium

MIAMI -- Stadium haggling has gone on for years in the Marlins' quest for a retractable-roof ballpark.

As the laborious process plods along, talks continue and Major League Baseball officials remain hopeful something could get done before the first of the year.

However, a number of major hurdles need to be cleared.

The Marlins have agreed that the new park, estimated at $490 million, would be built at the Orange Bowl location. Initially, the club and MLB favored a downtown spot just south of the Miami Arena. With that plan now off the table, the Marlins are seeking to lower their contribution, a move that has upset a number of Miami-Dade County officials.

Speaking to reporters a few days ago at the General Managers Meetings in Orlando, Fla., MLB president and chief operating officer Bob DuPuy addressed Florida's stadium efforts.

"The level of contribution the team makes has to be commensurate with what they believe they're going to be able to generate from a new ballpark and be viable," DuPuy said.

DuPuy has been in steady contact with South Florida officials, and he met a week ago with Miami-Dade County manager George Burgess.

"The [financial projections] would suggest that the Orange Bowl site would not necessarily generate as much as downtown," DuPuy added. "We hope we're wrong. We all hope that the Orange Bowl site will be every bit as good as downtown. But there are concerns about it."

The Marlins are under lease at Dolphin Stadium through 2010.

Encoring '07 highlights: Between now and the end of February, FSN Florida will televise eight encore games from the '07 season.

All these games will air at noon on their respective dates.

Beginning on Nov. 21, the season opener at Washington, where Ramirez had four hits and Willis was the winning pitcher, will air.

The second highlight game will be on Dec. 5. It will feature a May 10 game versus the Dodgers that was decided on Josh Willingham's walk-off homer. On Dec. 19, the hotly-contested May 24 game with the Phillies, where the benches cleared, will be replayed.

When the calendar flips to January, baseball will still be on tap on FSN Florida. On Jan. 2, the encore of the June 20 game at the White Sox will air. Jason Wood's dramatic late-inning home run proved the difference.

On Jan. 16, 2008, Ramirez's remarkable four-hit game on July 6 at the Dodger Stadium will be televised. The repeat of the Marlins-Rockies game on Sept. 14, where Willis was the winner, is scheduled for Jan. 30.

The final two encore telecasts will feature games with the Mets.

On Feb. 13, FSN will replay the Sept. 20 contest won by Florida in extra innings on Uggla's double. Capping the encore presentations will be the Sept. 30 season finale, when the Marlins scored seven runs in the first inning. That game will be shown on Feb. 27.

Bill James praise: Where does Ramirez rank in terms of young players in the game? Well, according to the "Bill James Handbook 2008," the 23-year-old shortstop is the second-best player under age 29.

James ranks 25 players under 29, and Ramirez is second only to Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder, who also is 23. The next highest ranked Marlin is Cabrera, who projects at No. 13.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.