Marlins' search for a home drags on

By wire services
Published May 7, 2005

MIAMI - The Marlins remain winless in their bid for a new ballpark and must now decide their next move.

Might it be to another city?

Nobody made threats Friday, and Marlins officials declined to comment on their latest stadium setback, saying they wanted to wait until the state Legislature adjourned.

But Senate President Tom Lee declared dead a bill for a $60-million tax rebate, leaving two-time World Series champion Florida 0-for-4 in attempts to obtain state money for a ballpark.

"I think it's a major mistake," said third baseman Mike Lowell, who grew up in South Florida. "We're one of the few teams that has proven we can win a championship in this state, and it just seems not everyone is a big fan of us."

The Marlins have said that without state financial help, they might move. Five months ago, team officials met in Las Vegas with Mayor Oscar Goodman, who wants a ballpark and a major-league franchise.

Baseball chief operating officer Bob DuPuy expressed disappointment that the Marlins' bill failed.

"But we will continue to work with the Marlins to try to keep major-league baseball in South Florida," DuPuy said.

Since the Marlins' first season in 1993, they have played in the Miami Dolphins' stadium. Original owner Wayne Huizenga negotiated a favorable lease with himself that still burdens the team, an issue baseball has not addressed.

The Marlins have claimed their own park with a retractable roof would mean no more rain delays, theoretically leading to better attendance, increased revenue and a higher payroll.

FARMHAND SUSPENDED: Indians outfield prospect Darnell McDonald was suspended for 15 games for violating baseball's minor-league steroids policy, raising the total this year to 48 minor-leaguers.

ASTROS: Owner Drayton McLane told the Sporting News that despite reports right-hander Roger Clemens could be moved to a contender this summer, he would not trade the seven-time Cy Young Award winner. "There are no conditions under which I would do that," McLane said.

BLUE JAYS: Clare Laking, a 106-year-old World War I veteran, threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game against the White Sox.

BREWERS: Ace right-hander Ben Sheets threw in the bullpen and said he felt better. He has been on the disabled list since April 21 with an inner ear infection.

CUBS: Shortstop Nomar Garciaparra said he needs a month of rest before beginning rehabilitation from his April 27 surgery on the ruptured tendon in his left groin. ... Second baseman Todd Walker, out since April 11 with a left knee sprain, ran and took ground balls before the game and thinks he could return in a week.

DODGERS: Closer Eric Gagne is expected to begin a rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Las Vegas on Sunday. The right-hander has been out all season with a sprained right elbow ligament.

MARINERS: Shortstop Pokey Reese, who has yet to play this season, had surgery on his sore right shoulder and is out one to two months. ... Catcher Dan Wilson is scheduled for surgery May 20 to repair the ACL in his right knee, which he tore Wednesday.

ORIOLES: A lesion on the bottom of his left foot forced Sammy Sosa out of the starting lineup. He is day to day.

PHILLIES: Reliever Tim Worrell went on the disabled list after telling the team he had "personal psychological issues." The right-handed setup man has given up 22 hits and 12 earned runs in 11 innings.

ROCKIES: Former Devil Rays left-hander Joe Kennedy limped off in the sixth after a sharp one-hop grounder deflected off his left ankle.