Miami Marlins' lineup criticized by Red Sox owner after roster controversy

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

After the Marlins publicly complained about the minor league lineup the Red Sox used in a game last Thursday, Boston owner John Henry openly defamed Miami's own starting lineup.

The Miami Marlins' front office asked the Red Sox for an apology after Boston's roster at Roger Dean Stadium last Thursday consisted of almost exclusively minor league players. Instead, they publicly had their lineup embarrassed and received negative attention.

Thursday's contest was the lone spring game where the Marlins enforced a "super premium" policy, charging $10 to $12 more a ticket. General Manager Michael Hill was disturbed by the lineup the Red Sox put together, which only featured two players with major league experience (Jackie Bradley Jr. and Ryan Lavarnway).

Major League Baseball requires teams to field at least four "regular" players for every spring training game. Those include players who played consistently during the previous season, platoon players, or players who have a strong chance of making the 2014 roster.

As it is explained, the particular MLB rule is subject to interpretation. Any team can claim that an individual has a chance of making the team after a strong spring training whether they actually do or not. Miami's displeasure notably has less to do with the fielded team and more to do with the fact that a majority of the 6,000 people who attended the game were Red Sox fans. But that doesn't justify a public outcry.

Despite the fact that all conflicts are reviewed by the league, the Sun-Sentinel mentioned a league source who said Marlins executives were "outraged". The fact that Boston put together a more formidable lineup the day before in a World Series rematch against the Cardinals didn't help their cause.

Hill confirmed that he received an apology, but was unsure about any consequences.

"We got an email from their GM saying they had some injuries and were working on some things," Hill said in a Sun-Sentinel interview. "He apologized, so I don't know if that meant he got a call from the league or what."

Miami, notably in the past, has struggled to handle public issues pertinent to fans. However, the Red Sox altercation is one of the few times the Marlins have openly spoken about the actions of other clubs.

On Sunday, Major League Baseball fined the Red Sox for their lineup in the Grapefruit League contest against Miami. As a result, Boston owner John Henry defamed the Marlins batting order.

"They should apologize for their regular season lineup," Henry, who as Miami's owner constructed most of the 2003 World Series roster, said.

For making such a complaint just a week into spring games, Miami likely deserved the comment. And the saga is not over, as the Marlins travel to JetBlue Park to take on the Red Sox on Tuesday.

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