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Marlins are the Flavor Du Jour

I can not recall how many times I have written this but MLB is now focused on a stadium for the Fish.

With the Oakland Athletics having resolved their stadium situation by announcing plans Tuesday for a new ballpark in Northern California, baseball officials are turning their attention to the stalled talks regarding a new stadium in South Florida.

Major League Baseball officials said building a new home for the Marlins is now their ''highest priority'' with sites in Pompano Beach, Hialeah and downtown Miami among those still under consideration.

''We want to keep baseball in South Florida,'' baseball president Bob DuPuy said during a break in the general managers' meetings at the Grande Naples Resort. ``We think it's a major-league market. And we think it deserves a facility that would support a major-league team.''

MLB isn't limiting itself to just drumming up local community support - they now feel they have a shot at convincing the state to chip-in.

Charlie Crist has been Florida's governor-elect for only a week, but he already seems to have the approval of Major League Baseball.

Bob DuPuy, the sport's president and chief operating officer, said Tuesday at the general managers' meetings that he sent Crist a congratulatory note and hoped to meet with him soon regarding potential state funding for a new Marlins ballpark.

"Charlie Crist is a former lawyer for the minor leagues and a huge baseball fan," DuPuy said. "To the extent he can be helpful at the state level, we're anxious to meet with him as he takes office as well."

Maybe the new governor-elect will be able to convince the legislators to vote for a stadium subsidy that every professional sports organization in Florida gets, except the Marlins.  But I wouldn't count on it at this point.  And please don't bring up that $2MM a year that Huizenga gets for Dolphin Stadium, it doesn't benefit the Marlins.

The good thing is that MLB appears to recognize that funding of the stadium is everything - locations can be had but funding is the problem.  I have no idea whether they will be successful with the new state government but if they want the team to stay in South Florida - they better have a plan B, just in case.

Oh, the other really good thing is that MLB and not David Samson is going to handle the stadium negotiations.  This is probably for the best.