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Offishial news, 2/24/21: Marlins TV deal update; Rojas turns 32

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Happy birthday to Miami’s honorary captain.

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Joseph Guzy/Miami Marlins

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It’s been nine days since Marlins principal owner Bruce Sherman boasted about “tremendous progress” being made toward completing a new deal with regional sports network FOX Sports Florida, one that would greatly boost the franchise’s revenue. But the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reports that there is still “considerable contractual work” to get done, preventing them from making an announcement.

The lack of urgency is just baffling. These negotiations have been top of mind for Marlins ownership ever since Sherman and Derek Jeter joined forces in 2017. Yet here we are: FS Florida doesn’t expect to televise any of the 24 Marlins spring training games in 2021 (the first of which is this Sunday vs. the Astros). Coming off an extremely rare postseason berth and with a major league camp that’s loaded with top prospects who will lead to Fish throughout the next decade, you would think both sides would be eager to market their product...sike!

Jackson notes that all parties expect a resolution in time for Opening Day. I can confirm that the network’s talent—in particular Jessica Blaylock, Kelly Saco and Craig Minervini—have been participating in the daily media conference calls with Don Mattingly and Marlins players. Digital host/reporter Jeremy Taché will attend Marlins camp in person on Wednesday.

But the damage is being done. While still in the midst of a pandemic, other teams’ networks hoped to share TV feeds with FS Florida this spring and have their broadcasters call games remotely. If they can’t, that means even MLB.TV subscribers are out of luck. And I think you’ll notice a degradation in broadcast quality during the regular season too. This is ordinarily the time to produce special features about key Marlins players/staff to be referenced throughout the year, but so much of that is currently on hold.

Walk-off links

  • Fish Stripes’ own Ethan Budowsky was credentialed to cover the first Marlins full-squad workout. Check his Twitter feed for the highlights.
  • Great to see Adam Duvall finally taking swings in a Marlins uniform.
  • Old friend Joe Frisaro was there as well, representing his new outlet Man on Second Baseball. Frisaro writes about the club’s eagerness to shock the doubters once again.
  • You may have had troubling accessing Tuesday’s new podcast episode due to what was described to me as an “audio delivery issue.” It should now be available as usual wherever you get your pods. Make sure you’re subscribed to Fish Across the Pond and Swimming Upstream too!

  • The latest FATP features their all-UK contributors, revisiting 2020 Marlins predictions and diving into this spring’s key position battles.
  • Within hours of going on sale to the general public, Marlins spring training tickets pretty much sold out. If you were fortunate enough to grab some, here is a look at what to expect from the socially distanced seating arrangement.
  • The day has arrived to find out Harold Ramirez’s next destination. He’s been in DFA limbo since last Wednesday. Craig Mish assumes a trade will get done.
  • Join us in wishing Miguel Rojas a happy 32nd birthday! Here’s a compilation of him recording 32 outs through the years with his versatile, fundamentally sound defense.