Our tickets sold last year was a drastic drop-off from what we thought it would be, Samson said of last seasons final figure of 2.2 million, which was well below projections. And we suspect there will be a drop from that as well. We projected that, which is why the payroll is at where it is. I sort of hope us messing up last year doesnt ruin the enjoyment that we could give people in this park.
Odds and ends
• Now that he has had some time to think about his lineup, Redmond said hes thinking about batting Giancarlo Stanton third instead of the cleanup spot.
Id like to see him come up in the first inning, Redmond said. You think about other power hitters. Mark McGwire, he hit third.
Redmond said theres nothing etched in stone, and he might still position Stanton in the fourth spot.
Initially we were thinking the four hole, and it could still end up being the four hole, Redmond said. Im leaning toward third at this point.
Redmond is penciling in Juan Pierre in the leadoff spot and projects Placido Polanco to bat second. But he is unsure about who will hit behind Stanton. Part of the decision hinges on whether first baseman Logan Morrison is ready to start the season.
• Samson made one point clear: Loria has no interest in selling the team.
Its definitely not for sale, Samson said. Jeffrey loves being the owner, and we love Miami and we love this ballpark. Jeffrey owns the entire team and hes not selling.
• Though he maintain he isnt angry, Samson said Saturday that he doesnt agree with the Dolphins discussing the Marlins ballpark funding plan, with a negative tone, in their bid for public financing to upgrade Sun Life Stadium because I think were all in it together. Were not competing against the Dolphins.
The Dolphins have tried to distance themselves from the Marlins ballpark deal, and owner Stephen Ross has said the Dolphins are offering a better stadium deal than the Marlins did.
Asked if the Dolphins criticism of the Marlins deal bothered him, Samson said, Yes. There are so many things that are being said that are incorrect factually that its staggering to me. I dont believe its [Dolphins CEO] Mike Dee, because... I dont believe he would do that. Do I believe there are other people lobbying for that renovation who would perpetuate complete mistruths who were unable to get our deal done or be hired by us to get a deal done? I do believe that.
Samson said unlike the Dolphins proposal, the Marlins did not have one cent of tax increase, and there wasnt any money from the general revenue. The sales tax rebate in Tallahassee theyre seeking is straight general revenue. That is money that can be used for social services. Just say it. I hope they get it. I think Sun Life should be renovated."
• Asked if the Marlins are having trouble selling out their first home game, Samson said "Absolutely." He said ticket deals are available for every game.
• Samson also said the sod is being replaced with one the Braves use because the "field was horrific" last year.
Miami Herald sportswriter Barry Jackson contributed to this report.