Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has begun a public-relations campaign and is trying to put a positive spin on his widely mocked offseason decisions.
After a dismal first season in the Marlins’ new home, Loria said Monday, the latest dismantling of the roster was the right move because the team was heading in the wrong direction. And he said a return to payroll austerity was needed because the Marlins lost tens of millions of dollars in 2012 after an unprecedented spending spree.
The Marlins hope to sign slugger Giancarlo Stanton to a multiyear contract eventually, Loria said. He said he understands why fans are upset but hopes they will embrace this year’s young, unproven team, which many expect to lose 100 games after trading Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and others in the offseason.
Tulowitzki on mend
Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki says he still has to get over the mental hurdle that everything will be OK after a season shortened by surgery on his left groin.
The two-time All-Star and Gold Glove winner is coming closer to that every time he is on the field during spring training. He played in his second spring game Monday.
Tulowitzki said his leg feels good, but that he won’t consider himself 100 percent until he’s not thinking about it while playing or going through drills. He played only 47 games last season, none after May.
Baseball union head Michael Weiner said there have been talks about increasing the penalties for violating baseball’s drug testing program.
“There are certainly some players who have expressed that,” Weiner said. “We’ve had discussions with the commissioner’s office. If it turns out that we have a different penalty structure because that’s what players are interested in, that’s what the owners are interested in, it will be for 2014.”
Weiner spoke to the media after he met with the Toronto Blue Jays as part of his annual tour of spring training camps.
“On one hand, we do have the toughest penalties of any team sport,” Weiner said. “Fifty games is more than you’d see for the first time in football and hockey and basketball. More and more players are vocal about the desire to have a clean game. More and More players are vocal about being willing to accept sacrifices in terms of testing in order to make sure we have a clean game.”
Major League Baseball has reshuffled its umpire roster for this season after the retirements of crew chiefs Ed Rapuano, Tim Tschida and Derryl Cousins.
Jim Joyce, Ted Barrett and Fieldin Culbreth have been promoted to crew chiefs. MLB also hired Vic Carapazza, Manny Gonzalez and Alan Porter as full-time staff members after they split time between the majors and minors.