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The Marlins are upset about the Red Sox’s travel roster

Mar 6, 2014, 3:48 PM EDT

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According to Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel, the Marlins will be contacting the league office after the Red Sox declined to bring any of their established regulars to Palm Beach for Thursday’s spring training game.

While teams are supposed to bring at least four “regulars” to road spring games, the rule has always been flouted and seemingly more so than ever these last couple of years. That’s especially true during the first couple of weeks of spring games, when many regulars play just every other day anyway.

The Red Sox on Thursday started just one projected regular: rookie outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. In fact, he was the only guy in the lineup who figures to make the team at all. 2013 backups Ryan Lavarnway and Brandon Snyder were present, but they’re unlikely to be on this year’s Opening Day roster. The starting pitcher was Allen Webster, who is probably the team’s eighth starter in reality.

It’s hard to see how the Marlins have much of a leg to stand on here, though, if they do contact the league office. They’ve thus far played four road games, but the first of those was in their home park (they share Roger Dean Stadium with the Cardinals). In their three actual road games, they’ve brought along four starters just once:

March 1: Christian Yelich, Casey McGehee
March 2: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Marcell Ozuna
March 5: Rafael Furcal, Marcell Ozuna, Garrett Jones, Casey McGehee

Their one draw, Giancarlo Stanton, has played in all four home games this month, but he hasn’t made any trips.

The truth is that many teams are going this route more and more frequently, and it’s not a bad thing if the Marlins and some other clubs do raise a stink about it and maybe force MLB to take some action. Spring games might be a whole lot cheaper than the regular-season contests, but they’re still expensive enough that fans should have some expectation of seeing players they’ve heard of. If the league started fining teams that didn’t bring a few regulars for its trip, the practice would likely end in a hurry.

UPDATE: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal writes that the Red Sox could face a possible fine for not bringing enough regulars to the game.  However, such a punishment would not be announced.

  1. sloanrox - Mar 6, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    Pretty bold of the Marlins to complain about this given the way they have conducted their operations over the last number of seasons. I guess if you do it in the regular season, that makes it better?

    • spursareold - Mar 6, 2014 at 5:26 PM

      Bingo. I’d be upset at the crap roster they dragged into my park in the REGULAR season if I am ANY other owner.

  2. 18thstreet - Mar 6, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    And that’s why I don’t go to Spring Training. Total waste of money. It’s lost on me why anyone goes.

    • seitz26 - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:06 PM

      We’ve had an average temperature in Chicago of about 2 degrees in the last three months, and you’re wondering why people might want to go to Arizona and Florida for a week?

      • asimonetti88 - Mar 6, 2014 at 5:38 PM

        That sucks. It’s sunny and 65 degrees in SoCal right now.

      • 18thstreet - Mar 6, 2014 at 6:23 PM

        I’m not wondering why someone would take a vacation to somewhere warm. I’m wondering why a baseball fan would spend money on bad baseball. There’s lots of places to go, right now, where it is warmer than Chicago.

      • sportsfan18 - Mar 6, 2014 at 8:20 PM

        I’d go to the Bahamas for a week to get out of the cold, not to sit at a ballpark to watch minor league players, for the most part.

        I’d be fishing, snorkeling, boating and relaxing and it’s about 80 there now during the daytime…

        I’ll wait to catch the minor league games until it’s warmer here as I don’t want to spend a week off from work to watch minor league ball, where it rains quite a bit and can be anywhere from the 50’s to the 70’s…

        And YES, I’d love to be out of the cold for a week and YES I love baseball, always have, but a week off work won’t be spent in a spring training town…

        I’d rather spend a week in the summer going to a Red Sox game, then down to Yankee stadium, then to Philly, then to the Nats etc… all when it’s warm and the real pro’s are playing…

    • raysfan1 - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:24 PM

      Let’s see–better weather, lower ticket cost in smaller parks–thus sitting close to the action, and first chance to see some live baseball for the year. Most who travel from out of town are really there to see their favorite team, and often one can watch the players train up close and interact with them, much more so than during the regular season. As a kid I looked forward to the Grapefruit League much more than the regular season games we’d take in on vacations out of state (no Rays back then if course).

      • 18thstreet - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:30 PM

        I can sit just as close, and for less money, to watch Single-A players in Frederick, Maryland. And the weather is just as nice in May in Maryland as it is in Florida right now.

      • kevinbnyc - Mar 6, 2014 at 5:30 PM

        That still doesn’t solve the “NOW” part of it. It was 32 degrees in Frederick, Maryland today. I’d watch trained apes play if I could do it in short sleeves.

      • raysfan1 - Mar 6, 2014 at 10:48 PM

        I love going to minor league games too, and the spring training parks are also minor league parks. However, there is the difference of who you are seeing play (as well as when). If, for example, you are from Michigan and you go to Lakeland on vacation in March, you are there to see the Tigers. You are getting to see Cabrera, et al, train and play. That’s not who you are seeing at the single-A game.

        As a teenager my favorite team was the Reds (still my favorite NL team), and back then they trained in Tampa. (Their stadium was demolished to build the Bucs’ football stadium.). I’ll never forget Johnny Bench leaning against the fence next to the dug out laughing and joking with us kids. At one point or another over the years I got to speak with most of the Big Red Machine players. That’s simply not an opportunity I ever got at a regular season MLB game.

    • bronco58lb - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:36 PM

      I think the prospects are the real draw. During the first week of March, it’s fun to see a team’s starters and then watch all the intriguing Double-A and Single-A prospects enter the game during the sixth and fill their shoes.

      But the real value during spring training is waiting until minor league “B” games begin. Those “B” games are free to the public. The best way to do it is pick the big league evening game that day.

      You start at the complex at 10 a.m. You watch the minor leaguers do their drills and take BP. The minor leaguers go in for lunch around 11:30 am. and then come back for the 1 p.m. B game. If you’re lucky, you will draw the big league club’s two Single-A clubs which are loaded with prospects. The Triple-A/Double-A combination is not as fun when they’re at home because the Triple-A team is usually a team stocked with few intriguing players.

      You get two see two B games for free until about 4 p.m. Sometimes you might get a major leaguer making an appearance in the B game and the major league manager will be out there on a golf cart watching him.

      At 4 p.m. is around the time the major league club starts BP and preparing for their evening game in the big league stadium. That runs until about 5:30 p.m. Then you have time to go get sometime to eat and check out the big league stadium before the 7 p.m. start. When it’s all said and done, you logged in about nine hours of baseball. You can’t get that value during the regular season.

    • aiede - Mar 6, 2014 at 7:59 PM

      Because bad baseball is better than no baseball.

  3. tfbuckfutter - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    Why do these rules only apply in Spring Training?

    The Marlins have been hauling around a team with less than 4 major league players on it for the last decade.

    • apkyletexas - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:07 PM

      Yet amazingly, the Marlins have only one fewer World Series title over the past 95 years than the Roid Sox.

      • japem - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:11 PM

        Well… he said in the past decade… I don’t recall the Marlins winning any of the last ten World Series, while the the Red Sox have won 3. But OK then.

      • cohnjusack - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:13 PM

        I would have tumbed up for it was some grade A trolling, but you lost me at “Roid Sox”.

        Yes, the Red Sox had players on their team that did steroids. As is the case with your favorite teams and everyone else’s. Anyone who continues to claim that one team was more inclined to use during the steroid era is either intellectually dishonest or deeply misinformed.

      • Reflex - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:22 PM

        Overall still three better than the Pirates despite being 19 years younger, eh?

      • jcmeyer10 - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:36 PM

        Didn’t Luis Gonzalez roid up and have a game winning hit, ironically a hop/grounder up the middle.

  4. hunterqiji - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    How about the marlins use their AAA roster to play mlb games last year?

  5. icanspeel - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    It’s funny since the game ended 0-0, so the Marlins couldn’t even score themselves to beat a team of “nobodies”

  6. andreweac - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    That is rich coming from a team that will have an opening day roster of Stanton, Yelich, Salty and a bunch of AAAA players.

    Maybe Miami taxpayers should file a complaint with the state guard for the Club raping them to get a new stadium?

    • Old Gator - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:47 PM

      Well, in all fairness to the taxpayers of Macondo, we did rise up, recall and fecalcan the mayor and two very powerful county councilpersons by the largest electoral majorities in local history. I spent some lovely sunny days standing on corners getting recall petitions signed meself. Of course, the damage had already been done.

      What we hope is that the ongoing federal and local criminal investigations into how the entire debacle of Macondo Banana Massacre Field played out will result in a couple of prosecutions of some of the high rollers involved in this scam, which has done very serious damage to the long-term finances of this county and city. I foresee that when the horrifyingly usurious interest on the construction bonds comes do down the road, the city, at least, will probably have to declare bankruptcy, and probably the county as well, dragging down a dozen municipalities that had nothing to do with this mess.

      • Old Gator - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:51 PM

        Comes due.

        I have no hope about an edit function being instituted here. NBC doesn’t care.

  7. dacty4491 - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    Sorry to play the grammar police, but that should be “flouted” not “flaunted”, as in “While teams are supposed to bring at least four “regulars” to road spring games, the rule has always been flouted and seemingly more so than ever these last couple of years.”

    • buggieowens - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:35 PM

      Sorry to play the anti-grammar police, but when you use a double quotation mark and then include a quote, that internal quote needs to have a single quotation mark, as in “While teams are supposed to bring at least four ‘regulars’ to road spring games, the rule had always been flouted and seemingly more so than ever these last couple of years.”

    • Matthew Pouliot - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:35 PM

      Well, I’ll be damned. That does make more sense.

  8. Marc - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    I was at the game, and I personally don’t have any problems with any of it. Hey, I shoveled snow in Maine yesterday. Any baseball is good baseball. I’m just upset I had to witness Angel Hernandez’s giant strike zone and all other things Angel Hernandez related during my first game of the year.

  9. ez4u2sa - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    It must be a pretty slow news day when we have to read about foolishness like this.

  10. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    Perhaps Boston was showcasing their prospects for Loria, assuming that any decent talent on the Marlins will be on the market in two or three months.

    • Old Gator - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:49 PM

      If that.

      Oddly enough, I agree that it’s a good thing that Scrooge McLoria bellyached about it, even if it’s hilarious that of all the owners who should do that, it would be it. Er, him. I also want to stick up for the joys of spring training baseball and the chance it affords to watch the trade bait of the future play the game.

  11. pastabelly - Mar 6, 2014 at 4:50 PM

    The big take away here was that Webster threw three good innings. He needs to follow this up as his career has been taking a turn for the worse.

    Also, Craig will love Salty’s comments on the Red Sox (from ESPN.com)

    Saltalamacchia signed a $21 million, three-year deal with the Marlins after the Red Sox declined to offer him a multiyear deal.

    “I hope they go 0-162,” he said before the game. “Now they’re all sleazeballs.”

    • TheMorningStar - Mar 7, 2014 at 11:23 AM

      “The big take away here was that Webster threw three good innings. He needs to follow this up as his career has been taking a turn for the worse.”

      Care to explain how his ‘career has been taking a turn for the worse’???

  12. jjoyce1111 - Mar 6, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    I went to the game in Jupiter today to see the Red Sox. Paid $152 for four tickets. Jackie Bradley Jr. was the only one to play that will even make the team. Well, Drake Britton might make the team, but that is it. Disappointing.

    • pastabelly - Mar 6, 2014 at 5:16 PM

      $38 ticket for a Marlins preseason game. That’s what’s really disappointing.

      • 18thstreet - Mar 6, 2014 at 6:21 PM

        How much does a Marlins regular season game cost?

      • Old Gator - Mar 7, 2014 at 8:05 AM

        They pay you five bucks to show up and agree to be photographed sitting in the stands.

  13. djpostl - Mar 6, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    “While teams are supposed to bring at least four ‘regulars’ to road spring games” lol.

    Do the Marlins even bring that many official big league caliber players on road games in the regular season?

  14. jjoyce1111 - Mar 6, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    Yea, $28 a ticket and then they make you buy $10 chip for food or drink.

  15. NatsLady - Mar 6, 2014 at 5:37 PM

    That is so Marlins. Yesterday the Mets had a split-squad and they sent exactly one possible regular (Lugares) to play the Nats in Viera. Apparently Terry Collins called Mike Rizzo to “apologize” in advance. I don’t see the big deal. A lot of the pitchers don’t want the opposing regulars to see their stuff anyway if it’s a division rival (which I realize is not the case for the Red Sox/Marlins).

  16. realgone2 - Mar 6, 2014 at 6:23 PM

    I’d complain about the team the Marlins field during the regular season.

  17. chill1184 - Mar 6, 2014 at 6:26 PM

    This is really a very bad and out of place complaint. The whole purpose of spring training is to see what your prospects can do in addition to get your regulars ready for the offseason.

    • chill1184 - Mar 6, 2014 at 6:27 PM

      *season

      EDIT function!

      • dcarroll73 - Mar 6, 2014 at 11:06 PM

        I know NBC doesn’t care, but all of us on HBT do. Paul Simon sang “Armistice Day, Armistice Day, that’s really all I wanted to say.” If I had an EDIT FUNCTION, I would modify that to read:
        EDIT FUNCTION
        EDIT FUNCTION
        THAT’S REALLY ALL I WANTED TO SAY

  18. patriottony - Mar 7, 2014 at 6:02 AM

    OK….LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT…..the marlins are complaining that the SAWX only brought one starter with them right? YET their entire team couldnt’t score a stinking single run? GAME ended 0-0…..are you freaking kidding me? I would be hding under a bench. You play against almost all minor players and fail to score…..? How emasculating!!!!!!

  19. psousa1 - Mar 7, 2014 at 8:57 AM

    The Marlins should be made to bring Major League players to regular season games.

  20. Walk - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    My thoughts exactly. If the sox are facing fines for a preseason game, what kind of fine should the marlins get when the season starts?

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