For next year, that is, not this year:
A section of premium seats behind home plate in the Florida Marlins’ new ballpark has sold out.
The Marlins said Monday that all 379 diamond club seats have been bought for when the team moves into the park next year. The team says a majority of dugout club seats behind the first- and third-base lines have been sold.
I’m sure the new place will draw well, at least for a while. Based on my walk around the building site last year it still seems like a logistical nightmare to get in and out of the place due to the limited freeway access and the fact that it’s closer to narrow neighborhood streets as opposed to main thoroughfares and given that public transportation is limited. But at least it’s closer to the city and the money and all of that. Plus it really does look like it will be a pretty ballpark when it’s all done.
Here’s an idea: the Marlins should give, like, five pound bricks of free tickets to 2011 games up at the old place to whoever buys season tickets for the new place for 2012. Get some future die-hard Marlins fans acquainted with the team. Sell some beer.
MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that the Dodgers have acquired catcher Carlos Ruiz and cash from the Phillies in exchange for catcher A.J. Ellis, minor league pitcher Tommy Bergjans, and a player to be named later. It was reported on Wednesday that Ruiz and first baseman Ryan Howard both cleared waivers and that Ruiz was drawing interest from a couple of teams.
Ruiz, 37, has served as the backup catcher behind Cameron Rupp. Over 193 plate appearances, he hit .261/.368/.352. He continued to play solid defense and has always had a reputation for handling his pitchers very well. In fact, in a commercial for the video game MLB 2k11, former Phillie Roy Halladay essentially professed his love for Ruiz:
Ellis, 35, is a free agent after the season while Ruiz has a club option for the 2017 season worth $4.5 million. It seems likely that the Dodgers pick up that option and make Ruiz Grandal’s backup next year. Ellis hit a lousy .194/.285/.252 in 161 plate appearances, but the Phillies aren’t particularly concerned with his production since they’re still facilitating their rebuilding process.
Bergjans, 23, has spent the season with High-A Rancho Cucamonga. He’s posted a 4.98 ERA with a 133/29 K/BB ratio in 130 innings spanning 21 starts and three relief appearances. He went to school in Haverford, PA so the Phillies are bringing in a local guy.
Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista has been activated from the 15-day disabled list ahead of Thursday night’s game against the Angels, the club announced. Utilityman Ryan Goins has been optioned to Triple-A Buffalo to create room on the roster.
Bautista missed the minimum 15 days due to a sprained left knee. He’s battled injuries throughout the season, limiting him to just 355 plate appearances over 80 games. He’ll resume play with a .222/.349/.444 triple-slash line, 15 home runs, and 48 RBI.
Bautista is in Thursday night’s starting lineup, batting first and serving as the DH.