Miami-Dade challenges the Marlins over $1.7 million of stadium expenses

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The Miami Marlins are supposed to share a certain percentage of the construction costs for their new ballpark. To that end, the team claimed numerous expenses related to the ballpark towards their magic number.

The Miami-Dade government, however, is calling b.s. on some of them, saying that the team should not get expense credit for a number of expenses related to the team’s apparently chi-chi little sales office:

All of the claims being questioned by the county relate to the ballclub’s small sales office that sat next to the stadium parking garages on Northwest Seventh Street.

The team is seeking to recover $14,031 for advertising banners, thousands spent on Comcast cable and Florida Power & Light bills, $110,545 it put toward rent, and $259,057 paid to the A2 Group, the firm that designed the center.

The team also spent $33,226 on office furniture, $9,823 on the drapes, and $299.72 for fabric to cover three pillows — all items the county has chosen to fight.

Good for the government for fighting such expenses. If only they would have never gotten in bed with someone who would attempt to pass off such expenses as their contribution to a grand public works project in the first place.

Martin Maldonado and Willson Contreras say they’re willing to pay fines rather than follow new mound visit rule

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On Monday, Major League Baseball announced some changes aimed at improving the game’s pace of play, something that has been a pet cause for commissioner Rob Manfred. Among the changes was a limit on mound visits whether from managers and coaches, the catcher, or other defenders. Each team will have six non-pitching change mound visits per game and one additional visit each inning in extra innings. Craig wrote more in depth on the changes here if you happened to miss it.

Angels catcher Martin Maldonado says he is going to do what’s necessary to stay on the same page with his pitchers. Via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Maldonado said, “If the game is on the line, I’m going to go out there. If we’re at six [visits], and it’s going to be the seventh, I’m going to go out there, even if I have to pay a fine. I’m there for the pitchers.”

Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said as much on Tuesday. Per Josh Frydman of WGN News, Contreras said, “What about if you have a tight game and you have to go out there? They can’t say anything about that, that’s my team and we just care about wins. If they’re going to fine me about number seven mound visit, I’ll pay the price.”

Exhibition games haven’t even started yet, but two notable backstops — the lesser-known Maldonado won a Gold Glove last year — are clearly not happy with the rule change. As Craig alluded to in his article yesterday, arguments between catchers and umpires (and, subsequently, managers and umpires) are probably going to become more frequent, which would likely end up nullifying any pace of play improvements.

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Update (4:43 PM ET): In response to this, Manfred said that if a catcher or coach made a seventh mound visit, there would have to be a pitching change (via Fletcher). However, chief baseball officer Joe Torre said (via SB Nation’s Eric Stephen) that the seventh visit cannot trigger a pitching change. The umpire would simply have to prevent the seventh mound visit.