Miami Marlins owner Jeffery Loria
Associated Press

Report: Jeff Loria has a handshake agreement to sell the Marlins

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Mike Ozanian of Forbes reports that Jeff Loria has a “handshake agreement” to sell the Miami Marlins. The price: $1.6 billion. Loria¬†paid $158 million for the baseball team in 2002.

The identity of the buyer is not reported, but Ozanian says it’s a real estate developer from New York. As you know, however, Major League Baseball, with its antitrust agreement in hand, must approve any buyer, and they prefer owners who will not rock the boat. That said, Loria has been through the franchise sale rodeo before, having once owned the Expos. Major League Baseball’s tolerance of his ownership of his two teams has made him fabulously wealthy, so it’s not as if he’s the type that would necessarily rock the boat when it came to finding an acceptable buyer.

Stay tuned.

Red Sox to extend protective netting at Fenway Park in 2018

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The Red Sox are the latest team to extend the protective netting at their ballpark this winter. According to a statement by club president Sam Kennedy, the exact dimensions of the netting have yet to be determined, but it will likely stretch “all the way to Field Box 79, down the left field line and then all the way down to almost Canvas Alley in the Field Box 9 area.”

Fenway Park received additional protective netting prior to the 2016 season, when the netting behind home plate was lengthened to the home and visitor dugouts. Per Kennedy’s statement, the current expansion should cover everything but the outfield corners, making it nearly impossible for a line drive foul to reach fans in the lower boxes.

After a toddler sustained serious injuries from a 105-MPH foul ball to the face at Yankee Stadium last September, over half of all MLB teams decided to take more extreme preventative measures in advance of the 2018 season. The Brewers, Cardinals, Braves, Astros, Royals, Pirates, Rangers, Padres, Nationals, Mariners, Phillies, Mets, Reds, Blue Jays, Giants, Yankees, Twins and Indians are among the organizations to address the issue over the last several years, while others have yet to take significant action.