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Marlins claim British Virgin Islands citizenship

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We’ve written before about the lawsuit filed by Miami-Dade authorities against Jeff Loria and the Miami Marlins regarding the profits from the sale of the team. Short version: under the agreement to build Marlins Park, the county was owed a cut of the profits when the team was sold. Loria, quite dubiously, is claiming no profits from the sale so he and the team he no longer owns got sued.

The current Marlins regime, while not directly in the crosshairs of the suit, are necessary parties. But they are necessary parties that do not want to be in a Miami courtroom, it seems. Indeed, they so don’t want to be in a Miami courtroom, they’re claiming to be a British Virgin Islands concern. From the Miami Herald:

The Miami Marlins are claiming corporate citizenship in the British Virgin Islands in an effort to have a federally appointed arbitrator take over the lawsuit by Miami and Miami-Dade County to recover a share of the profits from Jeffrey Loria’s $1.2 billion sale of the team to Derek Jeter and partners last fall.

Lawyers representing the Marlins told a federal judge that at least one corporation that owns part of Marlins Teamco — the company Jeter and majority owner Bruce Sherman formed last year to buy the franchise — is based in the Caribbean. As a result, team lawyers argued, the dispute with Miami-Dade should be governed by jurisdictional rules that apply to international disputes.

I haven’t had to think about international venue matters since I was in law school and that was over 20 years ago, so I’m pretty hazy here, but what few synapses are firing in response to this suggest to me that it’s not a patently ridiculous argument, legally speaking. It’s just an argument that is pretty chuckle-inducing coming from a team owned by the closest thing we have to a baseball Captain America in Derek Jeter regarding what is pretty clearly a local dispute. Miami-Dade, understandably, is pushing back hard on this idea, though I have no idea if it’ll work.

In other news, The Marlins drew 7,000 fans to last night’s game in Miami. I guess the hometown fans from the British Virgin Islands don’t travel as well as say, Alabama or Ohio St. fans.

World Series champions left off the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball schedule

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SAN DIEGO — Scheduling Sunday Night Baseball is a complicated business.

On the one hand, it’s baseball’s marquee regular season broadcast. If you’re on Sunday Night Baseball you’re getting a marketing push and getting in front of more eyeballs. You’re being honored almost.

On the other hand, teams really don’t want to be on it because Sunday is a travel day and, traditionally, a day for day games, and playing at night makes for very late night/early morning travel and robs players of the one chance they may get in a week to have a nice evening at home or to have dinner at a normal hour.

There is some disconnect on ESPN and Major League Baseball’s part as well. In an ideal world, the league would use the marquee broadcast to market its teams and stars. To give exposure to those teams and stars who the country may not know as much about. But we don’t live in an ideal world. We live in a world in which ESPN pays Major League Baseball a lot of money in order to put games on and, in exchange, wants to get the highest ratings possible. That gives both parties a practical incentive to schedule the teams that are already the most popular in order to maximize the audience.

So you get what we have had for a long time: a lot of Yankees and Red Sox games. We got it again today, as ESPN announced the Sunday Night Baseball schedule for the first half of the season:

The current World Series champion Washington Nationals will not appear.

Which, hey, I get it. And, secretly, the Nationals and every other team who aren’t scheduled for Sunday nights, are going to be pretty happy about it.