Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 8:13 am
Here's a better look and listen to what it was like Monday night in Chicago when New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez returned to the lineup on the same day he was hit with a 211-game suspension for allegedly using performance-enhancing substances (he can play while he appeals that punishment).
Cigars aren't the only thing smuggled out of Cuba these days.
Cuban baseball players are also a hot commodity, and sports agents in the U.S. say the process is increasingly dominated by smugglers who track down players willing to defect and find surreptitious ways to deliver them to the United States.
"The whole business got pretty much taken over by smugglers," says former baseball agent Joe Kehoskie.
The public funding in the Marlins stadium deal has been called one of the biggest boondoggles in sports history. But hardly any stadium now is built with only private funds. Why do governments fund these facilities?
On April 1, opening day of Marlins' season, Rick Horrow with WLRN-Miami Herald News hosted a special roundtable, Foul Ball! The Future of the Marlins in Miami, a two-hour radio special on the impact of the Marlins stadium deal. Some of the guests included:
A small group of fans recently gathered at the Marlins' new half-billion dollar stadium in Miami's Little Havana to protest in both in Spanish and in English. They want new owners after the team's latest purge: the trade of All-Stars Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson to the Blue Jays in return for seven mostly unknown players.
The move, which came after the team finished in last place, will save the Marlins more than $160 million in future payroll obligations. It comes within a year of the Marlins' move into their new, mostly taxpayer-funded stadium.