Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Mets-Marlins may be moved to San Juan
NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball and the players' association are close to moving a three-game series between the New York Mets and Florida Marlins to San Juan's Hiram Bithorn Stadium from June 28-30, according to people familiar with the negotiations.
Management and the union also are in the final stages of arranging a spring training trip for the Los Angeles Dodgers to play in Taiwan against the country's national team on March 13 and 14, the people said.
They spoke on condition of anonymity because agreements for the trips had not been completed.
The Mets-Marlins series originally was set to be in Miami, and the Marlins would remain the home team.
Hiram Bithorn hosted 22 Montreal Expos home games in each of the 2003 and 2004 seasons before the franchise relocated to Washington and was renamed the Nationals. Average attendance dropped from 14,000 in 2003 to 10,000 in 2004.
In addition, the ballpark also hosted the 2001 season opener between Texas and Toronto, and it was the site of games during the World Baseball Classic in 2006 and 2009.
The Dodgers have been among the major league teams most interested in international play. Two years ago, they traveled to Beijing for a pair of March exhibition games against the San Diego Padres.
Their spring training trip is to be announced Friday at a news conference in Taiwan.
On Wednesday, the Dodgers said they will play the Cincinnati Reds in a split-squad exhibition game at Las Vegas' Cashman Field on March 31.