(Eds: With AP Photos. Recasts 22nd paragraph to clarify that $34 million is projected figure, and correct that A's payroll was $59.5 last season.) By TIM DAHLBERG AP Sports Columnist People in Miami had begun to wise up about the time their new baseball stadium was being completed and Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria wanted them to shell out $10,980 for some wine so he and his buddies could celebrate.
That wasn't all. The team also wanted taxpayers to buy office furniture, drapes and even fabric for pillow covers before public officials decided they had already spent enough.
By then, of course, it was too late. The stadium was ready and they were on the hook for about 80 percent of the $634 million it cost to build.
Imagine what fools they must feel like now.
They've got their barely used stadium, complete with a $2 million psychedelic home run thingy and fish swimming behind home plate. Some may even find it attractive in a baseball- meets-tropical-lounge-show sort of way.