Much ink has been spilled over the last few days over the shocking discovery -- much to the amazement of several Miami-Dade commissioners -- that apparently the Marlins were doing pretty good financially during the very time they were pleading poverty in order to get our tax dollars spent on their stadium:
``It's all very explainable, because the people we negotiated with at the county and city knew everything, our banks know everything, our partners know everything,'' Samson said.
But in an e-mail exchange Tuesday with The Miami Herald, Miami-Dade spokeswoman Victoria Mallette said the county never saw the Marlins' financial records during the negotiations, although it was not surprised to hear the club made money.
Yet several members of the County Commission, who gave their final approval to the stadium's $500 million city-county funding package in March 2009, have expressed shock at the extent of the Marlins' profitability.
The Florida Marlins and Miami-Dade County won a slight victory in court Friday when Circuit Court Judge Pedro Echarte Jr. shot down several attempts to get Marlins President David Samson to disclose the ball club's financial picture.
The two sides are readying for a July 1 court date, with auto dealer Norman Braman contending the $609 million stadium and parking garage plan -- to be built with almost $500 million of public money -- doesn't benefit the public.
On Friday, Braman attorney Bob Martinez tried to get Echarte to compel Samson to answer dozens of questions the Marlins executive had waved off when he was deposed earlier this month.
Echarte shot that down, ruling that almost all of Martinez's questions dealing with club finances weren't relevant to the trial.
When Martinez tried to get Samson to hand over projections of attendance, the judge questioned whether such figures are paramount to the public purpose of a stadium. ''I just don't see it,'' Echarte said.
Both sides will be back in court most of this week setting witness questioning and attempting to narrow the proceedings so the trial doesn't run too long. Echarte said he has vacation plans for most of July.