Wayne Huizenga, Fishmonger

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MIAMI: Call it catch-and-release. Florida Marlins owner Wayne Huizenga, after loading his team with high-priced talent and watching it capture a World Series title after only five years in existence, is selling the Fish. The interested party is reportedly an ownership group that includes a sizable Hispanic contingent an important selling point in South Florida headed by current team president Don Smiley.

Could the reasons be unselfish? "We don't want to sell," Huizenga said recently. "We think the reason we should sell is to remove ourselves from the process and hopefully . . . then South Florida may build a new baseball park." The equation, though, probably included the $34 million Huizenga says the team lost last year, due mainly to costly free-agent signings.

Smiley says he is two-thirds of the way toward reaching Huizenga's asking price, which is believed to be $150 million. Huizenga says he has 30 days to stump up the cash. If successful, the new owners' next order of business will be securing that public-financed, retractable-roof ballpark on the Miami waterfront.

After that? Likely a free-agent fire sale, followed by the departure of manager Jim Leyland, who spent too many years in Pittsburgh to ever play bargain-basement baseball again.

Stadium or no, for a few years at least Smiley may feel he's bought himself a Florida lemon no manager, no superstars, no farm system. But just wait until Castro dies.