Steve Wine of the Associated Press on the highlight of yesterday’s press conference to announce the signing of Carlos Delgado to the Florida Marlins (well, except for the introduction of David Sloane and his wife).

Carlos Delgado is willing to stand up for his beliefs – or, in his case, not stand up. At his introductory news conference Thursday with the Florida Marlins, Delgado said he’ll continue to not stand up this season during the playing of “God Bless America.”

An opponent of the war in Iraq, Delgado refused to stand when “God Bless America” was played last season at games involving his Toronto Blue Jays. Instead, he would stay on the bench or go into the dugout tunnel.

“I wouldn’t call it politics, because I hate politics,” Delgado said Thursday after finalizing his $52 million, four-year contract. “The reason why I didn’t stand for `God Bless America’ was because I didn’t like the way they tied `God Bless America’ and 9-11 to the war in Iraq in baseball.

“I say God bless America, God bless Miami, God bless Puerto Rico and all countries until there is peace in the world.”

Marlins officials, who gave Delgado the richest per-season contract in the team’s 12-year history, made no objection to his war protest.

“The Marlins don’t support it, and we don’t not support it,” team president David Samson said. “He’s an adult. The club’s position is that what he does is up to him.”

Keep in mind that it was just this past December that Delgado’s agent promised that his client would abide by the rules of whatever club was paying his salary. Apparently, this is not an issue for the Marlins organization or the people of Miami, and why should it be? What’s a lapse in patriotism on the club’s part compared to moving to Las Vegas?