Marlins Swindle Their Fans Yet Again

Jeffrey Loria is a Disgrace to Baseball

11/13/12 in MLB   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Blog Photo - Marlins Swindle Their Fans Yet AgainThis is Jeffrey Loria. In a technical sense, he is the owner of the Miami Marlins. In reality, he is a grifter, a charlatan, a swindler, a film-flam man, and any other pejorative you can think of.

By now, you've heard the news of the Marlins' latest fire sale trade. Just like that, the three most recognizable players outside of Giancarlo Stanton (and not coincidentally, highest paid)- Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Josh Johnson have been shipped off to Toronto. Joining them are John Buck and Emilio Bonifacio, two other useful players (well, one and a half).

Now there are question marks with each of these players, and the Marlins did get a few useful prospects, mainly outfielder Jake Marisnick and pitcher Justin Nicolino. However, this is somewhat offset by the "major leaguers" received in the deal, which include homophobe Yunel Escobar, fifth starter Henderson Alvarez, and banjo hitter Jeff Mathis. Overall though, it's clear that the Marlins did not get full value for the heart of its roster.

This is not the first time Loria has pulled the rug out of a franchise. He was previously the owner of the Montreal Expos. He immediately started lobbying for a new stadium, and when he didn't get it, he sold the team to Major League Baseball in 2002 while simultaneously purchasing the Marlins from John Henry, who bought the Red Sox to complete the deal. That sale to the league was the beginning of the end for the Expos, who were in DC three years later.

The very next year the Marlins became World Series Champions for the second time, but just like 1997, the team was sold off piece by piece, albeit slower than six years prior. The team has not made the playoffs since though. Throughout that time, the Marlins have cried poor, sold assets (most notably Miguel Cabrera), and ran the organization as cheaply as possible, all while making huge profits. Despite that, Loria again whined for a new ballpark. Of course, said ballpark had to be paid for primarily with public funds, as Loria claimed the team couldn't afford to build it themselves.

Well, the whining finally worked in 2009, and construction of Marlins Park began. Overall, it cost the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County over $500 million. However, counting debt and interest payments, the cost will in the end amount to $2.4 billion. Oh, and remember how Loria claimed the team couldn't afford to build the park themselves? The SEC has been investigating the stadium deal, specifically the claims that public funds were necessary. The investigation is ongoing.

Marlins Park opened this year in all its gaudiness. Of course, this was a 72 win team in 2011, so how else can one make a big splash? By spending money that the Marlins suddenly found under the couch. Jose Reyes! Heath Bell! Mark Buehrle! Ozzie Guillen! Add that to Stanton, Johnson, and Hanley Ramirez and you had a recipe for a winner. What it was of course was a recipe for disaster. The dismantling began during the season with the trades of Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers (defensible given his decline and malcontentness) and Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante to Detroit. Then Ozzie Guillen was fired after too much self-immolation, then Heath Bell dumped after his disastrous year. While taken separately, there was nothing wrong with those moves, but in hindsight, it was building to this. Of the core of the 2012 Marlins that I mentioned, only Stanton is left, and it's clear that's only because he still has a cheap contract.

Blog Photo - Marlins Swindle Their Fans Yet AgainI truly have no idea how anyone could be a Miami Marlins fan at this point. Yes, they have the two World Series titles, but other than 1997 and 2003, the team has treated them like dirt. For the last decade, that's been on Jeff Loria. This trade clinches him the title of Worst Owner in Baseball, and only Donald Sterling keeps him from being the undisputed Worst Owner in Sports. Last winter's spending spree turned out to be yet another illusion from the cheapest owner in the game. The most infurinating part about all this is it's highly unlikely the Commissioner's Office gets involved. Remember the 2002 deal that netted Loria the Marlins. He's in Bud Selig's cabal in a way say, Frank McCourt, wasn't. Thus, nothing will be done, which could be the deathknell for an already struggling baseball market. Are they willing to bet that what's left of the Marlins fanbase won't decide to stop taking this crap?

Jeffrey Loria is a disgrace to the game of baseball and to the concept of sports ownership. Making money certainly should be the goal, but the lack of even trying to win breaks any illusion that this man views his team as a public trust in any way. He should drummed out of baseball, but unfortunately, he's not going anywhere.
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11/24/12   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

wjptam wrote:
Doing to Miami what he did to our Expos.

Except Montreal fans supported the Expos for a couple of decades before bailing on the team.  The Miami area NEVER warmed up the Marlins.    Ever.

11/16/12   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

The mistake here was made back in 1993 when MLB opted for the South Florida expansion over DC in the first place.  The Marlins never should have existed.  It's been proven to be the nation's worst baseball market.  Even when the team was good fans never really supported them.   I can't imagine they get all that great a local TV deal or much from their advertising or merchandising deals either.

11/15/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Burrellfan1 wrote:
Jeffrey Loria is not a disgrace to baseball, but this article is.  The Marlins spent a lot of money just to lose three more games than they did the year before.  I believe that every free agent the Marlins picked up did worse in 2012 than in 2011 (At least Bell, Reyes, and Buerhle did).  Bonifacio only played in 64 games.  John Buck only hit .192.

The team was a disaster in 2012.  Why not just start over?  I'm not sure why the Marlins needed two shortstops in the trade.  Perhaps, the Marlins will turn right around and trade Yunel Escobar somewhere else.  Henderson Alvarez showed some promise last year, and the Marlins did get three of Toronto's top-10 prospects. 

I don't believe this was a fire sale.  It just was a way to get out of some bad contracts and to break up a team that was poorly constructed in the first place.

The problem is there's a pattern. This isn't the first time. Yes, there is some baseball sense for this trade, but it is yet another bait and switch. Add this to the team's cheapness every year while at the same time collecting huge revenue sharing checks and thus making a huge profit. They did this while threatening to relocate if they didn't get their public financed ballpark. Again, that thing will cost taxpayers $2.4 billion in the end, and the SEC is still investigating how the Marlins got it. Loria, hell the entire franchise since its inception, has run the team like this. That's why the trade can't be looked at in a vacuum.

11/15/12   |   Jeff_P   |   19891 respect

this LOSER SHOULD HAVE left town with the other LOSER HE HIRED.............OZZZZZZZZZZIE GUILLEN..........2 peas in the pod...............

11/15/12   |   Burrellfan1   |   25530 respect

Pat wrote:
A couple things to keep in mind:
1) The Marlins have a history of fire sales. This isn't the first one, and this article wasn't a knee-jerk reaction to a one-time incident.
2) We'll see if the Marlins actually turn around and re-invest this money in the team. If they do, then perhaps you're right. History shows, however, that they won't.

Actually, this is a knee-jerk reaction to a one-time incident. The other so-called fire sales happened after the team won a World Series, and the owner made it pretty clear that it was about lack of revenue. Loria has said he is not selling the team. Maybe it is because the stadium is only a year old, but he has said that the trade is because of the failure of the team to win, not because of a lack of revenue generated by the new stadium.

11/14/12   |   Scott   |   53571 respect

Pat wrote:
A couple things to keep in mind:
1) The Marlins have a history of fire sales. This isn't the first one, and this article wasn't a knee-jerk reaction to a one-time incident.
2) We'll see if the Marlins actually turn around and re-invest this money in the team. If they do, then perhaps you're right. History shows, however, that they won't.

Even if the Marlins wanted to re-invest the money in the team, I don't see many free agents lining up to sign with Miami after this.

11/14/12   |   Wards_Page   |   248 respect

Loria fleeced Miami in a way one wouldn't think possible in this day and age. Forget about the trades and look to the stadium deal. It's a joke. Never would have happened with Hyman Roth around.

11/14/12   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

Burrellfan1 wrote:
Jeffrey Loria is not a disgrace to baseball, but this article is.  The Marlins spent a lot of money just to lose three more games than they did the year before.  I believe that every free agent the Marlins picked up did worse in 2012 than in 2011 (At least Bell, Reyes, and Buerhle did).  Bonifacio only played in 64 games.  John Buck only hit .192.

The team was a disaster in 2012.  Why not just start over?  I'm not sure why the Marlins needed two shortstops in the trade.  Perhaps, the Marlins will turn right around and trade Yunel Escobar somewhere else.  Henderson Alvarez showed some promise last year, and the Marlins did get three of Toronto's top-10 prospects. 

I don't believe this was a fire sale.  It just was a way to get out of some bad contracts and to break up a team that was poorly constructed in the first place.

A couple things to keep in mind:
1) The Marlins have a history of fire sales. This isn't the first one, and this article wasn't a knee-jerk reaction to a one-time incident.
2) We'll see if the Marlins actually turn around and re-invest this money in the team. If they do, then perhaps you're right. History shows, however, that they won't.

11/14/12   |   Burrellfan1   |   25530 respect

Jeffrey Loria is not a disgrace to baseball, but this article is.  The Marlins spent a lot of money just to lose three more games than they did the year before.  I believe that every free agent the Marlins picked up did worse in 2012 than in 2011 (At least Bell, Reyes, and Buerhle did).  Bonifacio only played in 64 games.  John Buck only hit .192.

The team was a disaster in 2012.  Why not just start over?  I'm not sure why the Marlins needed two shortstops in the trade.  Perhaps, the Marlins will turn right around and trade Yunel Escobar somewhere else.  Henderson Alvarez showed some promise last year, and the Marlins did get three of Toronto's top-10 prospects. 

I don't believe this was a fire sale.  It just was a way to get out of some bad contracts and to break up a team that was poorly constructed in the first place.

11/14/12   |   vobiscom   |   1260 respect

Almost makes Dan Snyder look good....well, not so much...but you know what I am trying to say...

11/14/12   |   Sharp Square   |   11945 respect


This guy is a black eye for the league and the game in general. The sooner he is out of Miami and baseball the better. 

11/14/12   |   rmas003

Like our page and help Miami rid itself from the plague of Samson and Loria:
 
https://www.facebook.com/ForceJeffreyLoriaToSellTheMarlins

11/13/12   |   The_Real_Stoney   |   25290 respect

what a mickey mouse organization. you gotta feel for Giancarlo Stanton

11/13/12   |   katalyst   |   3 respect

Jeff Loria does not care about anyone other than himself. He sees this as an investment, and he will lie cheat and steal to make a profit. This man should not be allowed to own a team. He doesn't care about fans nor players!

11/13/12   |   wjptam   |   1 respect

Doing to Miami what he did to our Expos.

11/13/12   |   Sharp Square   |   11945 respect



*sigh*  Just horrible and well not much more can be said about Mr Lorie !  Gotta feel for Marlins fans 


also good read. 

11/13/12   |   tpamotormouth   |   54 respect

191 Million well spent. Not.

11/13/12   |   Jess   |   34809 respect

indecision Suddenly being a Mariners fan doesn't seem all that bad.

11/13/12   |   ohwell_   |   16443 respect

(Edited by ohwell_)

Thank you for venting for me!

Disgruntled Romney fundraiser payback.

11/13/12   |   brooklynsm   |   1 respect

http://www.facebook.com/groups/298195810281405/