A Fans Response to Marlins’ Owner Jeffrey Loria

PLEASE NOTE, THIS WAS WRITTEN BY A FAN THAT CHOSE TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS

A RESPONSE FROM A FAN

“It’s no secret that last season was not our best — actually it was one of our worst.”

Just for clarification, are we talking about the performance on the field, or in your wallet?  Because based on the fact that nearly 100% of concessions, parking, advertising, suites, and outside events now go into you coffers as well as luxury tax and media dollars, and the fact that the team now has it’s own stadium, adding to it’s net value, this had to be your BEST season, ever.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/02/02/3212577/marlins-will-benefit-if-stadium.html

“In large part, our performance on the field stunk and something needed to be done.“

Okay, get rid of the players that are not doing enough, like Heath Bell, but keep the ones that are performing well, like Josh Johnson.  That is what the Blue Jays did when they grabbed the best of the Marlins for 3 magic beans.  That is what the 94 loss Indians did then they added Bourne and Swisher. That is what the 101 loss Cubs did when they added Hairston and Schierholz. You SUBTRACTED good talent, because it increases your wallet, NOT because it increases our chance to win.

“As a result of some bold moves, many grabbed hold of our tough yet necessary decision only to unleash a vicious cycle of negativity.“

Bold?  Cashing in your stars for prospects, AGAIN, is not a bold move, it is a repeat of the failed cycle you did in 2006, and that the Marlins did in 1998.  How did that “bold move“ of getting rid of Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera turn out?  And giving the Red Sox a player that ended up being the World Series MVP in Mike Lowell?  Bold means taking a risk.  Bold does NOT mean pinching pennies to rake in profits against the spirit of revenue sharing that even MLB had to reprimand you for. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100112&content_id=7906016

“As the owner of the ballclub, the buck stops with me and I take my share of the blame where it’s due.“

Close.  ALL the bucks stop with you, and escape only through a maze of excuses to pay for things like fighting Carlos Alvarez’s recall, yet ANOTHER building at Yale, but not on the payroll that was PROMISED to increase once you got the parking and concessions and the advertising and the suites and the net worth of being a team with a new stadium.

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2010-11-04/news/fl-marlins-help-carlos-alvarez-20101104_1_miami-dade-police-miami-dade-mayor-carlos-alvarez-marlins-samson

http://www.yale.edu/architectureofyale/Loria.html

 

“However, many of the things being said about us are simply not true.“

Name one thing that was not true, so we can research it.  Many of the things said about you ARE true, like that you destroyed baseball in Montreal and are doing the same thing here.  Denying it twice might work for Nevin Shapiro, denying it three times might work for Peter, but without backing up your denials, it won’t work in this case.  You have truly become a sad figure when you are the EXAMPLE for fire sale in Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_sale#Sports_usage

 “I’ve sat by quietly and allowed this to continue.“

Issuing a “no comment“ after firing Fredi Gonzalez, Ozzie Guillen, and Joe Girardi, and after trading away Cabrera, Beckett, Lowell, and every OTHER player that has gone on to star for other MLB teams during your unprecedented TWO firesales is not the same as “allowing“ it to continue.

“Now it’s time for me to respond to our most important constituents, the fans who love the game of baseball.“

Please do.  After all, we love the Marlins, love baseball, and hate what you have done to turn a championship team into a laughing stock.

THE ROSTER

“Losing is unacceptable to me.“

Funny, you seem to do that a lot for someone that finds it unacceptable.  Not one but TWO COYs fired by you for WINNING instead of losing.  Not one but TWO World Series MVPs traded away not for winning, but for winning at a better salary than the minimum. Players like Cody Ross, let go to save you less than 1 million in cash, who then go on to be MVP in playoff games for other teams.  And of course, getting rid of a power hitter like Miguel Cabrera for failed prospects, where the only “winning“ you did on that was win a few more dollars in your bank account.  Saved 7.4 million dollars, lost an MVP.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=mlb&id=2611516  – Girardi fired

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=5318111  – Fredi Fired

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2232211  – Lowell and Beckett giftwrapped.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs2007/news/story?id=3084783  – Lowell wins MVP for Red Sox

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=5484245  – Cody Ross given to the Giants,

for NOTHING, to save you 200,000 dollars.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs/2010/news/story?id=5722045  – Cody Ross NLCS MVP

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2769361  – 2/17, Cabrera wins Arbitration

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3141703  – ten months later, Cabrera traded.  Nothing from that trade remains on the Marlins.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8637226/miguel-cabrera-detroit-tigers-beats-mike-trout-los-angeles-angels-american-league-mvp  – Cabrera wins MVP, Triple Crown.

“It’s incumbant upon us to take swift action and make bold moves when there are glaring problems.“

Yet you are still here.  Trading away your talent, after the season is over, is not swift action.  Cutting your payroll down 80 million dollars is not a bold move.  It is the act of a greedy, miserly, cowardly owner betraying the fans you promised payroll improvement to.

http://blogs.palmbeachpost.com/marlins/2009/03/24/david-samson-ballpark-vote-does-not-mean-payroll-hike

“The controversial trade we made with the Toronto Blue Jays was approved by Commissioner Bud Selig and has been almost universally celebrated by baseball experts outside of Miami for its value.“

Yes, for THE BLUE JAYS!  For the Marlins it has been a joke that we AGAIN are the team that is the poster child for “firesale“.  1998, 2006, and 2012, no other team has done this three times in a 14 year period.  Please give us one baseball expert that said Miami got the better end of that deal.  Unless by “value“, you are talking about how single ply grade D tissue paper is a better VALUE than double ply Grade A tissue paper.  All the ones I see rip your move as a disgrace and an embarrassment.

http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=8630496

“We hope, with an open mind, our community can reflect on the fact that we had one of the worst records in baseball.“

Due to Reyes and Johnson and Buehrle, or due to the garbage you had around them?  Jose Reyes, who was .004 below his career average, .005 ABOVE his OBP, .007 below his SLG%, and .002 below his career OPS?

Josh Johnson, whose 3.81 ERA was only .07 off of Mark Buehrle’s good year, who had 22 of Miami’s 91 Quality Starts, and who took a discount to sign long term with the Marlins?

Mark Buehrle, whose 3.74 ERA and .500 record on a bad team was so impressive you shipped him off to the Blue Jays?

You didn’t toss pearls to swine. You tossed the pearls to teams that knew how to use them, and took their swine in return.  Meanwhile, the Indians and Cubs, in the same situation as you, ADDED to their team to get BETTER.  I bet their record this year will be better than the Marlins, and that their fans will be happier than Marlins fans.

“Acquiring high-profile players just didn’t work, and nearly everyone on our team underperformed as compared to their career numbers.“

Oooh, sounds like a motivation and managing issue, not a player issue.  Those that DIDN’T underperform, did you keep them?  No?  So then don’t use that as the excuse.

“Our plan for the year ahead is to leverage our young talent and create a homegrown roster of long-term players who can win.“

You mean like in 2006, when we had Johnson and the others that you promised you would stand by?  Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me, but trying the same trick a THIRD time, don’t act stunned that nobody gets fooled.

“In fact, objective experts have credited us with going from the 28th ranked Minor League system in baseball to the 5th best during this period.“

Funny how gutting a major league team will do that.  Those same experts, how have they measured where our MAJOR LEAGUE team is ranked?  This guy for example points out that Miami went from 29th to 8th, while Toronto went from 1st to 22nd, because they traded the best of their minor league team for the best of our major league team.  Is there a Minor League World Series trophy in our future?  Sarcastic Yay.

http://www.minorleagueball.com/2013/1/28/3925786/2013-baseball-farm-system-rankings

“Of the Top 100 Minor Leaguers rated by MLB Network, we have six — tied for the most of any team in the league.“

Will they be on the field for Miami?  No.  Will they sign long term with someone that stabs players in the back repeatedly? No.  Will we see them traded off for prospects AGAIN when they are set to go to arbitration and cost you more than the league minimum, like you did with Cabrera and will do with Stanton?  Yes.

“We’ll evaluate this roster and possibly bring in additional talent based on our assessment of what we need.“

Oh good.  The same folks that brought in the mistakes last year like Heath Bell will be piling on old and desperate has beens and young and desperate never weres to fill up the legal requirement of 9 players on the field.

“The very same naysayers who are currently skeptical once attacked us for bringing Pudge Rodriguez to the Marlins in 2003.“

NO, they attacked you for not RE-SIGNING HIM one year later, and watching him help the Detroit Tigers get to the World Series instead.  BTW, have you made ANY winning moves since then?  I mean, that was 10 years ago.  You have done NOTHING since then worth note?  I don’t see the Miami Hurricanes Football team still bragging about that Larry Coker hire getting them to a title.  Funny that you bring up Pudge, recall that he and Derrick Lee were both let go in cost cutting moves, starting your trend of dismantling a top team and turning it into this dreg team, while at the same time taking the Detroit dreg team and turning them into contenders.  Detroit, San Francisco, Washington, Boston, and now Toronto all thank you for your “generosity“.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1710722 – 2 million more per year, penny  wise and pound foolish.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1671120  – Hee Sop Choi?

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1849712  – Oh look, we should have kept Pudge, now we lose Penny 8 months later to replace him.

“More than any other, that move contributed to our World Series Championship.“

More than any other?  I believe that Dontrelle Willis, Miguel Cabrera, Mike Lowell, Jeff Conine, and Josh Beckett laugh at that suggestion.

 THE BALLPARK

“The ballpark issue has been repeatedly reported incorrectly and there are some very negative accusations being thrown around.“

You mean like the accusation that you could have given a bigger share based on the books that were leaked out after you got this sweetheart deal, that your claims of how much you could afford were lies, and that your claims of how positively it would impact the neighborhood were lies, too?  Or that if you had just chipped in 91 million more, we would have saved 1.2 BILLION in taxpayer dollars?

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/24/3199018/how-a-91million-loan-on-the-marlins.html

“It ain’t true, folks. Those who have attacked us are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.“

Facts do not belong to a person, but you seem to be holding all of the facts to yourself, like your books, your reasoning for getting rid of Cabrera and beckett and Lowell and Lee, your reasoning for firing COY candidates that had winning seasons with the hot trash you threw at them, AS they learned on the job, and the facts that you CLAIM Fortune and Deadspin and others have gotten wrong.

http://deadspin.com/5619235/florida-marlins-financial-documents//gallery/1

http://www.forbes.com/lists/2011/33/baseball-valuations-11_Florida-Marlins_336786.html

 

“The majority of public funding came from hotel taxes, the burden of which is incurred by tourists who are visiting our city, NOT the resident taxpayers.”

That hotel tax money belonged to the people of Miami-Dade County, who could have used that money for a whole bunch of other projects, and even if they had given 50% instead of 80%, that is money that you benefit from that Miami voters and residents do not.  And a big chunk of that money will be going to pay onerous interest charges in 2026, instead of on infrastructure in 2013, which was the original intent.

“The Marlins organization also agreed to contribute $161.2 million toward the ballpark, plus the cost of the garage complex.”

Actually, 125.2 million, with a 35 million interest free loan from the county, NOT from the bed tax, which also could have been used elsewhere.  Didn’t you also get an interest free loan to BUY the Marlins in the first place?  Why yes, you did, showing in advance that you didn’t have the money to spend on payroll, OR that you had the money but chose to save it, collecting the profits instead.

http://www.sportsbusinessnews.com/content/jeffrey-loria-%E2%80%93-bad-intentions-bad-owner

 

“In addition, the Marlins receive no operating subsidy from local government funding.“

No? They get all the parking, concessions, and gate receipts, even if the event has nothing to do with baseball or the Marlins, instead of the County getting that money.  But the county pays YOUR 250K maintenance fees, and your property taxes.  Rock concert?  Loria keeps the cash.  Auto Expo?  Lorias cashes in again.  High school baseball game?  Loria is there before the county, even though the county is providing the building and the labor and the paying of the property taxes on the building AND the parking garages, since they own these properties in name only.  They get none of the PROFIT from owning these lands, just the expenses.  You pay ten DOLLARS, TOTAL, for the entire building for the year, I pay 20 dollars to park there for three hours. That sounds like a sweet operating subsidy to me.

http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/RegaladoCity-Has-to-Pay-Marlins-Stadium-Maintenance-Fee-134780198.html

http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/Miami-Strikes-Out-in-Marlins-Parking-Garage-Deal-134404518.html

“The ballpark required that all debt service is paid by existing revenue. Furthermore, many are attacking the County’s method of financing for its contribution, but the Marlins had nothing at all to do with that.“

Hmm, you didn’t threaten to leave unless they gave you a sweetheart deal?  Then you did have SOMETHING to do with that, liar.  And you couldn’t give another 91 million to save us 1.2 BILLION, or even get your buddy Selig to give you another “interest free loan“ like he did when you first got this cash cow called the Marlins?

“The fact is, with your help, we built Marlins Park, a crown jewel in our beautiful Miami skyline, which has won over twenty design and architecture awards and will help make us a premiere ballclub moving forward.“

The fact is, that the team has gotten WORSE since we gave you a 2.4 BILLION in costs stadium for your 125.2 MILLION investment.  5% for the owner in costs, 100% of the profit.  Kind of like how you rake in over 100 million a year in profits on a team you spend 35 million on.  You started out with nothing, and with one shady deal after another, you have become the sole owner of a team worth over 600 million.  Yet you couldn’t afford to use a tiny portion of that to keep Pudge, Cabrera, Lee, Beckett, Lowell, Willingham, and the others over the years?  The fact is, with our help, we turned you into the third richest sports owner in Florida, but unlike the Heat and Dolphins, you don’t even TRY to put a good product on the field.

OUR FINANCES

“The simple fact is that we don’t have unlimited funds, nor does any baseball team or business.”

Nobody said you did, just that you have the same funds or more than teams like Pittsburgh, Tampa, and Oakland.  Yet they try to field competitive teams, you try to field the cheapest possible team.

“Fans didn’t turn out last season as much as we’d like, even with the high-profile players the columnists decry us having traded.“

Hmm, sounds like they were wary of your business plan.  Looks like they were right, too.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/11/25/3112034/in-popularity-poll-miami-marlins.html

“The main ingredient to a successful ball club is putting together a winning team, including a necessary core of young talent.“

AND a necessary core of Major League players, not just minor leagues that you have play against major league talent.  And a stable management team that doesn’t have to worry about getting fired when they complain about the garbage you are passing off to the public as a major league team.

“Are we fiscally capable and responsible enough to fill the roster with talented players, invest in the daily demands of running a world-class organization and bring a World Series back to Miami? Absolutely!“

You just choose not to, because the almighty dollar is more important than the almighty win to you.

“Is it sound business sense to witness an expensive roster with a terrible record and sit idly by doing nothing? No.“

Agreed.  Get rid of the BAD players, and KEEP the good ones.  You got rid of the GOOD players, the BAD players, and ALL the players that were not trapped to your low rent philosophy.

“I can and will invest in building a winner, but last season wasn’t sustainable and we needed to start from scratch quickly to build this team from the ground up.“

If you are starting from the ground up, then why are Samson, Beinfest, Hill, and you still here?

COMMUNICATION

“An organization is only as good as its connection with the community.“

Your sole interaction with the community was to LEAVE it to go to Jupiter and to post this screed.  Have you given money to the local people?  No.  To Alvarez and the others that voted for your sweetheart deal, sure, but not to the little league teams, to the high school teams, to the college teams, or even to the major league team here in Miami.

“We know we can do a better job communicating with our fans. That starts now. From this point forward we can ensure fans and the entire community that we will keep you abreast of our plan, rationale and motivations.“

Okay.  What is your plan for replacing talent like Cabrera and Beckett and Johnson and Buehrle? What was your rationale for getting rid of the only good experienced players on your team, for the sake of a few dollars? What is your motivation for continuing to keep the payroll over 20 million dollars below the media and luxury tax amounts you are guaranteed each year?

“Amidst the current news coverage, it an be easy to forget how far we went together not so long ago.“

Yes, it IS easy to forget all what you have dismantled in your time here.  Let’s review.

“In 2003, I helped bring a second World Series Title to South Florida.“

In 2004, you began dismantling that World Series team, so that within three years, it was unrecognizable as being that same team.  No other team has been destroyed in that short of a span since the 1998 Florida Marlins.

“We know how to build a winning team, and have every intention of doing so again.“

You have had ten years since you had that team, isn’t that long enough to see that you will NOT do it again, especially since you have a payroll LESS than that team of 2003?

“I know you share my passion for great Marlins baseball, my love of Miami and my desire to win again.“

I recall you had a passion for Expos baseball and loved Montreal, too.  That sure worked out well.

“We’re in this together and I humbly ask that we start fresh, watch us mature quickly as a ball club, and root for the home team in 2013.“

1. You are not humble.  Your treatment of the populace shows that.

2. You should not be given a FOURTH chance to trick the fans and taxpayers of Miami.

3. As soon as Stanton “matures“, you will trade him for prospects, too.

4.  I feel bad for the folks at Fox Sports and 790, who paid you major league rights, to basically broadcast a season of the Albuquerque Isotopes.

5. We will root for the home team.  Root, root, root for the day that this team is sold to the Miccosukees, to Mickey Arison, to the Seminoles, or to ANYONE that will treat this team like a major league team and not as an ATM.

“Sincerely,”

You misspelled “Insincerely,”

 

“Jeffrey Loria”

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