Now comes Jeffrey Loria, Miami Marlins owner with a “mea culpa” song and dance probably urged by the public relations firm that the Marlins hired to soften the damage caused by the latest insult to their fan base.
He took out full-page ads in South Florida newspapers with his version and a half assed apology/excuse/explanation as to why they decided to gut the team of the high-priced talent they signed two years ago.
He also rails about how it’s not public money that is being used for the building of Marlins Park. He states that it will be hotel tax money that was used by the city and county to pay for their share of the park and that the public did not pay one cent towards the stadium and parking garage costs.
Well if the park was not built that hotel tax money would go back into the infrastructure wouldn’t it? It could have gone to road repair, building upgrades, rapid transit, the list is endless. So it is really costing the public isn’t it? And the promise the Marlins made to spend, spend, spend on payroll was a lie.
He does not get it. Here is what people are upset about: Okay you got rid of underacheieving players, but you are replacing them with unproven players and minor leaguers. You will be fielding a minor league team instead of going out and spend, spend, spend on proven players and real major leaguers. The payroll will be about $40 million which will be the second lowest payroll in major league baseball. So it is not that you got rid of the players, it is that you did not replace them with players of equal talent and experience when you do have the money to do so. It is a blatant money grab.
The open house they had a few weeks ago was attended by about 400 people as opposed to last year when 40,000 showed up. You think there is panic in the front office? Hiring a public relations firm is not going to help. Unless of course the public relations firm has some guys named Jeter, Pujols, Trout, Verlander or Hamilton on board.
Last year they had about 12,000 season ticket holders, this year it’s under 5,000. You think the people are pissed off? Again it’s not that you cleaned house, it’s that the replacement players are not proven veterans, all-stars or household names. Miami is a front-runner town, you don’t win, you do not get attendance or “buzz”.
He states that baseball people lauded the buldup of their farm system because of the players received in these trades. Great, that is good for the future but fans want to win TODAY.
What is ironic is that the reason the Marlins built their own park was because they were not getting money from concession and parking at their old stadium. That is the excuse they used to use for not signing high priced talent. Now that they get ALL the revenue in addition to the millions they get from the television contract they are not spending it to field a decent team. As I have stated before I will not go to a Marlins game even if they have strippers in the stands and hand out free beer. Go Yankees !