As this episode of ESPN’s Outside the Lines begins, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
This episode of the network’s sports documentary focuses on the most recent Marlin’s “fire sale,” with Jeffrey Loria the chief arsonist.
The commentators note this is not the first time the art dealer/baseball owner has been caught playing with matches. After he screwed up the Montreal Expos so badly they had to leave town, he did the same for the Marlins. Most recently he finagled his way into a brand new stadium, paid for with tax dollars, based on the “promises” that he would field a competitive team. With players like Reyes, Ramirez, Stanton, Johnson, Bell, etc., and a dynamic manager at the helm in Guillen, the Marlins seemed poised to make a run for the NL East crown at the very least. But then all the wheels fell off, trades were made mid-season, and the Marlins spiraled into irrelevance.
I found the conversation on OOL fascinating. The idea that stuck in my head is, what is the responsibility of the owner? Is it to put out a winning team? Or is it to make money? Did Loria act in good faith when he basically too Miami/Florida.MLB money? By casting off salaries, the team is obviously saving beaucoup bucks. Is Loria pocketing it, because he sure doesn’t seem to be spending it to improve the team. Which returns to the question, is that really an owner’s onus? The analysts on OOL seemed to be solidly against Loria, although the business expert expressed a grudging admiration.
Anyway, there’s got to be a book in this somewhere.
You can hear the program here.