If you were fortunate enough to be paying attention to the goings on of the baseball world last night you may have noticed that a major trade took place. The Miami Marlins traded away five players (Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio, & John Buck) that accumulated a combined 12.2 WAR between them for a malcontent shortstop and a cavalcade of mid-level prospects. Granted, one can’t mention what the Marlins gave away without also mentioning that the Marlins 2013 payroll has dropped from ~$118m all the way down to ~$24m according to data gathered from Cot’s Contracts. There are plenty of other places on the web that will be able to give you the specifics of the deal, so I’m not going to do that here. Instead, I would like to rip into the Miami Marlins organization and owner Jeffrey Loria in particular for what I perceive to be conduct detrimental to the game of baseball.
If you’re a fan of baseball history or a canadian citizen you may know that this isn’t the first time that Jeffrey Loria has ruined a franchise. Loria purchased the Montreal Expos in 1999 and had run the franchise into the ground by late 2001. Major League Baseball ended up buying the Expos, John Henry bought the Red Sox, and Loria purchased the Marlins from Henry. The actions by those three parties alone should be enough to redefine the phrase “Devil’s threeway”, but it doesn’t end there. The Marlins won the world series in 2003 under Loria’s ownership and then allowed Derek Lee to walk in a move that would make the 2011 Dallas Mavericks proud. The team proceeded to be mediocre for the rest of the decade which of course prompted Loria to demand a publicly funded stadium. Somehow, the city of Miami caved and granted Loria’s wish with a brand new ~$600m stadium funded by ~$400m in taxpayer funds. The deal was exceptional enough that it prompted an SEC investigation into how the stadium was being paid for! Even after all that Loria had done to cripple two baseball organizations there were some who still held out hope for him after the events of the 2011 offseason. The Marlins were big players in free agency signing Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, and Heath Bell. Of, course each player’s contract was heavily back loaded and none were offered no-trade clauses. It is rumored that one of the main reasons that the Marlins were unable to sign Albert Pujols was their refusal to offer up a no-trade clause. Now the reason for the Marlins refusal seems clear. The city of Miami and the entire Marlins fan base were conned by one of the slimiest owners is recent sports history.
|2012 Miami Marlins Acquisition Guide|
|Carlos Zambrano||Free Agent|
The Marlins now stand no chance of contending in the near future and their last remaining star is apparently not very happy with how the last few months have played out. Who could blame him? Baseball is a team game comprised of individual performers. This isn’t like the NBA where Kobe Bryant can just decide to score 35 ppg and eek his team into the playoffs single handedly. Giancarlo Stanton SHOULD be pissed. Marlins fans everywhere should be livid. Baseball fans should feel incredulous that Major League Baseball is allowing one of their owners to actively sabotage his team. I know that I’m in a state of disbelief at the moment. I know that I shouldn’t be considering Loria’s track record, but his actions go against everything that I love about sports. At their best sports are supposed to examine the human condition in a way that exposes the best of us. Sports are supposed to inspire their spectators and reward those athletes who play with honor and integrity. Loria’s actions have flown in the face of everything that baseball stands for about 13 years too long. Perhaps I’m being sensationalist, but I truly believe what I am saying to you. I’d like to see Loria ousted by Major League Baseball and the team acquired by the league much like what happened with the Expos. There’s no reason that this team and it’s fanbase should have to suffer under this crackpot despot any longer. There are plenty of billionaires ready to take his place. I just wish that I were one of them so that I could make a real difference to the baseball fans of Miami. They deserve to experience the joy of baseball at its best rather than at its slimiest.
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