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Miami City Manager: Samson lied about Marlins' share

 

By Juan C. Rodriguez

Staff Writer

Posted December 1 2005

 

 

Marlins President David Samson last week detailed why there would be no stadium deal with the City of Miami.

 

Wednesday, City Manager Joe Arriola offered a biting perspective that spoke to the ideological and personal gulf between the two sides.

 

Back from vacation, Arriola blasted Samson for "absolutely lying to the public" about theMarlins' contribution to the project. He also termed Samson and owner Jeffrey Loria "carpetbaggers," adding that the negotiation would have gone more smoothly with a local ownership group.

 

Among the several issues on which Arriola and Samson are at odds is how much money the team would provide to the project. Samson last week said the Marlins were prepared to make a $212 million contribution to a planned baseball-only facility adjacent to the Orange Bowl.

 

That figure includes annual rent, but Arriola's focus is on upfront payments.

 

"I don't care how David wants to dress this," Arriola said. "It's an absolute, outright lie. He's putting $30 million in the deal, end of story. ... If I have an apartment building and you come to rent from me, what is that? Is that a contribution to my profit, a contribution to my mortgage? Nothing. What I do with the money is beside the point."

 

Samson pointed to Arriola's unfamiliarity with such deals, saying team contributions are always measured by the present value of rent payments.

 

Another issue where the parties differ is cost overruns. The total price of the project ballooned to $385 million because original estimates were based on the ballpark opening earlier.

 

Arriola considers the increase an overrun and called it "convenient" that the Marlins do not. If the Marlins couldn't make up the initial difference, he wondered about their ability to cover overruns once construction began.

 

"The price of the project went up because his inability to do a deal led to a delayed opening, which caused increased construction costs, which we had to cover because no one else would," Samson said. "It's not an overrun. Again, it shows his relative inexperience in this arena. By definition, there is no such thing as an overrun until a project is being built. He ought to be familiar with that because the Performing Arts Center has overruns."

 

Perhaps at the root of the failed agreement is the two sides' underlying contempt for each other. Arriola makes clear his distaste for Samson and his negotiating tactics. Samson wonders whether the City of Miami ever wanted a deal in the first place if they considered Loria an outsider.

 

"If Jeffrey Loria would have sent a professional to do this deal, it would have been a lot easier," Arriola said. "The problem is he sent somebody who's never done this deal, who's never done a deal in his life. ... I don't want to say it's a personality conflict. I deal with all kinds of personalities all day long. It has nothing to do with personality. Incompetence is a much better word."

 

Samson countered: "Everything I know about negotiating with bully tactics I learned from [Arriola]. ... It's disappointing that the city would hold up a sign during the World Series parade that said, `If we build it, will you come?' and it was merely an election strategy and not a desire to listen to what constituents really want."

 

As of last week the Marlins have Major League Baseball's blessing to explore relocation. The Marlins will remain at Dolphins Stadium through the 2007 season but have vowed to be in a new venue, in South Florida or elsewhere, by 2011.

 

"Nothing is over until it's over," Arriola said. "I think getting somebody like David out of the equation would probably help, but I really think it's the whole attitude of David and Loria. I would love to see local ownership, whether it's from Broward, Dade County, South Florida, for that matter, get involved and get things done."

 

Wednesday, Samson reiterated that Loria is a local owner and would never sell the franchise, especially not to a South Florida-based buyer.

 

"One of the biggest problems we've had all along is we view Jeffrey and David truly as carpetbaggers," Arriola said. "They came with a bag of debt from Montreal.

 

"They're not local people. ... No local investor in their right mind would invest with them because of the terms that they wanted."

 

Juan C. Rodriguez can be reached at [email protected].

 

 

 

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/sfl-mar...la-sports-front

 

MARLINS | POSSIBLE RELOCATION

 

 

 

 

Seven cities like Marlins

 

Stadium talks between the Marlins and Miami-Dade County remain stalled, but a handful of metro areas have inquired about becoming the team's next home.

 

BY BARRY JACKSON

 

[email protected]

 

 

 

On a day he was harshly criticized by Miami's city manager, Marlins president David Samson said Wednesday the team has been contacted by officials from seven cities since receiving permission to explore relocation, but has not scheduled any meetings.

 

In an interview with 790 The Ticket's Joe Rose, Miami city manager Joe Arriola blasted Samson, saying, ``As long as we have a little boy doing a man's job, the stadium is not going to happen in this city.''

 

Samson, in a subsequent interview with The Herald, said, ``It is very sad to me that an appointed city official finds it necessary to continue to comment on my physical attributes.''

 

Samson said no political official from South Florida has contacted the Marlins since the team announced Nov. 22 that it has been given the go-ahead to meet with officials from other cities.

 

POSSIBLE SUITORS

 

Samson would not disclose the seven cities, but officials from Portland, Ore., and East Rutherford, N.J., have publicly confirmed contacting the Marlins. A businessman from Puerto Rico also has expressed interest in luring the Marlins.

 

In his radio interview, Arriola said Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman -- who met with two Marlins officials last December -- told him that he has not heard from the Marlins recently. However, Las Vegas is known to be one of the cities that has expressed interest.

 

MLB privately regards Las Vegas and Portland as the most likely options for relocation if the Marlins move. Samson said he didn't know if he would meet with officials from Las Vegas or elsewhere before the end of the year, and he declined to estimate the likelihood of the Marlins leaving South Florida.

 

''We're in the process of exploring,'' he said. ``And that process takes time.''

 

Samson intends to visit the cities that are deemed realistic options. He said he doesn't know if owner Jeffrey Loria will accompany him.

 

The only idea being discussed to keep the Marlins in South Florida involves building a stadium on Wayne Huizenga-owned land adjacent to Dolphins Stadium. Samson said playing there is ''realistic'' but also termed it a ``long shot.''

 

The Marlins and Huizenga Holdings have agreed to a price for the land, according to Samson. But the Marlins and Miami-Dade County have not determined a way to cover construction costs. Samson said last week that the funding gap is at least $80 million.

 

''We have to figure out where we are and once for all, make a decision,'' Samson said of the proposal.

 

HE SAID, HE SAID

 

Last week, the Marlins announced they have ended discussions with the city of Miami about building a stadium next to the Orange Bowl. In the radio interview, Arriola expressed skepticism about the Marlins' search for a new city.

 

''To put people at ease, I even talked to Mayor Goodman, and they haven't heard from them,'' Arriola said. ``It's another tactic. David plays the role very poorly.''

 

Responded Samson: ``It's not my concern how a city manager views the way we run our business. There are seven cities that are working hard to get Major League Baseball, not including South Florida. There are seven elected officials who realize what being a major-league city means.''

 

Arriola also disputed the Marlins' contention that they offered $212 million toward the $385 million project and blamed Samson for the deal not materializing.

 

''David is a very, very difficult person to deal with,'' Arriola said. ``He's very sensitive. When we argue, he pouts. He's pouting right now. . . . It's going to be very difficult to do a deal while David is pouting.''

 

Responded Samson: ``It's disturbing as a resident of South Florida that decisions are being made that may not necessarily reflect the desires of its constituents. . . . [And it is] disheartening that Mr. Arriola continues in vain to try to get Jeffrey Loria to sell the team to an owner that is somehow connected to him.''

 

 

 

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/sports/13298020.htm

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Honestly, they both look like morons.

 

Arriola blasting Samson for attributes that should have nothing to do with a business venture (IE, where they're from). And Samson continually sounding like he's trying to dumb down a situation while making it insulting "realistic long shot" come on man, we're smarter than that.

 

The more I read, the more (I hope) that this is simply Samson and Loria stamping their feet and saying "we want it now! For free!!" I mean, if Vegas were coming along, their outspoken mayor would be all over the place bragging about it.

 

At the very least, we've yet to see a single professional emerge in this whole process (be it from the Marlins, Miami, or out of state), so it's not going to be a slam dunk anywhere.

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the fish should send someone other then sampson, getting a true professional actually. And at the same time The city of Miami should send someone else too. Get fresh blood into the project.

 

I like the fact the Marlins and Wayne agreed upon a price for the land. Perhaps they can work something out there hopefully.

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It seems we as Marlin's fans can't win our team's ownership and management is unprofessional and poor and the cities point man on bargining with the marlins is not up to the challenge and equally unprofessional ......but i have to admit i did find the accussation of Loria being a carpetbagger hilarious , i wasnt aware we were still in the Reconstruction Era

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Clearly Arriola hasn't been paying attention, because that's how much every recent public-private stadium venture has been designed in recent years. Very few teams who are playing in new stadiums are paying both rent and contributing a large amount upfront to help construction. Heck, the Orioles didn't make any contribution for Camden Yards and didn't pay rent for the first dozen years of ther lease.

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Arriola's description of Samson's competence and professionalism is 100% consistent with everything we've observed for the past few years. Yes, Arriola is a clueless, unprofessional toolbag, but you can't deny the obvious here.

 

From the numerous public relations miscues and not knowing how to work with the media--to the miserable attempt at lobbying the legislature--to the failed stadium negotiations--to souring fan sentiment--to petty, public tiffs with public officials (not to mention former players, staff, and other general managers)--this front office has to be the most bush league operation in the bigs. It's almost as if a kindergarten class were running the ship.

 

There's certainly plenty of ineptitude to go around, but as a Marlins fan, you can't help but question the competence of the team's management here.

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Arriola's description of Samson's competence and professionalism is 100% consistent with everything we've observed for the past few years. Yes, Arriola is a clueless, unprofessional toolbag, but you can't deny the obvious here.

 

From the numerous public relations miscues and not knowing how to work with the media--to the miserable attempt at lobbying the legislature--to the failed stadium negotiations--to souring fan sentiment--to petty, public tiffs with public officials (not to mention other general managers)--this front office has to be the most bush league operation in the bigs. It's almost as if a kindergarten class were running the ship.

 

There's certainly plenty of ineptitude to go around here, but as a Marlins fan, you can't help but question the competence of the team's management here.

 

A dead clock is right twice a day.

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Arriola's description of Samson's competence and professionalism is 100% consistent with everything we've observed for the past few years. Yes, Arriola is a clueless, unprofessional toolbag, but you can't deny the obvious here.

 

From the numerous public relations miscues and not knowing how to work with the media--to the miserable attempt at lobbying the legislature--to the failed stadium negotiations--to souring fan sentiment--to petty, public tiffs with public officials (not to mention former players, staff, and other general managers)--this front office has to be the most bush league operation in the bigs. It's almost as if a kindergarten class were running the ship.

 

There's certainly plenty of ineptitude to go around, but as a Marlins fan, you can't help but question the competence of the team's management here.

 

 

 

can't disagree

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I heard Hank Goldberg say this morning that Wayne H. offered the Marlins the adjacent land (about 5 acres) with "no strings attached" and the Marlins refused it. I really dont have any details, and would like to hear the marlins side of it. Hank also said, the Marlins didnt want to cover any building expenses either even if they got the land.

If this is true, the Marlins are really making it difficult for anyone to deal with them.

 

Has anyone heard anything else about this?

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I heard Hank Goldberg say this morning that Wayne H. offered the Marlins the adjacent land (about 5 acres) with "no strings attached" and the Marlins refused it. I really dont have any details, and would like to hear the marlins side of it. Hank also said, the Marlins didnt want to cover any building expenses either even if they got the land.

If this is true, the Marlins are really making it difficult for anyone to deal with them.

 

Has anyone heard anything else about this?

 

I would like to see confirmation on that.

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I heard Hank Goldberg say this morning that Wayne H. offered the Marlins the adjacent land (about 5 acres) with "no strings attached" and the Marlins refused it. I really dont have any details, and would like to hear the marlins side of it. Hank also said, the Marlins didnt want to cover any building expenses either even if they got the land.

If this is true, the Marlins are really making it difficult for anyone to deal with them.

 

Has anyone heard anything else about this?

 

What are they honestly trying to do. Obviously not really taking this for much, but Loria and company got to put the money forward. Is 5 acres enough for a stadium? I guess its ok since they wouldn't have to build any parking er anything.

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I heard Hank Goldberg say this morning that Wayne H. offered the Marlins the adjacent land (about 5 acres) with "no strings attached" and the Marlins refused it. I really dont have any details, and would like to hear the marlins side of it. Hank also said, the Marlins didnt want to cover any building expenses either even if they got the land.

If this is true, the Marlins are really making it difficult for anyone to deal with them.

 

Has anyone heard anything else about this?

 

 

No strings attatched, sure, but not for free.

 

Every published report seems to suggest that there is an agreement on the price of land, but that they're $80 million apart on the funding, which figures to be about 1/6 of what's being talked about as far as final cost goes.

 

Still, I'd be very interested to know the specifics of this report.

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The way Hank put was as if Wayne did everything to help

and the Marlins were just being complete aholes.

 

Of course I wont for a second think that Wayne was doing this out of the kindness oh his heart

but several times Hank made it seem as if it was placed in a silver platter for the Marlins to take, and they simply refused.

 

I heard Hank Goldberg say this morning that Wayne H. offered the Marlins the adjacent land (about 5 acres) with "no strings attached" and the Marlins refused it. I really dont have any details, and would like to hear the marlins side of it. Hank also said, the Marlins didnt want to cover any building expenses either even if they got the land.

If this is true, the Marlins are really making it difficult for anyone to deal with them.

 

Has anyone heard anything else about this?

 

I would like to see confirmation on that.

 

I couldn't hear the entire show but we can sure call tomorrow morning and ask Hank

if there are any published reports.

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The way Hank put was as if Wayne did everything to help

and the Marlins were just being complete aholes.

 

Of course I wont for a second think that Wayne was doing this out of the kindness oh his heart

but several times Hank made it seem as if it was placed in a silver platter for the Marlins to take, and they simply refused.

 

 

I heard Hank Goldberg say this morning that Wayne H. offered the Marlins the adjacent land (about 5 acres) with "no strings attached" and the Marlins refused it. I really dont have any details, and would like to hear the marlins side of it. Hank also said, the Marlins didnt want to cover any building expenses either even if they got the land.

If this is true, the Marlins are really making it difficult for anyone to deal with them.

 

Has anyone heard anything else about this?

 

I would like to see confirmation on that.

 

I couldn't hear the entire show but we can sure call tomorrow morning and ask Hank

if there are any published reports.

 

Realize that there is bad blood between Goldberg and the FO. I'd take anything Hank has to say with a grain of salt as it is obvious he has an axe to grind. Both Goldberg and Arriola are two peas in a very large pod.

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Yeah first of all Goldberg doesn't like the Marlins FO at all.

 

Arriola's a jackass too. Typical Miami politician.

 

But for the love of god Jeffrey Loria, can you not see that everyone in the free world detests Samson?

 

 

Hank also said, the Marlins didnt want to cover any building expenses either even if they got the land.

 

Didn't want to cover any building expenses?? What does that even mean? As in they didn't want to pay for the stadium?? That makes no sense.

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Yeah first of all Goldberg doesn't like the Marlins FO at all.

 

Arriola's a jackass too. Typical Miami politician.

 

But for the love of god Jeffrey Loria, can you not see that everyone in the free world detests Samson?

 

 

Hank also said, the Marlins didnt want to cover any building expenses either even if they got the land.

 

Didn't want to cover any building expenses?? What does that even mean? What else is there other than the purchase of the land?

 

I have to agree that Loria would be well served to cut ties with the entire Samson family.

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What's even worse is that Samson winds up being the spokesman for all these business dealings, & he really puts a crappy face on the franchise. Loria's more of a behind-the-scenes owner, & that's his prerogative, but good lord man, no one wants to even talk to this little dweeb.

 

Oh & now Arriola can go play dominos for the next couple decades while the Marlins play somewhere else.

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I heard Hank Goldberg say this morning that Wayne H. offered the Marlins the adjacent land (about 5 acres) with "no strings attached" and the Marlins refused it. I really dont have any details, and would like to hear the marlins side of it. Hank also said, the Marlins didnt want to cover any building expenses either even if they got the land.

If this is true, the Marlins are really making it difficult for anyone to deal with them.

 

Has anyone heard anything else about this?

 

Why would you even believe that? Huizenga has the Marlins under an abusive lease. The Marlins have few realistic options to break out of it. Clearly Huizenga would have to be heavily compensated for such a generous act.

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A lot of people wonder why David Samson's face represents the team. Maybe much of his mother's money went into Loria becoming owner of the Expos. Maybe their connections helped him. While I don't believe he took over the team as was reported (and denied), he does seem to have a lot of power.

 

I am quoting the blurb below because the original article from the Globe and Mail newspaper requires membership & a fee to view the article.

 

October 20, 2003: Jeffrey Loria Has Ties to Selig Family.

 

Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus tipped me to this tidbit buried in a Globe and Mail story:

 

"Commissioner Bud Selig and his family have long-time ties to the wife of Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria. Sivia Loria is from Milwaukee, Wis., as is David Samson, the Marlins' president and stepson of Jeffrey Loria. Samson's father-in-law was the former team physician for the Milwaukee Brewers, who are owned by the Selig family."

 

The Commissioner's Office has a new motto: "More Incestuous Relationships Than a Rural West Virginia County."

 

link

 

On another note, Joe Arriola and David Samson in the same room would make the eeeewwwww-0-meter burst into flames. Not a recipe for success!

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