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Marlins will be a blight on Selig's baseball legacy


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Marlins will be a blight on Selig's baseball legacy

Patrick Reusse, Star Tribune , Minneapolis, MN

 

The World Baseball Classic is supposed to build the game internationally. The destruction of Miami's franchise doesn't exactly fit with that.

 

Major league baseball is getting more players from the Caribbean and from Venezuela than ever before. Miami has been billed as the "Gateway to the Americas" -- the gateway to the islands and the countries that now feed their best athletes into baseball's talent pool.

 

Commissioner Bud Selig's big adventure for 2006 is the first World Baseball Classic. The greatest national pride figures to be seen in the games involving Venezuela, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and, yes, Cuba.

 

The World Classic is Selig's attempt to make international growth of the game part of his legacy, and at the same time, he stands on the sidelines and watches the final destruction of Miami's franchise.

 

The Florida Marlins came into existence in 1993, about the same time Miami was being advertised as America's hottest city -- as the new New York. The plan was for the Marlins to be Miami's and Latin America's team.

 

Then the owner, Wayne Huizenga, put the team in a football stadium that was located way north. It was away from the largest Hispanic areas and made inaccessible by a horrendous rush-hour commute.

 

In 1997, Huizenga went on a spending spree to show his fellow owners he could buy a championship, and he succeeded. Then he dismantled the team and left the fan base seething.

 

John Henry bought the team from Huizenga, made a stadium pitch and discovered Florida's state legislature had no interest in helping the Marlins.

 

Selig liked Henry. When the Boston Red Sox became available, Henry hooked up with a few of Bud's other favorites and that group landed the team.

 

To make this work, Selig had the other owners buy the Montreal Expos from Jeffrey Loria, so Loria could have the money to pay Henry for the Marlins. Loria was not popular with his fellow owners, and the assumption was he would go broke and maybe they could find another Miami owner.

 

And then in 2003, Loria brought in septuagenarian Jack McKeon as manager and won the World Series. Loria waited a year to dismantle his roster, but he now has done so with devastation to the franchise.

 

Huizenga was upset with the wild spending of his fellow owners when he won and then ripped up the '97 Marlins. Loria has ripped up his contending team with the quivering lower lip of an 8-year-old -- upset over his inability to complete a stadium deal.

 

Loria claims to have lost $80 to $100 million in his four years owning the Marlins. The belief of outsiders is that these are inflated operating numbers and do not take into account baseball's increasingly generous revenue sharing.

 

What's amazing is that the state of Florida was being asked to fill a mere $30 million shortfall in the stadium deal a few months ago.

 

Thirty million?

 

If you're Selig and the other 28 owners, and there's a chance to invigorate the Miami franchise -- what could be Latin America's team, if properly marketed -- and all it takes is $30 million, are you going to stand back and let the redneck politicians kill the deal, and then let the owner kill the franchise?

 

If you're serious about growing the game internationally, you're going to step in and close the gap, but Bud and his boys didn't budge.

 

They have watched as Loria and team president David Samson, the son of Loria's ex-wife, have taken what many people considered the best overall roster in baseball last season and turned it into an $18.25 million abomination for 2006.

 

"On Opening Day of '98, Gary Sheffield, Bobby Bonilla, Craig Counsell, Edgar Renteria and Livan Hernandez were still there to get their rings," a Miami sportswriter said. "Who will be there next April? Dontrelle [Willis], Miguel [Cabrera] and Nate Bump."

 

Apparently, Loria and Samson knew what they were going to do several months ago. That's why they had an early cash call from ticketholders -- demanding deposits for 2006 tickets in September in order to claim playoff tickets for this fall (for a team that wound up missing the playoffs).

 

People trying to get the deposits back after the recent dismantling of the Marlins have been turned down. Rather than chide the team for this blatant ripoff, Selig's brain trust has given Loria permission to find a place to relocate.

 

The Marlins could have been one of baseball's showcase franchises. Instead, they are again a blight on Bud's game, and on that legacy of which he's planning to be so proud.

 

Patrick Reusse can be heard weekdays on AM-1500 KSTP at 6:45 and 7:45 a.m. and 5:40 p.m. ? preusse@startribune.com

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excellent article , Loria should have never been allowed to buy the Marlins BUT more importantly Selig is not the kind of guy who can think beyond the short term, he will take to quick buck and move on rather than growing a market or product for long term sustainability. As pathetic as Loria is financially it is even more pathetic that Selig didn't cover the 30 million dollar short fall for the stadium....I bet the money the Marlins get every year from revenue sharing is alot more than 30 million bucks, instead of getting the Marlins off welfare he keeps them on it at a higher cost to mlb.

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It's amazing how many possibilities there are, yet nothing can be done...

 

 

 

Loria grows some balls and decides that in order to own a team, he has to actually use his own money.

 

The state gives a 30 million dollar tax break to help fund the 'gap'

 

Loria sells the team to a billionaire Venezuelan baseball fanatic

 

The league collects a mere 30 million from funds/revenue sharing to fund the 'gap'

 

The city of Miami puts forth just 30 million more to fund the 'gap'

 

Huizenga offers land and money to help fund the 'gap'

 

 

 

If people still think the FO took every route possible to get this done, think again.

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They have watched as Loria and team president David Samson, the son of Loria's ex-wife, have taken what many people considered the best overall roster in baseball last season and turned it into an $18.25 million abomination for 2006.

 

I like how he just called is "what many people considered the best overall roster in baseball last season" and didn't point out how they had no heart and only won 83 games.

 

Although if he had, I'm sure he'd have blamed that on Loria too.

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Guest Moneyball

The article outlines its arguments well. I like it. I didn't know Loria was disliked by other owners. He doesn't have the cash to own an MLB franchise. Give it up, Loria.

 

 

I've heard he's a laughingstock among the owners.

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Hmmm...It seems to me that Loria should be owning a little league team instead of a MLB team. I wonder...if I got to know Bud Selig well, would I be able to buy the Marlins on a teacher's salary plus the surplus that I get from coaching? Of course as the new Marlins' owner on my salary, I would have to do some market corrections too. I wouldn't want to lose a single penny off of my puny salary.

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Awsome article.....

 

I especially like this:

 

Apparently, Loria and Samson knew what they were going to do several months ago. That's why they had an early cash call from ticketholders -- demanding deposits for 2006 tickets in September in order to claim playoff tickets for this fall (for a team that wound up missing the playoffs).

 

 

 

 

 

The article outlines its arguments well. I like it. I didn't know Loria was disliked by other owners. He doesn't have the cash to own an MLB franchise. Give it up, Loria.

 

 

I've heard he's a laughingstock among the owners.

 

That's sad. Maybe they're just jelous of his big ass ring.

 

 

Why else do you think Loria would get such a big ass Ring? He is the laughingstock....

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If he had a comparable stadium situation to any other baseball owner he'd be just fine with you all. He's shown in the past that he's willing to spend enough on the team to be successful. And along with Beinfest they've shown that their system works well enough to keep the team competitive, which not all teams can say.

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It's amazing how many possibilities there are, yet nothing can be done...

 

Loria grows some balls and decides that in order to own a team, he has to actually use his own money.

The state gives a 30 million dollar tax break to help fund the 'gap'

Loria sells the team to a billionaire Venezuelan baseball fanatic

The league collects a mere 30 million from funds/revenue sharing to fund the 'gap'

The city of Miami puts forth just 30 million more to fund the 'gap'

Huizenga offers land and money to help fund the 'gap'

 

If people still think the FO took every route possible to get this done, think again.

 

He isn't allowed. It is doubtful he can. Minority owners and the Marlins' situation makes it incredibly hard to bring in more money.

How did that work out last time? You know, when the project cost as it did and cost increases in materials and labor haven't doubled that figure?

What's in it for him? The price of franchises will keep on climbing. He can reduce payroll and ride it out. And why will that billionaire pay a reasonable amount when he has the cit working to force a bargain sale?

They won't set that precedent.

You mean like every other host city to MLB? Nah, they think they can force Loria to sell.

Huizenga's secure in his position. Why would he give up anything to help the Marlins? He hasn't been willing to renegotiate the lease with Henry or Loria.

 

 

Some powerful party is going to have to check their pride to keep the Marlins in South Florida.

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The article outlines its arguments well. I like it. I didn't know Loria was disliked by other owners. He doesn't have the cash to own an MLB franchise. Give it up, Loria.

 

 

I've heard he's a laughingstock among the owners.

 

That's sad. Maybe they're just jelous of his big ass ring.

Maybe it's because he destroyed baseball in Montreal.

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It's amazing how many possibilities there are, yet nothing can be done...

 

Loria grows some balls and decides that in order to own a team, he has to actually use his own money.

The state gives a 30 million dollar tax break to help fund the 'gap'

Loria sells the team to a billionaire Venezuelan baseball fanatic

The league collects a mere 30 million from funds/revenue sharing to fund the 'gap'

The city of Miami puts forth just 30 million more to fund the 'gap'

Huizenga offers land and money to help fund the 'gap'

 

If people still think the FO took every route possible to get this done, think again.

 

He isn't allowed. It is doubtful he can. Minority owners and the Marlins' situation makes it incredibly hard to bring in more money.

How did that work out last time? You know, when the project cost as it did and cost increases in materials and labor haven't doubled that figure?

What's in it for him? The price of franchises will keep on climbing. He can reduce payroll and ride it out. And why will that billionaire pay a reasonable amount when he has the cit working to force a bargain sale?

They won't set that precedent.

You mean like every other host city to MLB? Nah, they think they can force Loria to sell.

Huizenga's secure in his position. Why would he give up anything to help the Marlins? He hasn't been willing to renegotiate the lease with Henry or Loria.

 

 

Some powerful party is going to have to check their pride to keep the Marlins in South Florida.

It sounds like you're stuck on this 'bargain' deal that Cisernos can get...Yes, take the money the city offers and Cisernos would just fund the difference--the 30 million that Loria can't. And then you have an owner that will likely keep the team here and be able to afford a decent payroll in the coming years.

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No, I'm stuck in the real world where people don't give you something for free, especially not those who got what they have by cunning business decisions. What's in it for Cisneros to "buddy up" with Arriola and Diaz?

 

I don't know Cisernos...but supposedly he's a huge baseball fan, and to be able to own a team that has a strong hispanic population would be a plus for him. Not to mention he's A BILLIOINAIRE. This team CAN make money...people don't like Loria, if ownership changes maybe people will feel better. If ownership comes in and openly shows their dedication and willingness to get things done, you never know what can happen...

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No, I'm stuck in the real world where people don't give you something for free, especially not those who got what they have by cunning business decisions. What's in it for Cisneros to "buddy up" with Arriola and Diaz?

Simple. Cisneros gets the baseball team he's always wanted because he's in love with the game. He gets to turn it into a Western Hemisphere empire with his media outlets covering it everyday in every country he can reach out his wings over. Diaz and Arriolla get to say they helped keep baseball in South Florida and Cisneros would more likely than not fit way more than the current ownership is to build the stadium. And all the other good stuff.

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