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FOX News Article -- S. Florida may need to bid farewell to Loria


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S. Florida may need to bid farewell to Loria

 

Dayn Perry / FOXSports.com

Posted: 19 hours ago

 

Jeffrey Loria is at it again.

 

The Florida Marlins owner has proved adept at embarrassing himself and the game of baseball, but his latest misstep is an uncharacteristic one. As you may have heard, Loria was reportedly a hairsbreadth from firing his skilled young manager, Joe Girardi.

Girardi is Loria's own hire, but the two have been at loggerheads since almost Day 1. In spring training, there was conflict over how to deploy the young pitchers on the staff, and most recently there was Loria's barking at umpires and Girardi's telling him to clam up (in so many words).

 

 

Marlins skipper Joe Girardi has been Jeffrey Loria's one saving grace this season, yet he seems determined to burn that bridge, too. (Getty Images)

 

Loria, befitting a man of a puzzlingly substantial ego, didn't fancy being put in his place, so he fired Girardi. Only after cooler heads in the front office talked him back from the ledge did Loria relent. Still, the "Junior Mint" Steinbrenner act is a new one for the Marlins' owner, and it's not a promising bit of evolution. Of course, that he even has his mitts on the game in the first place is roundly depressing.

 

Loria first infected Major League Baseball in 1999, when he purchased a minority share of the erstwhile Montreal Expos. However, over the years, Loria proved to be more saboteur than steward. On his watch, the Expos failed to negotiate a television contract or an English-language radio contract, allowed a lease on land set aside for a new ballpark to expire, nixed the long-standing practice of giving free tickets to sponsors, exploited a clause with his partners that allowed him to increase his ownership stake and fired the boundlessly adored Felipe Alou as manager. And then Loria had the gall to wring his hands over why no one would come to see the team play. It all smacked of orchestration, to say the least.

 

So with the viability of baseball in Montreal now called into question, Loria sold the team to MLB. In a "stunning" coincidence, this was just about the time that commissioner Bud Selig was angling to contract the Expos and Minnesota Twins. You'd think that a ham-fisted owner like Loria, who ran baseball to seed in a city that once was feverish for its hometown nine, would be expelled from the ranks of ownership. However, that's not what happened. MLB promptly approved Loria's bid to purchase the Florida Marlins and even floated him a $38-million, interest-free (!) loan to do so. There was certainly the whiff of quid pro quo.

 

Loria's job in Florida was to agitate for a new stadium and, if need be, do his now-familiar Dr. Kevorkian act on the team if the locals refused to fork over their tax dollars. The threat was a time-tested one ? he'd move the team if South Florida didn't lavish him in corporate entitlements. After all, $15 million of that $38-million loan would be forgiven if Loria failed to secure a new ball yard on the public dime. That means his fellow owners ? the one's on the hook for that loan ? would have incentive to approve a franchise shift for the Marlins.

 

That haphazard World Series title in 2003 temporarily gummed up Loria's efforts to extort, but that didn't prevent him from executing a massive sell-off of talent following the 2005 season. The sell-off, of course, was really a warning shot to the voters who were reluctant to pay for Loria's new stadium. Then, the flirtation, courting and rumor planting ? de rigueur for an owner hoping to uproot his team ? stole the Miami column inches. Las Vegas? San Antonio? Charlotte? New Jersey? Perhaps the adoring locals would be chastened the next time a referendum appeared on the ballot.

 

That manner of sleaze is still ongoing, but now, as mentioned, we have Loria threatening to can his manager. Girardi, despite being saddled with a roster flush with unproved talent, has guided the Marlins this season to respectability (55-62, third place in the NL East) despite almost universal predictions for 100 losses and a last-place finish. He's helped cultivate impressive rookie seasons from players such as Hanley Ramirez, Dan Uggla, Mike Jacobs, Josh Willingham, Josh Johnson, Scott Olsen, Ricky Nolasco and Anibal Sancez. Dealing with such an apple-cheeked roster is an onerous task for any manager, let alone a first-timer. Yet Girardi has exceeded all expectations.

 

Nonetheless, his standing with the Marlins is quite tenuous. Long-term, there should be no worries for Girardi: he's acquitted himself quite well in the dugout, and his firing would no doubt please fans on the North Side of Chicago or anywhere else there's likely to be a managerial vacancy this winter. Of course, that's hardly the point. For Loria, the most noxious team owner in the game today (and that's really saying something), to raze the team and then almost snuff out the guy who found a way to clean up the mess is beyond satire.

 

At this point, fans of the Marlins should say good riddance to Loria if he persists in his threats. As for where he next takes his act, a healthy supply of cynicism and perhaps an epidural or three are the best ways to cope. Baseball with Jeffrey Loria or no baseball at all? Think carefully before you answer that question.

 

 

Dayn Perry is a frequent contributor to FOXSports.com and author of the new book, "Winners: How Good Baseball Teams Become Great Ones" (Available now at Amazon.com

 

Link to the article : http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/5872156

 

Interesting take on things. I wonder if we can get a new owner. Mr Loria maybe just needs to make a graceful exit as soon as possible and see if someone else can get the stadium built. :)

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Id kill for Loria to put this team up for sale

Couldn't agree with you more Ramp.

and Marc Bell is just aching at the bit to buy em...er I think thats his name

but what if its not this guy or a billionaire from south america...if replacing a guy who cant really afford to own a team with another one who cant...does that really solve anything...what if he sells to a guy who's soul purpose of owning the marlins is to move them elsewhere...so while i think mr loria could be better in a few areas of being an owner...he could still be a hell of a lot worse

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Id kill for Loria to put this team up for sale

Couldn't agree with you more Ramp.

and Marc Bell is just aching at the bit to buy em...er I think thats his name

but what if its not this guy or a billionaire from south america...if replacing a guy who cant really afford to own a team with another one who cant...does that really solve anything...what if he sells to a guy who's soul purpose of owning the marlins is to move them elsewhere...so while i think mr loria could be better in a few areas of being an owner...he could still be a hell of a lot worse

 

i suppose anyone who buys the team would have to be willing to get a deal done down here. mlb will try to get a local owner, like they recently did in dc.

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That's a well written Loria bash. Basically a rehash of old news interspersed with the latest Loria crap. Guess there was some ink in that initial "poison pen" piece of Berardino's. I too would love to see him put the team up for sale, but there's absolutely no incentive for him to do it, and no news that it's on anyone's table. Unfortunate. Hopefully, we'll get through this season, and in the off season we'll keep Giraldi, and a stadium deal can be announced in the spring, when it benefits Loria, not to the tune of 15 million. It's more like 50 million. I do like a passionate owner, but there is no disputing that he's way overstepped his bounds if he did indeed fire and rehire Giraldi. Firing Giraldi would have hurt the team for as long as Loria remains the owner.

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Id kill for Loria to put this team up for sale

Couldn't agree with you more Ramp.

and Marc Bell is just aching at the bit to buy em...er I think thats his name

Marc Bell Capital Partners LLC 6800 Broken Sound Parkway, Boca Raton,

 

That Marc Bell ? :mischief

 

:mischief

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Hopefully, we'll get through this season, and in the off season we'll keep Giraldi, and a stadium deal can be announced in the spring, when it benefits Loria, not to the tune of 15 million. It's more like 50 million.

 

 

huh???

I'm not sure why I'm responding to such a well thought out and well written response.....but what exactly is it that you don't understand?

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Hopefully, we'll get through this season, and in the off season we'll keep Giraldi, and a stadium deal can be announced in the spring, when it benefits Loria, not to the tune of 15 million. It's more like 50 million.

 

 

huh???

I'm not sure why I'm responding to such a well thought out and well written response.....but what exactly is it that you don't understand?

 

how it's beneficial for loria to hold back on getting something done....im no expert on th subject but there is thing called inflation and rising steel prices...the longer he waits the more expensive any project becomes

 

oh and if anyone thinks this stadium is going to cost 450M theyre nuts

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Marlins skipper Joe Girardi has been Jeffrey Loria's one saving grace this season, yet he seems determined to burn that bridge, too.

If this is true...god help us.

 

 

 

 

Couldnt help yourself could you?

Yawn....see:

 

http://www.marlinbaseball.com/forums/index...showtopic=65724

 

Apparently, there are quite a few on this board who think that - if the ONLY redeeming value of Loria is picking Girardi - we need a new owner.

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Id kill for Loria to put this team up for sale

 

Me too. The only way the stadium gets built is with an owner willing to put more money in or with an owner who can get the local movers and shakers behind the stadium as they pull the strings of our local government officials. I'm very skeptical about the Hialeah deal and my skepticism grows daily as the $100 million funding continues to grow. The bottom line is Loria can't (or wont) put more money in and he can't get the movers and shakers behind the stadium.

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