|Loria scams Marlins fans once again|
Written by Jonathan Leshanski (Contact & Archive) on July 30, 2012
If ever there was an owner who baseball really should remove for the good of the game, it’s Jeffery Loria. He’s the kind of billionaire who gives con men a bad name.
At this point it’s just embarrassing. Loria decimated, then abandoned the Expos franchise to fend for itself in Montreal after cutting payroll, scouting and minor league spending to the point that the franchise essentially had to be reconstructed from the ground up after his tenure. Amazingly Bud Selig and the owners then allowed him to buy another franchise, one in which they thought should be a lucrative baseball market and baseball’s other 29 owners purchased the Expos from Loria.
In return Loria gave them the finger. When he left Montreal back in 2001, with $120 million buyout, he walked out the door with just about everything but the players themselves. He took the entire management, coaching staff, all of the scouting reports, even the office computers and equipment, leaving behind no one who knew anything about the organization, no records and clearly no hope for rescuing what had once been a solid franchise.
In Florida Loria and his mouthpiece/stepson David Samson became known for two things: whining about breaking even and even losing money and trading off players who could command decent salaries. The sad thing is everyone believed the financial claims, which later proved to be untrue. The Marlins were turning a profit between $20-40 million per year. Yet the Marlins milked that falsehood for all it was worth, taking revenue sharing money that was not invested back into the roster and bilking the citizens of south Florida into financing a stadium in a sweetheart deal for Loria.
He did so at a time when the county was cutting jobs, closing schools and struggling economically. And almost everything at the new ballpark was financed with public money in a deal in which the public didn’t even get to vote on.
How bad is it? That monstrosity with the whirling marlins out in left center field was paid for, all $2.5 million, by the county’s art in public places commission, as was another $2.8 million dollars worth of art at the ballpark.
Photo by Dan Lundberg, used under creative commons license.
That’s the big money in the game today. You can bet that Loria will dress up the team with big name stars for a season or two before those negotiations take place. After all he’ll want to bilk the local TV networks for everything he can get.