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Monday, November 19, 2012

Le Batard: Marlins look foolish, immoral after trade

As Oscar Villarrealwilde Child once said…“The teams that the world calls immoral are teams that show the world its own shame.”

The Marlins last offseason were like a gluttonous fat man at the all-you-can-eat buffet, stacking the plate with his eyes and appetite without regard to practicality or the oncoming food coma. The team overspent assuming we’d fill the ballpark, which we didn’t, and that meant losing about $40 million in that calamity of a season. Even though management didn’t have to serial-killer slash the payroll, there were going to have to be cuts, so the team decided to take a wrecking ball to the blueprint and just start again. It is terrible for public relations and awful for fans, but they were going to cut $40 million somewhere. Unlike Micky Arison, who lost money every year he owned the Heat except last year, Jeffrey Loria doesn’t have enough money to keep losing $40 million a year even as the ballpark appreciates his and the franchise’s value. We might feel better if Jose Reyes was still here, but what’s the point of that if you are going to have to trade your pitching staff to cut costs anyway?

This was businessmen behaving like businessmen. Sports owners didn’t get rich in their cutthroat worlds by doing the moral thing. There are no charities in charge of sports teams. Although what the Marlins did feels immoral and indecent, it is up to our politicians to protect us from it instead of just assuming that people who have behaved badly before would act now in good faith. And we didn’t even get to vote. You can’t blame snakes for being snakes without putting responsibility on the zoo keepers.

And now? Well, this betrayal is going to echo and cost the Marlins paying customers. There is only one thing about this entire organization that anyone trusts today. It is Giancarlo Stanton’s bat. That’s it. Word is he didn’t want to be here long-term even before this recent mess, preferring California. If the Marlins can’t afford him, and he doesn’t want to be here, you know what that means. His value is high, his salary is cheap, and the franchise is back to its core philosophy after all that drunken spending. You will never get more prospects for Stanton than you will today. And, already surrounded by howling, how much worse can the customer hostility possibly get?

Repoz Posted: November 19, 2012 at 10:10 AM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: marlins

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   1. John Northey Posted: November 19, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4305809)
Er, if they lost $40 million with a new park and the like then that means the maximum payroll they could support is last years less $40 mil. Last years opening day was $101,628,000 (via Cot's). Subtract $40 from that and you have $61 million, a level they haven't passed outside of 2012 since 2000 at least. Given last year should've been a big bonanza of cash with the new park and that many fans will stay as far away as possible for the next few years one wonders. Also mix in the tens of millions they get from MLB revenue sharing and it gets ugly for MLB but sweet for Loria.

Sheesh - just looked at the Marlins payroll commitments for 2013 and beyond - Nolasco at $11 mil is the highest, then Escobar (via Toronto) $5 mil, then Hechavarria (via Toronto) $2.75 mil. Remove the $12 mil they paid out to Toronto & for Heath Bell and you have a net of just shy of $25 million before filling the roster with pre-arb players. Yikes. Given we all expect them to trade Nolasco and Escobar that would cut them to sub-$10 mil for non-pre-arb players.
   2. John Northey Posted: November 19, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4305811)
Of note: the most infamous (before this) sell off saw them drop 8k fans a game a season after winning the World Series, then 4k more the next year and 2k more the year after that, a slight uptick after that then dropped 5k more to a low of 10,038 fans per game (under 1 million on the season). The next year they won it all and stayed over 500 for a couple more years peaking in attendance at just shy of 23k per game. Then they did a sell off from $60 mil to $14 mil and lost 8k fans a game. Slow build up since then to peak last year at 27k a game, 4th highest ever (years 1 & 2 in Miami were their top 2 seasons). Now I'd expect 19k next year given past history.
   3. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 19, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4305827)
they lost $40 million with a new park


I'll believe that when they open their books, and not a minute before.
   4. HOLLA(R) Posted: November 19, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4305869)
they lost $40 million with a new park



I'll believe that when they open their books, and not a minute before.


Agreed. Not a chance in hell that this is accurate, unless Loria is taking even more from the franchise than previously expected before he submits the end number.
   5. HMS Moses Taylor Posted: November 19, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4305878)
Unlike Micky Arison, who lost money every year he owned the Heat except last year,

I also don't believe this, along with agree with 3 & 4, and said as much in the NBA thread when Arison claimed so during the NBA lockout.
   6. greenback calls it soccer Posted: November 19, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4305947)
The Marlins last offseason were like a gluttonous fat man at the all-you-can-eat buffet, stacking the plate with his eyes and appetite without regard to practicality or the oncoming food coma.

The way the Reyes and Buehrle contracts were backloaded, and both lacking no-trade clauses, I think the Marlins made a cool, calculated decision about 2012. I'm sure the results for 2012 were worse than expected, but they had an exit strategy planned all along.
   7. Swedish Chef Posted: November 19, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4305961)
I don't know foolish, it's the con man's victims that are usually described as foolish.
   8. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 19, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4306017)
I don't know foolish, it's the con man's victims that are usually described as foolish.


If the marks are angry enough at the end of the con that the con man ends up taking a long drop with a short piece of rope, then he's pretty foolish, too.
   9. crict Posted: November 19, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4306126)
to a low of 10,038 fans per game (under 1 million on the season).


It has been all but forgotten, but Loria found an "anonymous" buyer for 20,000+ tickets for the final home date, just so that the Marlins would finish the season above the Expos in attendance.
   10. Dunn Deal Posted: November 19, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4306151)
If the marks are angry enough at the end of the con that the con man ends up taking a long drop with a short piece of rope, then he's pretty foolish, too.


James Woods's character in "Diggstown" said the difference between a hustler and a con man is that,
"A hustler has to get out of town as quick as he can, but a good con-man - he doesn't have to leave until he wants to."
   11. J.R. Wolf Posted: November 21, 2012 at 01:36 AM (#4307283)
What is happening with the Marlins is a disgrace to baseball.
   12. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: November 21, 2012 at 02:18 AM (#4307294)
It's not like the Marlins haven't done this before. After winning the World Series in 1997, they traded off every veteran on the team. Before 2005, they signed Carlos Delgado and then traded him after 1 year. Is this really more of a disgrace than any of that?

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