The worst thing about this behavior is that it’s poisoning the market. The Marlins don’t have much history to lean upon. This is still the first generation of baseball for the Marlins. This isn’t the Yankees or Red Sox, or even the Brewers. What Loria and Co. are offering is a sports fan’s version of battered-spouse syndrome. You get a few glimpses of happiness and a lot of abuse. Along the way, he’s saying it will all be better. Just stick with him and in a few years, it will all be sunshine. And, each year, it’s something new. Each year, it’s a new excuse. Each year you don’t really see any actions that speak louder than words. No developed talent is given extensions (unless they are forced to, as was the case in 2010 when the MLBPA nearly filed a grievance with the league over them, and with it, they decided then would be a good time to give Josh Johnson an extension. Where exactly is he now?), no-trade clauses are about being able to jerk the wheel of the Titanic called the Marlins this way and that rather than about long-terms flexibility that makes sense. It’s all making it up as they go.
None of this gets into bamboozling the public out of the stadium that will be mostly empty in its second season in the league. I believe that not only will the Marlins not sellout a single game this season, but they will see the largest drop in second year attendance for a new ballpark since Bud Selig’s tenure began.
Speaking of Bud, he’s grabbing the antacid today. You see, Loria isn’t Frank McCourt. He’s sneakier than that. The former Dodger owner ran the club into bankruptcy, and that was the ammo he and the owners needed to leverage him out of the game. For Loria, his actions are enough to make everyone’s blood boil, but he stands at the very edge of the dogs on their leashes, snubbing his nose as they bark just out of reach. As one high-revenue club said, “We don’t like them (the Marlins) very much.”
So, the blight on the league continues. At some point, Loria will no longer own the club, and as was the case with Tom Hicks, and Frank McCourt, fans will rejoice. The question will be, has he so derailed the market as to have it rebound in his wake? In some senses, you wonder whether he would relish in that. “Look at all I’ve done,” he might say… as he snubs his nose, yet again.
Posted: February 27, 2013 at 03:53 PM | 8 comment(s)
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