MIAMI - It's not often that I'll tell a reader of this blog to go ahead and call me an idiot, but tonight, I give you permission. It's well deserved.
Call me whatever you want. Naïve? Clueless? How about gullible? Whatever you think fits the description for someone who actually believed the Marlins brass when they said they'd do everything in their power to build a winner once a new ballpark arrived.
Yes, I was skeptical at times, but I believed this front office had a vision for the future. Now, I'm ready to admit I was very wrong. The Marlins have basically shipped their entire roster to Canada in what has to be one of the most embarrassing trades in baseball history. And remember, this comes from a team that traded last year's Triple Crown winner for practically nothing. That's saying a lot.
But somehow, the Marlins have outdone themselves. If you haven't heard, the team is set to ship Jose Reyes, Mark Buerhle, Josh Johnson, John Buck and Emilio Bonafacio to the Toronto Blue Jays for a bunch of average players and some prospects. Actually, the one name you may recognize, Yunel Escobar, is better known as being the guy who wore eye black during a game with a gay slur on it. Oh, those Marlins sure know how to pick them.
Simply put, this is the true definition of a salary dump, fire sale or whatever else you want to call it. Owner Jeffrey Loria was given a beautiful new $600-million ballpark using mostly tax payer money, and in return he's turned the Marlins into a minor league team.
Yes, he did try last season. Loria invested big money in luring free agents to Miami to open up the new ballpark with much fanfare. It didn't work. Now, instead of trying again by making some sound investments and moves, the Marlins have become the southern version of the Toronto Blue Jays.
As the kids like to say, SMH (shake my head). That's really all you can do.
We have yet to hear what the Marlins front office, including Loria has to say. I can only imagine he'd say something about starting from scratch with exciting prospects and looking ahead to the future. Blah, blah, blah. Does it really matter what he says at this point?
Loria has always come across as a man who thinks he's smarter than you, and maybe he is for some things. But when it comes to being embraced by a city, fan base and media, he's about as endearing as— (fill in the blank).
Silly me. I've actually given him the benefit of the doubt. To think, I've always thought his biggest problem was the inability to stick with a manager. He's failed at that miserably.
It turns out, that's far from the issue. The biggest problem is that Loria doesn't care. He doesn't care what I think, and he certainly doesn't care what you think. Yes, you, the fan. You're the one who should really matter.
I know I sound like I'm ranting for nothing. The sad reality is Loria can smile all the way to the bank. He came to South Florida, actually won a World Series, conned local politicians into building him an amazing ballpark and is still richer than most of us have ever dreamed of.
In the end, he's the winner in all this. Yet, I can't think of anyone who's a bigger loser than him. Maybe that's just me being stupid again.
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