The God Particle to Miami Marlins fans

Up with Carl Loria

Up with Carl Loria

Gary Nelson’s question to Jeffrey Loria properly identified what truly binds [aka ¹God Particle] Miami Marlins fans, he asked:

Your organization and you are, quite frankly, much despised among many in this community…. Can a deal like this wash that much bad blood away?

Nelson’s point was deliciously undeniable. Jeffrey Loria is [sports] despised by an overwhelming majority of Miami Marlins fans. It is an enmity earned by repeated lies and obfuscation. It will not go away until he goes away. It binds us.

Two great things have happened for us Miami Marlins fans as a result of the Stanton signing. First, given the way the contract is structured, heavily back-loaded after the first 3 years, we can now see the light at the end of the Loria ownership tunnel. Second, we get to have Giancarlo Stanton on our team for the next 6 years. In that order.

So for us Marlins fans, Nelson’s question during the televised press conference carried the emotional equivalent of D’Angelo Barksdale asking Stringer Bell, “where Wallace at?”

Like Stringer, who must have assumed he could con D’Angelo one more time, so too Loria must have thought that the Stanton signing would at least provide a temporary respite from the enmity. While listening to the question, and no doubt noting the mortified straight-ahead gazes of his employees, the unlikelihood of any PR rehabilitation must have registered deep in an area other humans refer to as a soul.

Yo Jeffrey, where Miggy at?


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On The Wire: Pigs get fat, hogs get the SEC’s attention

On Saturday, the Miami Herald reported the following:

Federal authorities have opened a wide-ranging investigation into the Miami Marlins’ controversial ballpark deal with Miami-Dade County and the city of Miami, demanding financial information underpinning nearly $500 million in bond sales as well as records of campaign contributions from the Marlins to local and state elected leaders.

In a pair of lengthy letters delivered to government attorneys Thursday, the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission gave the city and county until Jan. 6 to deliver everything from minutes of meetings between government leaders and Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, to records of Marlins finances dating back to 2007.

I thought it right that the SEC extended their focus beyond Miami to Bud Selig and MLB. After all, in Miami’s version of The Wire, the Marlins just have one of the Towers. Bud Selig is the Avon Barksdale character pulling on the strings. Speaking of which, the Stringer Bell role in this play is a combination of Rod Manfred and Bob DuPuy.

In the hopes of obtaining public financing for the new stadium, the Marlins lied to reporters and fans about their finances. Who knows, for now, what they actually told or shared with government officials. They did it all with the blessings of Major League Baseball. Given that David Samson would often make silly [here], misleading [here and here] or false [here and here] statements about the Marlins finances, especially on his radio show, it must have all seemed like a very clever game to them. They acted, as Mr. Omar Little once commented, as though it was “all in the Game, y’all, all in the Game.”

The Braman trial has now become like a grand jury report for the SEC. Every government official who testified at the Braman trial is going to be spending a lot of money on attorney fees. The Marlins and MLB must be hoping that those attorney’s are very good because those officials are not the endgame in this investigation. Hard to imagine how this ends without some admission of guilt or complicity on the part of the Marlins and a fine which significantly increases their share of the stadium costs. Pigs get fat, hogs finally got someone’s attention that didn’t think it was a game and is in a position to do something about it.

The repercussions are just beginning. At the SunSentinel, Juan C. Rodriguez considers the initial effects:

With the new stadium, the possibility of another “market correction” as the club termed its pre-2006 purge would seem unfathomable. Yet the investigation conceivably might unnerve free agents looking for deals of five-plus years. Ultimately, players in most cases follow the money, but whether warranted or not, some might shy away from not having no-trade protection in light of this new specter.

The Marlins earlier this week with their 3-year, $27 million commitment to Bell silenced skeptics who believed their dalliances with upper echelon free agents were some kind of ruse. Though the SEC investigation barely is off the ground, the Marlins already may have lost whatever small earnings they made in public trust.

Update 12/04: My blog is mentioned in Juan C. Rodriguez’s article about the Marlins reaction to the SEC filing.

Articles referenced are copied in full at the end of this blog post.

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