Blog Entry

Marlins' owner Loria is worse than Steinbrenner

Posted on: June 20, 2011 7:05 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 7:53 pm

By Evan Brunell

Florida is on its fifth skipper in two years, fired its hitting coach in an unpopular move based on a string of one-run losses and traded one of its best hitters in the offseason when he dared to turn down a contract offer. That's just the latest in the saga that's unfolded under Jeffrey Loria's ownership, one that's drawn him comparisons to George Steinbrenner in New York.

But Loria is much worse than Steinbrenner.

Let's start with the similarities between Steinbrenner and Loria. The art dealer who came to the Marlins after negotiating a sweetheart deal to walk away from the Montreal Expos and let them relocate has unreasonable expectations for his teams, believing the Marlins should be playoff contenders. Last season, they were a true-talent team of a .500 club and finished 80-82. But that didn't save manager Fredi Gonzalez's job. He was fired with a 34-36 record.

Before Gonzalez, the Fish cut bait with manager Joe Girardi after he drew Loria's ire for not being a lackey, for standing up to Loria when the owner was berating umpires in his front-row seat next to the Marlins' dugout. In his only season with the Marlins, Girardi won Manager of the Year in 2005 after guiding the club to a 78-84 record. Steinbrenner, of course, had his own quick trigger with coaches and managers, overrating his team at times and overreacting to the downs that comprise an entire season.

But Loria also put Edwin Rodriguez in a tough position when elevating him to manager and never letting up. Before Rodriguez's resignation Sunday, there were rumblings that the first Puerto Rican to manage in the majors would be replaced by ownership over the objections of the baseball operations department. Rodriguez had guided the team to a 30-20 record on May 29, but a 2-19 record sealed Rodriguez's fate. He decided to take matters into his own hands and walk away as opposed to being fired. Rodriguez was already in an untenable position, being slotted as a lame duck after replacing Gonzalez amid rumors that the Marlins were trying to trade for White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.

After Florida overturned every stone and failed to entice Bobby Valentine out of retirement, they signed Rodriguez to a one-year deal, clearly meant to bridge the gap until Florida found someone better. It would be to no surprise if the Marlins finagled Guillen's arrival in South Florida once the year is over. (And how exactly are Guillen and Loria supposed to get along?) Rodriguez never really got a chance to succeed, and when you pair that with an owner who will overlook a hot 30-20 start and focus on 2-19, the future is clear. Yes, a 2-19 start will threaten many a manager's job, but Rodriguez was in an unenviable position and charged with taking a young, cheap team to October.

Steinbrenner, however, never made excuses for his team losing. He cared about nothing more than winning, and his knee-jerk reactions stemmed from an overwhelming desire to win. That can't be said of Loria, who appears to look at his bank statement as the true barometer of winning.

Loria's image has never been favorable in this regard, but it took a massive hit last season when financial documents from several teams were leaked to the public. The Marlins made $37.8 million in 2008 while negotiating for a new park in which the team will only chip in $155 million for a complex expected to cost around $634 million, a report from Yahoo! Sports said. Taxpayers will have to make up the difference, and the park will end up costing $2.4 billion by 2049.

As part of these financial documents, Yahoo! Sports showed that Loria put millions into the pockets of himself and team president David Samson by listing Double Play Co. as a "managing general partner" -- the only baseball team to have a management fee among the six teams who saw financials leaked.

The CEO of Double Play?


The president?


Loria has taken untold millions that could have and should have been invested in the team and lined his own pockets while bald-face lying to Miami in order to get a new park and playing Ebenezer Scrooge as far as putting a quality team on the field. For years now, the Marlins have been able to stay rather relevant thanks to their superb job of acquiring young players who go on to make an impact.

Thanks to Larry Beinfest and Michael Hill in the baseball operations department (who have set the Marlins up for a long run of success once again), Loria has been able to justify his unrealistic expectations of Florida making the playoffs year in and year out and yet handicap the club with a small operating payroll, a practice that continues to this day.

The best slugger the Marlins have had in recent seasons has been second baseman Dan Uggla, who rejected a four-year, $48 million deal from the club. This was a significant concession by the Marlins, as they were offering to make Uggla the highest-paid player in franchise history, and yet it was a contract offer below what Uggla could get on the free-agent market. So they traded him to the division-rival Braves, whereupon he promptly signed a five-year, $62 million deal.

Last season, the Marlins had contract talks breaking down with ace Josh Johnson, and it would have surprised no one had Johnson been traded. The player's union swooped in, however, complaining about the Marlins' payroll and practices. That caused baseball to ask Florida to improve its payroll, so the Marlins did just enough to fend off the union by signing Johnson to a four-year, $39 million pact.

That type of miserly spending means the Marlins are usually a young ballclub -- one that lacks experience, leadership, knowledge of how to handle the grueling 162-game schedule, replete with all the distractions it has to offer, both on and off the field.

The latest distraction in Rodriguez's resigning is just another chapter in Loria's sordid career as a baseball owner. With a new ballpark on the way and an improving team, he's not going anywhere anytime soon, which leads to the question: How is Loria good for the game but Mark Cuban isn't?

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Since: Dec 12, 2009
Posted on: February 10, 2012 7:49 pm

Marlins' owner Loria is worse than Steinbrenner

No,No he is not like The Boss sean......

The Boss spent money to win for his fans.........Unlike Loria who only cares to make money.....

Once again your wrong sean......You have not a clue about sports.......

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 20, 2011 11:16 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 18, 2011 3:51 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 6:16 pm

Marlins' owner Loria is worse than Steinbrenner

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Since: Oct 10, 2006
Posted on: August 19, 2011 11:54 am

Marlins' owner Loria is worse than Steinbrenner

For you to even consider defending this cheap jackass is beyond comprehension.  You think they would have paid JJ if it hadn't been found out weeks before that they were pocketing all of their profits?  This guy is literally the worst owner in the history of the world.  He should be in jail.

Since: Aug 4, 2011
Posted on: August 19, 2011 9:42 am

Marlins' owner Loria is worse than Steinbrenner

why was steinbrenner so bad?

Since: Jun 21, 2011
Posted on: June 21, 2011 4:27 pm

Marlins' owner Loria is worse than Steinbrenner

Loria does not pay his employees overtime in the spring training facility either and uses a clause that it is a theme park operation that does not operate year round to get around the law.  I still think that it is illegal, but I know it to be fact that the Marlins do not pay overtime in Jupiter, Florida to the employees during spring training and other times in the year.  That is down right wrong when he is putting millions in his pocket.

Since: Mar 12, 2009
Posted on: June 21, 2011 10:39 am

Marlins' owner Loria is worse than Steinbrenner

1) MLB in a City where the fan base is lower than 12 % of the total ticket availability 
2) An owner that is just as bad as McCourt if not worse.
3) BASEBALL IN FLORIDA PERIOD IS LAME look at how Tampa Bay didn't even sell out during their
WS run.
4) One manager thinks he is a winner because he has lots of CASH in his pocket, and while I am a Boston Fans tried and true;
 I will say that Steinbrenner wanted and would do what was necessary for his team to be on top to win. 
That is what I believe .
McKeon will not inspire that team. Not one bit, That team should be taken over by MLB after Slug Belig takes care of an Original MLB team
the Los Angeles Dodgers.
 While  Major League Baseball is  a professional sports league and yes also a business. the commissioners office should also investigate the owner of
the Marlins, and tell him to get some Oxy 10 for that Volcano on his lip Cool 

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: June 21, 2011 10:27 am

Marlins' owner Loria is worse than Steinbrenner

Baseball runs the risk of having its whole house of cards come tumbling down sometime during the next decade.  Teams like the Red Sox and Yankees who pour profits back into the ballclub to produce a winner are going to reach their tolerance limit of low-spending teams that syphon off the profits and revenues shared without attempting to put a winner on the field.  Yes, you can argue that teams like the Marlins have won in spite of their ownership.  But more often than not, they're not filling the ballpark, not putting money into the team at the Major League level, and not making an effort to use the revenues shared by the big-spending clubs.

MLB has rules on the books that the money distributed from the luxury tax must be put into the development of the ballclub.  The papers leaked from the Marlins' financials seem to indicate they're not doing what is expected of them down in Miami.  For all the ball-busting of the McCourts and their mismanagement of the Dodgers, Bud Selig could just as easily aim his sights on the Marlins for violating the spirit of the revenue re-distribution program.  (I believe I've read that the Pirates and Royals were also in violation of these rules as well a few months ago.)

With six months before the winter holidays, I'd like to make my Christmas wishes now with no chance of changing them until they're granted.  I want Bud Selig gone from MLB and somebody who will force the lower revenue clubs to put profits into the clubs to make them more competitive-- no exceptions.  I want a salary floor to be established based on league-wide revenues.  I want complete realignment and a rebalancing of divisions based on large markets vs. smaller markets and recent payroll expenditures over the last 20 years.

Since: Jan 3, 2008
Posted on: June 21, 2011 9:20 am

Marlins' owner Loria is worse than Steinbrenner

Don't fret too much Marlin fans (assuming there are some left), it looks like this guy is about two hot dogs away from a heart attack. Anyone who fires managers at this pace doesn't care about winning, he only cares about revenue at the ballpark. What, he saw the attendance drop from 5,000 per game down to 4,000, so firing the manager must be the cure.

What a greedy SOB.

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