From a practical standpoint, the Marlins’ farm system is decimated, and any free agent would be wise to stay far, far away. Other teams view the club with diminishing levels of respect, and baseball fans and commentators alike make the Marlins an almost daily punch line.
From a business standpoint, Jeffrey Loria’s legacy might be the destruction of the Marlins brand. Unfortunately even two World Series titles in 20 years are overshadowed by a short, but traumatic, history of bad trades, bad attitudes, contentious stadium negotiations, ugly home run features and fire sales.
What happened to the naming rights on the new park? What corporate sponsor will now want to be associated with the field of shams?
As it stands, the team wearing those new Marlins uniforms next year will be nothing more than minor-league imposters in a major-league park. This seems appropriate considering the imposters in the front office, vulture capitalists posing as baseball businessmen.
Giancarlo Stanton, the only Marlin who’d be a lock in any other Major League lineup, is probably asking his agent to dig deeply into his current contract to find him a way out of South Florida. As evidence from his immediate Twitter reaction to the Toronto trade, Stanton is no more excited about a return to Marlins Park than fans are about filling it next spring.
Not that any of that really matters. The noise now from Marlins fandom and the media storm surrounding another fire sale are meaningless to Loria.
The Orange Bowl sat for seven decades before neglect and time consigned it to history. The stadium now planted there, an unfortunate reminder of a sports and political blunder, hides behind its gleaming walls and cobalt-glass windows a rotten core.
Daniel Manichello, Miami
WE CHEERED in ’97, but booed in ’98. We were ecstatic in ’03, but down in ’04. As Marlin fans, we have experienced the highs and lows since the team’s inaugural season in 1993. But now, thanks to Jeffrey Loria’s current leadership, or lack of it, the team has sunk to an all time low, leaving us feeling betrayed.
The Marlins sent Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buerhle, Emilio Bonificaio and John Buck to the Toronto Blue Jays for a handful of players with little major-league experience. Yunel Escobar being the exception. The word, “shocked,” would be an understatement. Yes, we in South Florida have gotten used to the term “fire sale,” but this takes the cake. I started thinking back to the press conference last winter when Loria introduced Jose Reyes, basically calling him the future of the team. Reyes had some choice words for the Mets that day, telling the press that the New York team didn’t want him anymore. Now, I can only imagine how Reyes is feeling about the Marlins as this native of the Dominican Republic is sent to Canada.
I don’t want Loria as the owner anymore. He has conned the entire city. He could at least have given us a good product. I was impressed by what he accomplished during the winter meetings, but to waste that is incomprehensible. Trading away big names for no names is not the way to do it. He will find it difficult to get people, even the most loyal of Marlins fans, to buy tickets to the 2013 games. It is hard for me to support Loria when he obviously doesn’t support the fans in the stands.