The Heat will be the Heat even after Pat Riley finally retires. The Dolphins will be the Dolphins long after Stephen Ross might sell. Likewise, the Marlins will outlast this owner survive this owner, is the way it feels.
Supporting the Marlins, even now, does not support Loria financially nearly as much as it simply supports the team, the very idea of baseball here.
Even as you boo Loria if he chances having himself introduced on Opening Day next week he wouldnt dare! find something to like. It wont be as hard as you think. It might be slugger Giancarlo Stanton. It might be welcoming back popular Juan Pierre. It might be cheering for blossoming prospects such as 20-year-old pitching phenom Jose Fernandez or young catcher Rob Brantly. It might be awaiting a future star such as Christian Yelich, or rooting for homegrown manager Mike Redmond (a guy as easy to like as Ozzie Guillen was the opposite). Heck, it might just be the new stadium.
This ownership makes it very difficult to just enjoy baseball again, yes. Makes it a challenge. But that does not mean we should surrender to that challenge.
The essence of all this is to understand who really owns the Marlins and the future of baseball here.
It isnt Loria. Its us.
I am writing this less as a journalist than as a father here, by the way. There is an emotional element for me.
My two sons were about to turn 6 and 2 when Charlie Hough fluttered in that first-ever Opening Day pitch around this time in 1993. This franchise through its very highs and more constant lows has been part of the timeline and soundtrack of their lives. It has been part of my bond with my boys.
I remember the life-sized poster of original slugger Orestes Destrade adorning the inside of my oldest sons bedroom door. I remember those old days when Billy the Marlin was a bigger attraction for my youngest son than the game itself. I remember the look on a childs face when you hand him his first foul ball, and its almost enough to make a grown man cry.
Huizenga came and went. Then the owner was John Henry. Now its Loria. The uniforms and colors evolved. The stadium changed. Florida became Miami. Players came and went, the going often too soon, or for the wrong reasons.
But its still the Marlins, and will be long after Loria disappears into his little niche of notoriety ever fading in our sports past.
My two sons are young adults now, and still big Marlins fans, even though that isnt nearly as easy as it ought to be.
I wonder how many of you out there, though, have sons or daughters who are around 6 or 2 now.
I hope you will allow them to experience a ball game at the park.
And I hope by the time they are old enough to wonder who the owner is, he will be long gone.