Jeffrey Loria pulled a fast one on Friday.
Or at least he tried.
After addressing Marlins players inside the clubhouse before their first full-squad workout, Loria and his wife dodged the large throng of reporters by hustling inside a chauffeur-driven SUV parked in back of the complex.
Asked to confirm reports that he was the White House choice to become U.S. ambassador to France, Loria replied: “There’s nothing to talk about. I don’t have anything to say.”
Are you selling the team?
“Like I said, there’s nothing to talk about,” Loria said. “When there’s news, you’ll know it. There’s no news.”
About the only thing Loria would acknowledge was that he spoke to the team, as is his annual custom.
“I told them, short and sweet, that we were behind them and they can win,” Loria said. “They’re good enough to win this year. And I told them that they can come to me whenever they have anything to talk about it.”
And with that, Loria pulled his door shut and drove off.
As Loria was making his getaway, team president David Samson was confirming to reporters that the team was for sale and that Loria was being considered for the ambassadorship.
Loria speaks to the team before the first full-squad workout of spring training every year, then hops in a golf court and watches players pitch and hit for the first time.
But this year, with reports of the Marlins being sold and Loria being chosen for a diplomatic position in Donald Trump’s administration, he made himself scarce.
The parking spot where Loria’s car is normally parked at was empty. Instead, his chauffeur parked it in an inconspicuous spot behind the clubhouse, out of view of reporters.
And Loria didn’t hang around to watch practice.