Armando Salguero: Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria can’t be trusted

04/09/2013 12:01 AM

09/12/2014 6:36 PM

The snake oil salesman of an owner apparently didn’t want to sample his own concoction up close so he skipped out on watching the Marlins’ home opener from his usual elitist perch next to the home dugout Monday evening.

Yes, slimy Jeffrey Loria, the man who killed baseball in Montreal and is apparently trying to complete the double play in South Florida, decided he would be better off (safer, too) watching this 2-0 Marlins loss from a more private vantage point instead of out in the open where he habitually has in the past.

You can sort of understand Loria’s decision. The man is rightfully reviled locally for what he has done in turning the Marlins into a local calamity and national laughingstock.

Again.

Loria, a master of misdirection and a mistaken high opinion of himself, would argue with anyone he employs that he brought a World Series to the Marlins and South Florida in 2003.

He leaves out the fact that he basically stumbled onto that long-ago Marlins championship team when he fell out of favor in Montreal. He doesn’t mention his club has not been in the playoffs since — a span that has reached a decade now — and that he has purged the payroll to line his pockets twice as many times as he has won anything.

Meanwhile, the common folks who came to this unremarkable game despite Loria’s misbegotten ownership, did a heroic thing by not completely embarrassing South Florida like Loria has tried to do.

The fans came out when no one expected them to after Miami’s offseason slap to their faces. They came knowing the team isn’t going to win a lot in 2013. They came knowing their money will somehow end up in Loria’s hands and be used to advance his twisted agenda.

And what is that agenda?

Well, after making money for presenting a substandard product and telling everyone it is major-league caliber, I assume that agenda is to continue to con the public.

This is about the time that Loria, reading this column while fumes shoot from his ears, murmurs that he paid a pretty penny for that lineup he happily put on the field last season. That expensive lineup with the high-priced manager got no good results.

So, yes, this is where Loria reminds everyone that after paying $100 million in salary last year, he logically needed to change course and go a different and better direction.

And this logic shows Loria is neither a baseball man nor a good businessman. He’s simply a huckster. He’s a fraud trying to perpetrate a poorly veiled deception on good baseball-loving people.

You see, the opposite of fielding a high-priced team that underachieves is not putting together an embarrassingly low salary and undermanned team that also is a failure.

If Loria really wanted to correct last year’s mistake he might have kept some of the pieces that actually fit quite nicely on a team that simply failed to come together. Loria might have dropped the payroll to maybe $60 million instead of slashing it by more than $60 million to the second-lowest mark in the majors at $35 million.

No one would have blinked if Loria had approved that more temperate move. No one.

Instead, Loria cut baseball in South Florida off at the knees once again. And he proved his promise of always fielding a team with a middle-of-the-pack payroll — made to Miami-Dade County so it would build him a ballpark — was nothing more than a lie.

Understandably, many of the 34,439 (announced attendance) who trekked to beautiful Marlins Park on Monday would argue enmity for Loria should not be taken out on the players. That band of unproven youngsters and overmatched veterans are merely pawns. They’re all just trying their best.

“You can’t rule us out already,” outfielder Giancarlo Stanton said. “We didn’t do anything to lose the fans. [Fans] should come out here. We’re playing as hard as we can, and we’re here for you guys.”

That’s true. But because Loria is this team’s owner, any fan that invests faith and emotion in a Marlins player such as Stanton is wasting time because it won’t be long before he is sold off, too.

Just as Miguel Cabrera and a dozen other stars were sold, just as Ricky Nolasco will be sold off in the next few months, Stanton and practically any other star who promises big numbers and demands a big salary will jettisoned and replaced with a cheaper and, of course, unproven talent.

That is what Jeffrey Loria does.

His is a vicious cycle of selling off the team’s most valuable parts while making the case that younger and less valuable parts will somehow improve the product. What sick mind concocts such propaganda?

Only a snake oil salesman.

About Armando Salguero

Armando Salguero

@ArmandoSalguero

Armando Salguero has covered South Florida sports since 1982. He's covered the Dolphins since 1990. He is a Pro Football Hall of Fame selector and annually votes on the Associated Press All-Pro team. He has worked nationally for ESPN and also writes general sports columns for the Miami Herald.

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