Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Handy-Dandy Guide to Jeffrey Loria's Letter To (Both) Marlins Fans

This is Jeffty Loria's idea of what heaven looks like
Jeffrey Loria is probably not the worst owner in professional sports history. He lacks, for example, the heady taint of slumlording racism that lingers around Donald Sterling. He's not dumb enough to bet on his own team, like jocksniffing gambler and pilings magnate William D. Cox. He hasn't actively engaged in the sort of wholesale criminal behavior of a Harold Ballard, and he's blessedly absent Marge Schott's fetishes for on-field St. Bernards and Nazi memorabilia.

Also, he's probably never buried a dead hooker in the Everglades.

That's about all the good stuff you can say about him. On the other hand, he actively conspired to destroy baseball in Montreal, hung the cash-strapped Miami municipality on the hook for well over a billion dollars in bond payments for his art nouveau fishtank of a ballpark, shoveled revenue-sharing cash intended to make the team competitive into his pockets with both hands, and repeatedly and cynically dismantled teams after they'd served their PR purposes. He's petulant, vindictive, thin-skinned, petty, and obnoxiously smirky, and I don't care how many awards that stadium wins from People Who Just Happen To Be Friends Of Jeffty Loria, it still looks like the long-lost Jemm And The Holograms stadium playset.

Believe it or not, though, people in South Florida have noticed. They've noticed to the point where they're writing snarky blog posts and not showing up to buy tickets. And that inspired Jeffty, who acts like he is perpetually five, to write a long, chest-thumping screed defending the royal screwing he gave both the region and the fans, and pay to have it run in one of the local papers.

Here, now, is Sportsthodoxy's take on what he said:

What Loria Said:
It’s no secret that last season was not our best — actually it was one of our worst. In large part, our performance on the field stunk and something needed to be done.
What Loria Meant:
"Losing bothers me a lot less when it's cheap."


What Loria Said:
As a result of some bold moves, many grabbed hold of our tough yet necessary decision only to unleash a vicious cycle of negativity.
What Loria Meant:
"Stupid writers are being mean to me. No more free buffet in the press box!"


What Loria Said:
As the owner of the ballclub, the buck stops with me and I take my share of the blame where it’s due. However, many of the things being said about us are simply not true. I’ve sat by quietly and allowed this to continue. Now it’s time for me to resond to our most important constituents, the fans who love the game of baseball.
What Loria Meant:
"I am a thin-skinned bully who does not understand that the first rule of standing in a hole is 'Stop Digging'. Also, I just got this cool new shovel, and I can't wait to try it out."


What Loria Said:
Losing is unacceptable to me.
What Loria Meant:
"Losing money is unacceptable to me."


What Loria Said:
It’s incumbant upon us to take swift action and make bold moves when there are glaring problems.
What Loria Meant:
"It is incumbent on us to turn off the spellchecker. Also, notice how I went from "me" to "us" there. Pretty neat trick, huh?"

What Loria Said:
The controversial trade we made with the Toronto Blue Jays was approved by Commissioner Bud Selig and has been almost universally celebrated by baseball experts outside of Miami for its value.
What Loria Meant:
"The baseball beat writer for the Lower Sheboygan Times-Picayune, who is ninety-four years old and thinks we got back Frank Sinatra and the rights to clone Ted Williams said it wasn't the worst trade he'd ever seen. I'll ignore everyone else."

What Loria Said:
We hope, with an open mind, our community can reflect on the fact that we had one of the worst records in baseball. Acquiring high-profile players just didn’t work, and nearly everyone on our team underperformed as compared to their career numbers.
What Loria Meant:
"I am unfamiliar with the term 'small sample size', and was looking for an excuse to shed those contracts the moment we signed them. This is why we don't give no-trade clauses, kids - bad for the bottom line, and why we started dismantling the team six days after spring training."


What Loria Said:
Our plan for the year ahead is to leverage our young talent and create a homegrown roster of long-term players who can win. In fact, objective experts have credited us with going from the 28th ranked Minor League system in baseball to the 5th best during this period. Of the Top 100 Minor Leagues rated by MLB Network, we have six — tied for the most of any team in the league. We’ll evaluate this roster and possibly bring in additional talent based on our assessment of what we need. 
What Loria Meant:
"And as soon as these guys get to the majors and start earning actual money, they're gone, too."

What Loria Said:
The very same naysayers who are currently skeptical once attacked us for bringing Pudge Rodriguez to the Marlins in 2003. More than any other, that move contributed to our World Series Championship.
What Loria Meant:
"Nobody's going to doublecheck that and see that I just made that up."


What Loria Said:
The ballpark issue has been repeatedly reported incorrectly and there are some very negative accustations being thrown around. It ain’t true, folks. Those who have attacked us are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts. The majority of public funding came from hotel taxes, the burden of which is incurred by tourists who are visiting our city, NOT the resident taxpayers. The Marlins organization also agreed to contribute $161.2 million toward the ballpark, plus the cost of the garage complex. In addition, the Marlins receive no operating subsidy from local government funding. The ballpark required that all debt service is paid by existing revenue. Furthermore, many are attacking the County’s method of financing for its contribution, but the Marlins had nothing at all to do with that.
What Loria Meant:
"You suckers have no idea how much money I'm actually taking you for."


What Loria Said:
The fact is, with your help, we built Marlins Park, a crown jewel in our beautiful Miami skyline, which has won over twenty design and architecture awards and will help make us a premiere ballclub moving forward.
What Loria Meant:
"With your help, and more importantly, your money, I've built an art gallery that occasionally hosts baseball games as a means of getting verbally fellated by various architecture magazines. What that does for our ballclub, God knows."


What Loria Said:
The simple fact is that we don’t have unlimited funds, nor does any baseball team or business. Fans didn’t turn out last season as much as we’d like, even with the high-profile players the columnists decry us having traded. 
What Loria Meant:
"The fact that I didn't spring for any middle relievers or a little bench help to deal with injuries aside, the fact that we didn't start the season 81-0 gave me all the cover I needed to dump the expensive guys I went out and picked up in the offseason. If we'd contended, I would have waited until the offseason."


What Loria Said:
The main ingredient to a successful ball club is putting together a winning team, including a ncecessary core of young talent. Are we fiscally capable and responsible enough to fill the roster with talented players, invest in the daily demands of running a world-class organization and bring a World Series back to Miami? Absolutely!
What Loria Meant:
"Can I cash those revenue sharing checks now that the payroll's been slashed, spread the money on the floor and roll around in it like Dom DeLuise in History of the World, Part 1? Absolutely!"

What Loria Said:
Is it sound business sense to witness an expensive roster with a terrible record and sit idly by doing nothing? No.
What Loria Meant:
"Is it sound business practice to demand unreasonable immediate results in the midst of injuries and position switches, and save myself millions by justifying decisions using skewed data? Absolutely!"

What Loria Said:
I can and will invest in building a winner, but last season wasn’t sustainable and we needed to start from scratch quickly to build this team from the ground up.
What Loria Meant:
"'From scratch' is Swedish for 'Kiss Giancarlo Stanton goodbye.'"

What Loria Said:
An organization is only as good as its connection with the community. We know we can do a better job communicating with our fans. That starts now. From this point forward we can ensure fans and the entire community that we will keep you abreast of our plan, rationale and motivations.
What Loria Meant:
"Clearly, we need to try something besides stonewalling and baldfaced lying, because there's only six of you fans left. Unfortunately, stonewalling and bald-faced lying are all I've got."

What Loria Said:
Amidst the current news coverage, it an be easy to forget how far we went together not so long ago.
What Loria Meant:
"Cue up the 2003 references"

What Loria Said:
In 2003,
What Loria Meant:
"Aw yeah, I went there!"

What Loria Said:
I helped bring a second World Series Title to South Florida
What Loria Meant:
"And then immediately dismantled the team that won it"

What Loria Said:

We know how to build a winning team, and have every intention of doing so again.
What Loria Meant:
"Really. One of these days we'll get around to building another winner. When it's less expensive."

What Loria Said:
I know you share my passion for great Marlins baseball, my love of MIami and my desire to win again. We’re in this together and I humbly ask that we start fresh, watch us mature qjuickly as a ball club, and root for the home team in 2013.
What Loria Meant:
"Please buy tickets, even though we're going to suck. Please? Pleeeeease?"

What Loria Said:
Sincerely, Jeffrey Loria
What Loria Meant:
"I have no idea what the word 'sincerely' means."
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