By Eric Schmidt

Wow. All I can say is wow. Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria must really think that the few remaining fans of the team are really stupid. Amid growing criticism of him and the operation of his baseball club, Loria used the power of the pen to write an open letter to the fans of the Marlins, a letter that was published in three South Florida newspapers including The Miami Herald. He addressed the offseason moves, the ballpark and the current state of finances surrounding the team. Judging from the comments left by the readers, no one seems to be buying what Loria is selling.

Loria makes some outrageous statements. Let’s parse a few. “Losing is unacceptable to me. It’s incumbent upon us to take swift action and make bold moves when there are glaring problems.” In other words, I got a new, shiny ballpark. I spent a bunch of money last year, so let’s move on.

“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.” Translation, we sucked last year and it cost me a lot of money. If you didn’t show up last year, you won’t show up this year either with AAA talent and a low payroll.

The last paragraph of the letter is priceless.

“Amidst the current news coverage, it an be easy to forget how far we went together not so long ago. In 2003, I helped bring a second World Series Title to South Florida. We know how to build a winning team, and have every intention of doing so again. 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 quickly as a ball club, and root for the home team in 2013.”  Not so long ago? It was a decade ago.

Here is his entire open letter to Marlins fans.

LETTER TO OUR FANS

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. As a result of some bold moves, many grabbed hold of our tough yet necessary decision only to unleash a vicious cycle of negativity. 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 respond to our most important constituents, the fans who love the game of baseball.

THE ROSTER

Losing is unacceptable to me. It’s incumbent upon us to take swift action and make bold moves when there are glaring problems. 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. 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. 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 Leaguers 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. 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.

THE BALLPARK

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. 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.

OUR FINANCES

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. 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! Is it sound business sense to witness an expensive roster with a terrible record and sit idly by doing nothing? No. 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.

COMMUNICATION

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.

Amidst the current news coverage, it an be easy to forget how far we went together not so long ago. In 2003, I helped bring a second World Series Title to South Florida. We know how to build a winning team, and have every intention of doing so again. 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 quickly as a ball club, and root for the home team in 2013.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey Loria

Filed under: East, MLB, NL

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Readers Comments (3)

  1. ed snider

    it seems like a good letter to me. besides, i am 80 and getting fu;;ed every night…

     Reply
  2. Joaquin Valor

    I will really like to support the position of J. Loria at this time, and I am going to explain why.

    All those “bumps” last year did nothing for the Marlins, I personally spend $1200 on three tickets and those guy did not perform, I do not blame Loria I blame them.

    Case by case

    Borhle lost more game than what he won, about three or four time he was out of the game before the 4th inning, wild and batted by other teams hitters.

    How many game Josh Johnson won or at leat was a great outing, his control was also wild and he did not perform according to his salary.

    Hanley Ramirez should have been let go early in the season, he is an hipocrit bastard, saying he was ok on moving to third and did not play the position at all, but he will pay for that in LA.

    Bonifacio is not a great player, how many time with men in base he struck out.

    Reyes had a bad year and his batting average did not match his salary.

    Anibal Sanchez is the only question mark, but I will not pay 90 million to him for 5 o6 6 years as the Tigers did.

    The players did not perform and they should have been let go early.

    I was at the fist game of spring training and was very but very upbeat with the new guys, the way the play and hussle, ran the bases and the way the manager handled the pitchers. I konw the writers do not like this opinion, but this is a very objective opinion.

    Joaquin Valor

     Reply