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Marlins release statement on SEC investigation into stadium deal

Dec 3, 2011, 1:02 PM EDT

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Via Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Marlins have released a statement regarding the federal investigation into the financing of their new ballpark in Little Havana:

“Yes, we are aware of the investigation that the SEC is conducting on the issuance of the county’s and city’s stadium and parking bonds. Of course we will fully cooperate with the SEC’s investigation as needed and assist in whatever way possible. Because this is an on-going matter, it is not appropriate to comment further.”

Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post was told by a Marlins official this morning that the investigation “will have no affect whatsoever on our roster plans,” but one wonders if high-profile free agents like Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, C.J. Wilson and Aramis Ramirez may at least think twice about signing there, especially since the Marlins are reluctant to give no-trade clauses.

  1. thejotapee - Dec 3, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    I don’t see why players would think twice about signing with the Marlins based on an ongoing investigation on the stadium? It’s not as if though the SEC is going to force them knock down the stadium now! Players will come for the money, the warm weather, and hopefully the chance to compete for championships in the near future. You’re blowing this WAY out of proportion. This is an off field issue and will never effect the players on field.

    • D.J. Short - Dec 3, 2011 at 1:56 PM

      I doubt it will end up touching the Marlins. It’s more likely we’ll see some politicians get in trouble. However, in the event that the Marlins are financially impacted in some way and need to cut payroll, it would be smart for the players to have some sort of way to dictate where they go. No-trade clauses at least give them that sense of security. And I would have said that even before learning about the investigation.

      • thejotapee - Dec 3, 2011 at 2:12 PM

        I see your point. But players have known from the very beginning that the Marlins don’t do no-trade clauses. This SEC investigation shouldn’t affect players decisions much. They’re considering playing for the Fish without a no-trade clause, or they’re not considering the Fish at all.

      • Old Gator - Dec 3, 2011 at 4:24 PM

        The no-trade clause is only the point after the point. The point is that free agents might – and should – be wary of the team suddenly finding itself financially impaired due to heavy fines and the potentially staggering legal costs of defending against a Federal indictment for improper dealings with politicians – a la Steinbrenner. You could say that l’affaire Madoff was an off-the-field problem but it has absolutely impacted the Mets’ ability to keep their best players on board (see Reyes, Jose) and to compete in the free agent market. No free agent wants to sign with a team they believe can become competitive, only to see the team hamstrung by “off the field” issues and unable to improve itself – or forced to decimate its payroll and trade away highly paid ballplayers who are critical to the team’s competitiveness.

        The thing is, we don’t know what the Feesh’s complicity in any aspect of this mess might be. We do know that they lied to the community at large and to its elected representatives (however pathetic a gaggle of corrupt banana republic bufones they might be) about their financial situation. Why is it too far fetched for a prospective free agent to wonder what else they’re going to get nailed for, given their abysmal track record of practiced insincerity? Certainly, most of the agents for these ballplayers are going to demand some sort of escape hatch if this scandal blows back at the team. If the Feesh won’t grant them that peace of mind, if I were an agent I would warn my athlete to keep clear of this mess until it settles out one way or another.

        Like it or not, the coming season just became a write-off. I’m now looking forward to the rookie callups in the fall.

  2. thejotapee - Dec 3, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    Worse case scenario is Bud Selig and MLB force Jeffery Loria to sell the team to Mark Cuban. Many would argue that that’s actually the best case scenario!

  3. tomtravis76 - Dec 3, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    Who wouldn’t want to see Samson behind bars? David’s napoleonic complex is huge, he has talked down to the South Florida community for so many years. Now watch Loria serve him up to save his own rear.
    At least now the Dolphins won’t be able to rob the community of public funds for stadium upgrades. Residents need to keep an eye on their backroom dealings. They have already tried to get Broward to pay for upgrades, when they are in Dade.

    • Old Gator - Dec 3, 2011 at 5:06 PM

      According to Jeff Passan at Yahoo sports – who utterly detests the Chihuahua, so his opinion probably ought to be taken with a grain of salt – whereas Larry Beinfest is generally respected, David Samson is held in widespread contempt by most other MLB owners and GMs. They don’t think much of his business smarts – if such is the word – and don’t like his dishonesty or his snotty attitude. Or perhaps more likely, they don’t like it that he’s too stupid to get away with his dishonesty, thus calling unwanted attention to the way the rest of them comport themselves. Either way, the Chihuahua is, in the immortal words of Willy Loman, not well liked.

  4. mojosmagic - Dec 3, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    The Marlins will sign high priced free agents, try to win a world series, sell season tickets via good will, then trash the team by trading everyone . Been there, done that .

    • 78mu - Dec 3, 2011 at 3:19 PM

      Millions of Cubs fans wish it were that easy.

  5. thegonz13 - Dec 3, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    Seriously, guys… Loria allegedly made his “money” as an art dealer. The only things shadier are drugs and insider trading.

    As for Samson’s condescending attitude, as Expos fans!

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