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The rot in Miami

Sep 16, 2013, 9:06 AM EDT

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Not that it’s news — Jeff Loria is a horrible, horrible baseball executive and probably a horrible person — but Ken Rosenthal has the most thorough look at the rot in the Marlins front office I’ve seen so far.

Larry Beinfest, Mike Hill and David Samson are all the men responsible, by most estimates, for making the Marlins respectable in past seasons when they had no right to be. They’ve made the most of massive roster gutting and have come up with young stars like Jose Fernandez and Giancarlo Stanton which at least provide hope. So of course Loria is jerking them around, leaning toward firing them but not doing it yet, letting them dangle as they ask for clarification on their status.

If they are fired, they will almost find jobs in better organizations and they’ll do well. Maybe Loria knows this, thus the jerking them around.  Either way, he’s the absolute worst.

  1. chill1184 - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    This douche makes Fred Wilpon look respectable

    • apkyletexas - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:32 AM

      But he looks awesome in red-tinted sunglasses. Like Woody Harrelson in Natural Born Killers.

  2. jcmeyer10 - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    I’m guessing the Sox wouldn’t mind paying a guy who could save their club millions by finding the right kids early, instead of waiting until they are established.

    I’m guessing any respectable team would.

    • historiophiliac - Sep 16, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      I think the Tigers prefer using the Marlins clubhouse as the baseball version of Filene’s Basement.

  3. bravojawja - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    I get where Beinfest is coming from, not wanting to forfeit salary so he can pay the rent and feed his wife and kids. I’m in a similar situation, except for the whole running a baseball team and millions of dollars thing. The biggest difference, though, is that Beinfest can get another, far better, job tomorrow. Dude – quit. Go to an organization that will appreciate your ability.

    • voteforno6 - Sep 16, 2013 at 10:20 AM

      That’s assuming that his contract permits him an out clause like that. Do you think that Loria would block him from working for another team, or that he would be magnanimous enough to allow him to walk?

      • Old Gator - Sep 16, 2013 at 11:11 AM

        Number 6 is unmutual.

  4. binarymath - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    On the other hand, the Marlins have 2 World Series titles, a new ballpark, and better attendance than everybody’s second-favorite-team, the Tampa Bay Rays.

    Ask fans of the Cubs, Brewers, Astros, Rangers, Rockies, Padres, Royals or Mariners if they’d be willing to trade their long-term mediocrity for a pair of titles. Up until this year, that list might have included the Orioles and the Pirates. And I probably forgot a few teams (Twins, Indians, etc.) whose “recent” success is a rapidly fading memory.

    To me, Loria is somewhat the converse of the early Steinbrenner era – most will agree that both owners have been every bit as cuddly as porcupines. But while early on, Steinbrenner was misjudging talent by overpaying, Loria may be misjudging by paying too little.

    I think the Stanton negotiations will be very interesting.

    • paperlions - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:47 AM

      Except, of course. Loria isn’t responsible for anything to do with either title. The first, was long before he was the owner….at that time he was busy destroying the Montreal Expos franchise. The second was the year he bought the team and everything that happened on the field was the result of the previous ownership group….and after the WS win, he immediately gutted the roster.

      The Marlin’s attendance isn’t greater than the Rays, just the number of tickets sold. The Marlins have a huge percentage of no shows.

      • yahmule - Sep 16, 2013 at 11:03 AM

        I don’t know why paperlions got down thumbs. Everything he said was accurate.

      • Old Gator - Sep 16, 2013 at 11:16 AM

        Not totally. See below. As for the thumbs, ignore them. When you have a load of thumbs down or up disproportionate to the comments, and no corresponding debate among the posts themselves, you know that the thumb harpy is at work. The thumbs are NBC’s way of encouraging the witless, illiterate, inarticulate and gutless to stuff the view counter while participating minimally and enable our corporate hosts to jack up their advertising rates.

        Come to think of it, if we didn’t already know that our main thumb harpy was ackcherley also our resident Artificial Stupidity, one would almost think that the NBC advertising sales division is the thumb harpy.

    • rje49 - Sep 16, 2013 at 10:31 AM

      Although it was before Loria’s time, I always thought the ’97 Marlins were the best example of what is wrong with baseball. Buy up a good team that you can’t afford to keep, win the championship, then unload the guys that won it for you. No intentions at all of trying for another championship.

      • yahmule - Sep 16, 2013 at 11:01 AM

        Wayne Huizenga was the first one to buy a championship and then dismantle the team immediately in Florida. Huizenga was disappointed that the salary cap prevented him from buying a championship for the Dolphins in football, not that he didn’t have some spectacular off season shopping sprees fail just as spectacularly.

      • Old Gator - Sep 16, 2013 at 11:40 AM

        With the caveat that I am no big fan of Dragonfruit Face – though I appreciate that he makes it unnecessary for me to cart my pitaya rinds to the landfill myself – I think those of you who think that he “bought” a championship are being unfair to the way the Feesh were constructed ahead of the 1997 season, and probably don’t know the aborted “Wayne’s World” distraction park backstory, either.

        The core of the team was grown through drafts and trades. The only significant free agent signings in the ’96-’97 orfseason were Moises Alou and Bobby Bonilla, the latter being considered washed up and acquired relatively cheaply because Jim Leyland insisted he could squeeze some real value out of him. Kevin Brown signed as a free agent way back in 1995, as part of a very methodical building process. Other key players like Cliff Floyd, Craig Counsell and Darren Daulton were obtained via trades. The free agent signings during the two prior years were for minor pieces or cheapo pickups, including Andre Dawson who was on the downslope of his illustrious career. Gary Sheffield, the big gun, was acquired by trade two years earlier. Most of the rest of the core team was home grown.

        Huizinga’s dismantling of the team was definitely a slap at the fans and clearly he didn’t give a rat’s ass, since he was selling the franchise anyway. However, in the years prior to the dismantling he had been negotiating with the state and with the county commissioners of Macondo and Broward County, across the border in the US, to acquire a large tract of land just west of Interstate 75 on the far west side of town to build a stadium for both the Feesh and the Dolfeens and to construct a kind of “Disneyland South” which was to be called Blockbuster Town or some such thing (Huizinga owned the video rental empire at the time) christened “Wayne’s World” by the local spawrts press. He ran into a wall of resistance from environmentalists for encouraging development west of the Urban Development Boundary and so close to the Everglades, and to the usual outrageous demands for payouts from our illustrious “representatives” and their patronage hyenas. His dismantling and sale of the Feesh was contingent at least as much, if not more so, on the collapse of his “Wayne’s World” fantasy – he unloaded Blockbuster itself at about the same time. He dumped the Dolfeens some years later.

        This interrelated network of economic pressures has little in common with Scrooge McLoria’s reckless, bottom-line-obsessed mis-stewardship of the Feesh, acts of vandalism and civic abuse performed in a vacuum of greed with no regard for their effect on the community.

    • flamethrower101 - Sep 16, 2013 at 11:04 AM

      I am not looking forward to the fallout w/ Stanton. He’s already voiced his displeasure w/ the organization’s moves once, and now this nightmare season plays out. I think he’d stay if he thought they had a chance at the playoffs close in the future. But I’d have to think he’d specifically ask for a no-trade clause to sign, and we all know the Marlins do not give out no-trade clauses. At least in writing. Ask Buehrle or Reyes.

      • thebadguyswon - Sep 16, 2013 at 11:44 AM

        I would bet that Stanton is gone this winter, most likely to Texas for a package headlined by Jurickson Profar. And that would actually work for both teams. Texas needs a huge bat and Miami would get a cost-controlled future superstar at SS.

      • Old Gator - Sep 16, 2013 at 11:45 AM

        Stanton wants to go home to California eventually. I’m sure he’s at least as unhappy with his current season because it will diminish the leverage he hoped he’d have to bludgeon Scrooge McLoria with a huge arbitration award and force the parasitic skinflint to trade him rather than pay him, but I really doubt if you’ll see him sign an undervalued contract that would obligate him long term to such a rancid environment.

  5. andreweac - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    Jeff Mathis and his mighty CERA will save the day!

  6. Old Gator - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Oh boy – an early birthday present! Thanks Craig.

    But…no card? No ribbon?

    Alright. I’m neutral in my feelings about Larry Beinfest and Mike Hill. But…the Chihuahua? No thanks. That would be a bit like feeling sorry for one-tenth of Luca Brasi. Samson has been Scrooge McLoria’s dedicated bagman, hit man, champion sycophant, clubhouse and dugout bully-boy, designated liar-in-chief in his manipulation of that dimwitted and corrupt cabal of theives, derelicts, miscreants, pariahs, poltroons, spalpeens, curmudgeons, clotpolls, gamblers, bawds, whores, trulls, brigands, topers, tosspots, sots and archsots, lobcocks, smellsmocks, runagates, rakes, and other and assorted felonious debauchees who comprise the elected so-called representatives and their patronage factotums of the dystopia of Macondo and environs (whereupon he laughed at them for fools) and, worst of all, half spawn of a woman with the exquisitely bad taste to have once and tragicomically married Scrooge McLoria in the first place. At least she skinned him pretty good on the way out the door. For all I care Scrooge McLoria could hang him out by his tail like a roadkilled raccoon from a poisonwood with his hands and feet trussed with plastic ties low over a pit of hot coals until his hairspray ignites and his alleged brain bubbles and steam whistles out of his nostrils and ears. No, no sympathy here.

    And what should become of Scrooge McLoria hisself, you ask?


    May he be….ahhh, who has all morning to waste on a gobbet of approximately hominid detritus like that? Just check Dante’s Inferno, Cantos 31-34. The Crawling i is a Circle Nine guy. On a scholarship.

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 16, 2013 at 10:06 AM

      I found it interesting that Alex Anthopolis has praised Beinfest in the past. He seems to be a good baseball man; however, Loria doesn’t want to fire him and pay severance. Beinfest on the other hand, wants some financial security and does not want to resign.

      Selig will not do anything, so the next commissioner of baseball will have to do something about Loria.

    • rje49 - Sep 16, 2013 at 10:20 AM

      SO, does that mean you don’t like David Samson?

      • Old Gator - Sep 16, 2013 at 11:09 AM

        Not necessarily. If you argued that my contempt for him was gratuitous, I would plead no contest.

  7. Old Gator - Sep 16, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    @Paperlions: ackherley, you do have to give Beinfest, ie the Scrooge McLoria brainstem trust, credit for the one, maybe two key moves that made the difference in the Feesh’s season in 2003: (1) the signing of Pudge Rodriguez as a free agent. Pudge was the sparkplug of the team on and orf the field. Without him, they’re playing golf in October. (2) Bringing back Jeff Conine for the stretch run. The numbers won’t say it per se but Conine had an uncanny knack for getting key hits and covered a handful of in- and outfield positions with something more than competence – and of course, there was his great throw to Pudge to nail J T Snow at the plate and seal the NLCS.

    But having said that, yeah, Henry and Dombrowski handed the team to Scrooge and friends (or factotums, might be a better term) on a sterling platter. Then, with their usual overweening gratitude, they let Pudge walk during the orfseason. As I have repeatedly pointed out, they haven’t sniffed a postseason since.

    I wonder what the point is when people keep bringing up the ridiculous matter of “two world championships,” one of which had nothing to do with current ownership, as you and many others repeatedly point out for the succor of the brain-dead, the other of which was only minimally to their credit, and the most recent of which was ten fucking years ago. Mentioning those prehistoric episodes no longer proves anything – except, perhaps, that those who keep bringing it up clearly have no grasp whatsoever of the history of the situation.

    • binarymath - Sep 16, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      Gator, nice work with the thesaurus. Leave the math to grownups.

      There are 30 MLB teams. Over the last 100 years or so, the Yankees have won slightly over 25% of the titles. Let’s assume that figure holds up over time. That may overstate the Yankees chances, but it also probably understates the chances of teams like the Cardinals and Dodgers, who seem to remain competitive for decades at a time.

      In a 20 year period, that means you pencil the Yankees in for 5 titles (again, 100 years of history does not guarantee the future, but given the revenue base of the Yankees, it does not seem like a stretch.). That leaves the other 29 teams scrapping for the 15 remaining titles. Which means that if nobody else wins 2 or more of those remaining titles, nearly half of MLB can expect to go the full 20 years without a title.

      Marlins have won 2 titles in 20 years. And even if the most recent was “10 effing years ago” (as you so eloquently state), that simply means that the Marlins franchise is ahead of the curve relative to the rest of MLB in terms of titles in a 20-year period.

      Now if the Marlins go another 10 years without a title, they will move into “coin-flip” territory as far as probability – random chance says only about half the teams (other than NYY) can expect a title over a 20-year period.

      Your post seems to imply that you and other Marlins fans “deserve” more frequent titles. Please enlighten the brain-dead among us what is so unique about your particular fan base, and why you feel that entitles you to a number of WS championships that clearly fall outside of statistical norm.

      In 20 years and no titles, your complaints will be those of a sore loser. In ten years, they will sound like you lost a coin flip. Today, you just sound like a sore winner – apparently 2 WS is less than what you believe you have somehow earned as a fan. Take a look at history, and count up the number of teams that have not won a title in the last 20 years.

      Again, I pose a challenge: tell us exactly WHY you feel so entitled beyond your statistical good fortune over the last 20 years, and I will cheerfully retract my post.

      binary (but not as brain-dead as you might think)…

      • Old Gator - Sep 16, 2013 at 12:12 PM

        And you should leave interpretation of text and construction of your straw men to the “grownups.” All of your advanced mathematics – surely worthy of shortlisting for a Nobel Prize, if there were one for disingenuous numerology – really have nothing whatsoever of value to say to the current situation here in Macondo. No, I don’t feel that any fan base is “entitled” to more frequent titles – nor am I a “sore loser” in any sense. One can hardly be a sore loser when one has no expectations of victory in the first place, and I’d like to see you put your…eh…calculations where your mouth is and point out a single example of where I’ve ragged another team or its fans for their own championships. Good luck on the hunt – you’ll probably be about as successful as those two cracker python hunters from Tennessee who had to be airlifted out of the Everglades last spring when they got lost out there.

        Nor was there anything in my post that implies in any way that I feel “entitled” to anything. That’s your own construction of a straw man for the sake of your argument. As anyone who reads this blog with any regularity knows, I’m the very antithesis of the homeboy fan; if you want one of those, hang around a bit until Jimmythemarlinsgull makes his presence known via anything but a thumbs down. My point was that people who keep reminding us that the Feesh have won two titles in twenty years are forgetting, or at least ignoring, that it’s been a decade – or, half the time the team has existed – since we’ve won anything, and that the “twin titles” blurs the reality that the current ownership had nothing whatsoever to do with the first title and must share most of the credit for the second one with a previous ownership organization. The litany of “you’ve got two titles” stinks of sore losership on the part of those whose teams don’t have them far more rankly than anything I’ve ever written here. At worst, all I’ve done is put those two titles into the distant perspective they deserve – and how you even remotely interpret that as some kind of jealousy on my part has all the earmarks of someone merely reading into it what they need to read into it for the sake of their own specious argument.

        The argument – not yours alone, mind you, but a recurring motif of uncomprehending reiterations of the Feesh’s ancient history – seems to be that Feesh fan’s despair at the dead-end incompetence and dishonesty of the team’s current ownership is unmerited because prior ownerships were more competent and decade-old performance superior to the excremental mess we’re left with now. To all of which I say, seahorse shit.

        Perhaps you ought to go in for a scan of the Wernicke’s Region of your dominant temporal lobe (since I don’t know if you’re left or right handed) to see whether your language center is fully functional. Since a number of verbal processing regions of the brain are also involved in the kinds of simple arithmetic you insist on calling “math,” it is possible that the dysfunctions observable in your ability to read and interpret language objectively may also explain why you’re unable to understand why the numbers you’ve paraded for us here are irrelevant to the question of why Scrooge McLoria is such an asshole.

      • binarymath - Sep 16, 2013 at 3:16 PM

        Ease off on the condescension there, sparky, and you’ll realize a couple things:

        1. there are MANY fan bases suffering far longer than yours
        2. never did I say that you ragged any other team or fans. I simply showed that the mean-time-between-titles for non-Yankees is long. At your next tea with Nobel Laureates, ask how many of them think that is in any way disingenuous.
        3. while we all WANT to have competent ownership for our teams, there is an ever-growing body of evidence to suggest that “profitable mediocrity” is the goal for many owners.
        4. Marlins have had 2 bad owners in a row, and that sucks. Cleveland would be my pick for the city most likely to have a below-average owner. In fact they probably retire the trophy. Give Donald Sterling some sort of lifetime achievement award for his “body of work” with the Clippers. Mike Brown, Bill Bidwill, Bud Adams – football is not immune.
        5. But thankfully, having a knucklehead owner does not preclude winning. I would take Loria 100 times in a row over Marge Schott in an “owner skills competition.” And yet, the 1990 Reds won the Series in spite of her (and Eric Davis is still waiting to be reimbursed for his flight home from the hospital).
        6. We get that this is YOUR forum, and you don’t like to be challenged. We get that you hate Loria. We get that you resort to name calling and polysyllabic mumbojumbo in order to appear more cerebral if someone dares to question your omnipotence. We just don’t give a damn.

        Enjoy your day. I’ve enjoyed mine.

      • Old Gator - Sep 16, 2013 at 4:35 PM

        We get that you’re just another bloviating asshole who likes to hide behind the royal “we” and create sententious stick-figure distractions when you can’t really engage an argument point-for point.

  8. bobwsc - Sep 16, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    I will forever maintain that Loria looks like he smells like pee.

    • Old Gator - Sep 16, 2013 at 11:08 AM

      I don’t see the point of exerting yourself like that in defense of the painfully obvious.

  9. brentsalish - Sep 16, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    (Disclaimer: I’ve worked with Larry Beinfest.) Beinfest doesn’t suffer fools gladly, but (IMO – not based on any recent conversation)
    a) a contract is a contract and he doesn’t renege on his word,
    b) he’s a solid talent evaluator who understands both math-based and traditional evaluation and projection methods,
    c) he loves trying to find gems among the minor-league dross, and
    d) as screwed up as Loria may be, at least Larry is continuing to hone his craft.

    He’ll land in a better job – and prove he’s good at it – in time. As an ex-catcher, he’s learned the importance of patience, of waiting out a pitcher’s wild spell.

    • Old Gator - Sep 16, 2013 at 12:35 PM

      Oh, Beinfest will do fine. Hill, I don’t know. But the Chihuahua? Practically nobody in baseball can stand him, much less trust him. He’s going back to wholesaling newspaper subscriptions, at best, and back to mommy, at least, hoping she’ll latch on to another shark to whom he can play remora.

  10. shanydawg - Sep 16, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    this fish stinks from the head down. Loria is laughing, all the way to the bank, in the face of anyone who ever spend a dime on his pathetic team. BOYCOT the Marlins for 2 years. Evenutally, MLB will have him ‘reassigned’… but before they dose, I hope they let him dangle a while.

    • Old Gator - Sep 16, 2013 at 12:32 PM

      I’ve been Googling like crazy to locate a poem by the late great Czech genetic scientist and poet Miroslav Holub about the ancient Chinese emperor upon whose death was buried in a pile of dead fish so that something would stink more acutely than his royal remains. It’s somewhere in Holub’s book of poems entitled Vanishing Lung Syndrome, a collection I loaned, naturally, to a former student of mine who was also pre-med and who, naturally, headed off to medical school with it and from whom I never heard again. Ah well – all of this relates beautifully to any discussion of Scrooge McLoria, whose retention of a staff in which he seems to have lost faith somehow analogizes that emperor rotting merrily away in his royal robes under that pile of dead fish.

  11. rcali - Sep 16, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    I bet this guy had a lot of “atoning” to do this past weekend.

    • Old Gator - Sep 16, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      He almost certainly went to synagogue in New York. Down here, he’d’ve had to hang his tallit over his head Hasidic rebbe style to keep anyone from recognizing him.

  12. scotttheskeptic - Sep 16, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    Loria is the single, largest indictment of Selig’s tenure as Commissioner.
    As the saying goes, “show me a man’s friends, and I will give you a measure of the man.”

    • Reflex - Sep 16, 2013 at 1:34 PM

      I believe the McCourts were worse, and I’d say that its a tough call between Loria and the Wilpon’s.

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