Fans and lawmakers upset at Marlins organization
MIAMI (WSVN) -- It's what's known in baseball as a fire sale. The Marlins have given up some of their biggest names and highest paid stars for a bunch of little known prospects.
The move has left some fans and some local lawmakers fired up. They're angry at the team, especially the owner.
Marlins Park is absolutely beautiful, there's no questioning that. But the big question is, who is going to play in it next year? Since July, the Miami Marlins have traded away 12 major leaguers. Wednesday, many city and county leaders are saying, 'I told you so,' others are demanding answers. Meanwhile, the Marlin's owner defended the move.
With five of the team's best and priciest players leaving, the phrase fire sale is being used again and fans are fed up. "My thoughts on the trade? Here we go again," said one Marlins fan.
"I can't believe it," said another. "They traded the five best players they've got."
Marlins owner, Jeffrey Loria was not in town Wednesday. He's been attending the Major League Baseball's owner's meeting in Chicago. Loria told one reporter, "We finished in last place. Figure it out. We have to get better. We can't be in last place. We finished in last place. That's unacceptable. We have to take a new course."
Loria expressed a different tone than he did during spring training of last year. "We have fans that have been waiting for this ballpark," said Loria. "They've been waiting for this kind of a club, and we're going to be fine. We're going to be more than fine."
Loria secured the stadium through public financing. Tax payers picked up the majority of the $600 million plus stadium that will cost $2.4 billion as the decades pass.
The biggest critic throughout, billionaire community activist Norman Braman. We asked him for comment and he released a statement stating, "Ask the elected politicians who voted to give Loria and Samson tax payer dollars."
County and city leaders who voted against the deal are now saying, "I told you so." "What happened yesterday," said Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, "it's a poster child for failure with public and private partnership."
"That's not what the fans of Miami-Dade County were promised," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, "when the Marlins built the stadium."
In 2009, only four Miami-Dade County commissioners voted against the stadium. Nine voted for it. Despite a large public concern, this management group might sell off it's best players once they got their stadium. When asked if he would take his vote back if he could, County Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz responded, "Depending on the solution of their idea was for this whole thing."
Three city commissioners voted for the stadium, two against it, including Marc Sarnoff, who now predicts this: "My guess is," said Sarnoff, "and this might be speculation on my part, but probably the team is going to be sold, and that might be the best scenario for all of us."
Jeffrey Loria was asked on Wednesday if this would set up a possible sale of the team, he said. "Absolutely not. That's more stupidity."
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