On the streets of Little Havana, they say: when the river roars it’s because it brings stones.
Miami River is a quiet river, but the Miami Marlins’ office in this modest neighborhood makes all the noise behind closed doors. No one has something positive to say about Jeffrey Loria, Miami Marlins CEO who certainly has hurt the team’s image of dealing with its fans.
This is a business, which reflects upon its city.
Everyone knows the Marlins’ economic situation: a team with a low budget, as any 20-year-old professional sport team would be. However, two World Series trophies in their showcase are not enough to rebuild its maltreated image. All arrows point to Loria’s office echoes in Little Havana.
It would be simpler if Loria would explain its economic plan by sitting with the local media and describe the team’s algorithm, not prefabricated and defensive answers. It would be simpler if Loria had explained last year the exchange of “five of its stars” to the Toronto Blue Jays. It would be simpler if Loria negated the dismantling of the 2003 World Champion Florida Marlins. It did not happen. Yes, they did not re-sign Ivan Rodriguez, nor Derek Lee to thick salaries that are only affordable by big market teams like the Detroit Tigers and the Chicago Cubs. Yet, that year, they added Paul Lo Duca and gave a shot to a left-handed prospect Hee-Seop Choi at first base, plus the comeback of A. J. Burnett.
After the failure of Choi at first, the Marlins signed Carlos Delgado the following year. But the team simply didn’t work.
Yes, the 1997 World Series Champion Florida Marlins team was brutally disbanded after the season. The bitterness has not gone away.
It happened without reason, with the greatest season in attendance four years before. It happened with the most extraordinary pictures of the today’s Sun Life Stadium filled with Marlins fans. The bitterness will be still alive, at least, until the subliminal face, the stone that fans and the media see Loria as, steps forward and explains that the team did not have the millions to sign Cabrera. Any team that year would have traded a player — in this case two players — for the six top-talents of any organization, as it happened with the Tigers, even more when it comes to a young franchise.
The Miami Marlins have to outsmart other richer franchises, and pray for the best, injury wise. No one wants to live lamenting the departure of a franchise-reared talent, but that’s the only way young teams can compete; that was why college draft was created.
Do not forget the two championships and a promising 2014. That’s what really matters. It would be simpler if Loria pokes his face to mute the noise from his closed-door office, and his vision becomes a public record.
Why not tchat with his team’s fans once a month?