Jeffrey Loria, PR Amateur

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria placed a full-page ad in all three South Florida daily newspapers this morning, and there is only one proper thing to do with it: An FJM-style annotation and commentary. Let's get to it (text courtesy of the Miami Herald).
This is an accurate title, though you could argue that the letter is to the team's fans, as Loria himself has no 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.
Right, Our genius moves would be appreciated if only it weren't for you sourpusses in the media! Why would the media cover a fire sale in such a negative light? WHO COULD HAVE FORSEEN THIS? (Other than perhaps Jeffrey Loria, having gone through a similar experience after the 2005 season and with full knowledge of the fan backlash to the post-1997 fire sale).
As the owner of the ballclub, the buck stops with me and I take my share of the blame where it's due.
Could he actually hold himself accountable???
However, many of the things being said about us are simply not true.
SYKE! Loria would never do such a thing.
I've sat by quietly and allowed this to continue.
"Jeff Loria: martyr," said no one, ever.
Now it's time for me to respond to our most important constituents, the fans who love the game of baseball.
Will he say he's sorry for making necessary baseball moves in such a ham-fisted manner? I think we all know the answer to that

Losing is unacceptable to me. It's incumbant [sic] upon us to take swift action and make bold moves when there are glaring problems.
Unacceptable yet so profitable... Seriously, the fact that Loria must state that he wants his team to win tells you how deep a hole he has dug for himself.
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.
Celebrate is a huge overstatement (Even positive coverage includes a ton of caveats: See exhibits A, B, C). Also, earlier he writes about a vicious cycle of negativity surrounding the trade, now he says it has been "universally celebrated by baseball experts." You can't have it both ways.
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.
Not much to criticize here. The problem is not that the Marlins broke up a juggernaut; last year's team lost 93 games. Loria promised to field a winning ballclub every year in the new stadium, then totally gave up on winning in 2013. It is quite difficult to justify trading three of the players who clearly were not to blame for the team's struggles (Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, and Mark Buehrle, who combined for 10.5 WAR). Loria threw the baby out with the bathwater, that's why Marlins fans are still angry.
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.
In sports, you either sell wins or sell hope. Loria is selling hope, good luck with that.
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.
You may think we don't know what we're doing, but remember that one time we made the playoffs a decade ago using Dave Dombrowski's roster?
More than any other, that move contributed to our World Series Championship.

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.
This should be good.
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.
Once the tourists pay those taxes, they belong to the public. Just because it did not come directly from taxpayers' pockets does not mean there are not a bunch more productive uses for that money than Loria's gleaming boondoggle in Little Havana.
The Marlins organization also agreed to contribute $161.2 million toward the ballpark, plus the cost of the garage complex.
Total stadium costs came out to $634 million. Loria won't tell you, but that means the public paid more than $450 million (not including escalating financing costs).
In addition, the Marlins receive no operating subsidy from local government funding. The ballpark required that all debt service is paid by existing revenue.
That's the team's debt service, not the county's (see the above link for more).
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.
Monetary value of architecture awards: $0.

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?
Is it sound business sense to witness an expensive roster with a terrible record and sit idly by doing nothing? No.
Your Nobel Prize is in the mail.
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.
Again, the problem is not what you did, but how you did it (using public financing to build a new stadium that increases the team's accounting profits while not even pretending to care about your fans).

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.
Jeffrey Loria's WAR in 2003: 0.0. And I cannot mention this enough, but the core of that 2003 was built by Dave Dombrowski, not Loria or Larry Beinfest (Beinfest gets credit for turning Antonio Alfonseca into Dontrelle Willis, though).
We know how to build a winning team, and have every intention of doing so again.
I have every intention of getting Alison Brie to fall in love with me, but intent only gets you so far...
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.

Jeffrey Loria
To recap: Nothing is Loria's fault, that stadium sure is pretty, he totally knows what he's doing, and the Marlins will be good at some point, just you wait.

Excuse me while I vomit.


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