Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Massive Marlins Firesale & Rays Impact - Part 2

Last night, my quick reaction to the Marlins' sell-off - besides calling out of team owner Jeffrey Loria for bailing on the unwritten obligation he has to South Florida fans - was that it will be another impediment to the Rays trying to get a new ballpark built.  Of course, we always knew the Rays were facing a decade-long uphill battle anyway....but this morning, it appears more are getting on-board with the thinking.  Here's a small sampling.

Keith Olbermann on
Rays’ owner Stu Sternberg was already less than sanguine about getting significant scratch from the state and local governments for a new ballpark that is absolutely essential to his survival in Tampa/St. Petersburg. If he had any hopes left after the disastrously low crowds for the free ballpark the good burghers of Florida gave Jeffrey Loria, they have to be gone now and he has to be looking elsewhere.
(Olbermann goes on to talk about how there are no viable markets for the Rays to move right now - a point I've made several times.  I just wish he didn't lose credibility by contending the team will now move to Montreal.)

Neil deMaus on Field of Schemes:
This looks a simple case of an owner who got the publicly subsidized new stadium he’d been dreaming about for a decade, used some of the proceeds to pay star players like he’d promised, was disappointed in the results both on the field and at the ticket office, and threw up his hands three months in and decided, “Hell with this, I’m going to go back to making money the old-fashioned way: Not spending anything or trying to sell tickets, and just collecting my share of league money and pocketing it."

Maury Brown on Biz of Baseball:
"The reality is, if you don't have a competitive team, the big stadium that's built publicly and privately becomes another disaster," Samson said in 2008.
Well, glad to see you pushed that whole disaster thing forward on Tuesday.
Jonah Keri on Grantland:
What makes Loria a genius is something more elemental, something that goes well beyond any one trade, even one this big: The system is rigged, and Loria is taking advantage of it better than any other owner in baseball history, other than Frank McCourt.
I don't blame him for any of this. I'm just impressed by how well he worked everything to his advantage, taking advantage of elected officials, short-sighted businessmen, and a system that rewards the kind of behavior that might seem despicable but is impossibly profitable. When it comes to Jeffrey Loria, I'm just in awe.
Basically what Keri is saying, is "I'm not even mad; that's amazing."

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