Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Marlins have both been a source of pride and a national embarrassment. The team has a brand new stadium, new roster, and the same old attitude towards local fans.
According to a report from Miami Today, Marlins president David Samson made an appearance at the Beacon Council Tuesday and didn’t hold back on his attitude and negative view of the city of Miami and Tallahassee lawmakers.
Samson said, according to Miami Today, that Miami politicians were “not the intellectual cream of the crop and said about the entire population of Miami, “We’re not the smartest people in Miami. If you’re in this room, you’re instantly in the top one percent.”
Not surprisingly, Samson told CBS4 Wednesday that he was taken completely out of context in the quotes the Miami Today used.
“Yeah, that was not taken correctly,” Samson told CBS4′s David Sutta. “What we were talking about was politicians and how hard it is for them to actually do their jobs because they are always running for re-election and they are always raising money. That is what that was about, but shockingly misquoted.”
Samson continued by taking on Tallahassee politicians saying, “All I know is that gavel goes down and nothing gets done.”
Samson said Norman Braman did nothing to help the city, even though his lawsuit almost single-handedly derailed the huge taxpayer-funded stadium in Little Havana.
“I don’t see Norman Braman trying to fix anything,” Samson said according to Miami Today. “If he has the time and money, let’s see [him] run” for public office. “He should stop saying how bad it is, and start trying to make a difference.”
Again, Samson said his actual quote was taken out of context.
“As far as Norm is concerned, I just said really instead of suing people all the time in the government and everything you do, run for office and try to affectuate change,” Samson told CBS4. “That’s what I said. Again, I also said very charitable guy, he’s done a lot of great things in this community. I just don’t count this as one of them.”
Samson said during his speech that he also talked to the cities of San Antonio and Las Vegas about acquiring the Marlins when stadium negotiations were at a standstill.
Samson even took time to take a shot at his new star player, Jose Reyes. When Reyes signed, he talked about the vision the Marlins have for the future. Apparently, Samson said the signing was even simpler than that.
“He said, ‘I really want to play in Miami as long as you me $1 more than anyone else…I really want to make the most money I can,’” Samson said, according to Miami Today.
CBS4′s David Sutta told Samson that based on the Miami Today story, “people think you are taking the gloves off right now.’
“It’s actually not true,” Samson said. “I spoke to the Beacon Councile which is a group of business people and they count on people to try to say it how it is.”
Samson is walking a tightrope by openly criticizing the very city that will determine whether or not he has a job. Samson is confident in his ability to stay with the team; otherwise he wouldn’t have made his comments.
But, if the Marlins finally start putting a winning product on the field each year, much of the bitterness from fans will be quickly forgotten.