Reporting Gary Nelson
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Marlins’ decision this week to dump their high-paid all stars and “restructure” for the future follows a long and storied history of dashed hopes and broken promises.
Founder Wayne Huizenga, a buhjillionaire, persuaded Major League Baseball to create the team in 1990, and in April 1993, the legendary Joe Dimaggio threw out the first pitch in the team’s first game. The Marlins beat the Dodgers.
A short four years later they would win a World Series, defeating the Cleveland Indians.
Huizenga, pleading poverty, promptly dismantled his championship team, and sold it.
A new owner, Jeffrey Loria, took the team to a 2003 World Series championship against the New York Yankees, and subquently dismantled it, pleading poverty. Loria said he just couldn’t make money playing in the Miami Gardens stadium, owned by Huizenga, who continued to enjoy all the peanuts and beer and parking revenue. Fans stayed away in droves from the stadium that was drenched by summer rains.
Loria, another buhjillionaire, pleading poverty, persuaded Miami-Dade county and Miami city commissioners to pony up more than half a billion dollars to build the team a new, retractable dome stadium in Little Havana.
Three months into the less than stellar inaugural season in Little Havana, the team has decided to unload its blue chip players, bring in a bunch of nobody “prospects,” and “rebuild.”
Loria, having sold lots of season tickets and enjoying generous TV revenues, along with a syndicated network program chronicling the Marlins season, is sitting pretty.
Season ticket holders enjoy the prospect of watching unproven “prospects” finish out the season in what can only be perceived as baseball at its height of mediocrity.