Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Marlins fire sale of players to the Toronto Blue Jays has begged the question of where is Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig?
It’s presumed that a commissioner’s job is to protect the integrity of the game. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell often refers to this responsibility when handing out punishments or making rulings on specific football issues.
Yet, since word first broke of the massive salary dump the Marlins were about to execute on Tuesday, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has been silent. Even as the fan furor in Miami has grown to a fever pitch, Selig’s office hasn’t said a word about the trade.
The trade, which sent Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, John Buck, and Emilio Bonifacio to the Blue Jays, has all the makings of turning the Marlins into a non-competitive franchise for at least next season if not more.
Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said the team had to do something because it finished in last place in the National League East. Still, plenty of other teams have finished in last place and not taken a flamethrower to the roster like Loria did on Tuesday.
Still, through all of that, Selig has remained out of sight and his office hasn’t commented on what it plans to do with the trade. The league office is widely expected to approve the deal, regardless of what it will do to the Marlins or its remaining fans.
Selig has gone down this road with Loria before. His office helped Loria get rid of the Montreal Expos and buy the Marlins in 2002 and Selig has never been one to push the envelope when it comes to possibly punishing the owners who employ him, with the exception of former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt.
The Marlins have been reduced to being a punch line once again and have become the equivalent of the Cleveland Indians in the movie “Major League.” The owner in that movie wanted to run the team into the ground to force a movie and put together the worst roster she could to achieve that.
In the movie, the team rallies and wins just to spite the owner. Marlins fans can only hope that real life follows the movie’s storyline, but few are expecting the 2013 Marlins to be able to pull off that feat.
Still, as the Marlins become the joke of Major League Baseball again and carry out its third fire sale of talented players since 1997; Selig remains a silent observer.