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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Marlins have reached out to fans to let them know things will get better in the future.
The Marlins organization has faced fan outrage after the trade of many on the team’s roster and the controversy surrounding the funding of the new stadium.
On Sunday the Marlins took out a full page ad in the Miami Herald and the Sun-Sentinel which was signed by team owner Jeffrey Loria.
“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. As the owner of the ballclub, the buck stops with me and I take my share of the blame where it’s due.”
However Loria went on to say some of the criticism that he and the team have been given was unjustified.
“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,” according to the ad. “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.”
Some fans think he should have given the team more time to develop.
“Should have kept the team and see what happen next year,” said Marlins fan Armando Macet.
“He bought us a team then he traded everybody away. That’s not right. Now we’re back to square one,” said Kyle Snoke.
As for the funding of the new stadium, Loria defended the actions taken to get one built.
“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. The Marlins organization also agreed to contribute $161.2 million toward the ballpark, plus the cost of the garage complex,” according to the ad. “Many are attacking the County’s method of financing for its contribution, but the Marlins had nothing at all to do with that.”
As for selling off their ‘name’ players, Loria said it was a tough, but realistic decision.
“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,” states the ad. “Is it sound business sense to witness an expensive roster with a terrible record and sit idly by doing nothing? No. 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.”
Some fans think the Marlins have no one to blame but themselves and maybe the team would be better off elsewhere.
“If their business plan doesn’t work they can’t blame anybody. They’re the ones who hired the help,” said Dave Mezza. “They need to move the team. I really do think they should move the team.”
The ad states that as an organization he realizes that that they could do a better job communicating with their 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.”
Loria concludes that he’s like to see the criticism end and “I humbly ask that we start fresh, watch us mature qjuickly as a ball club, and root for the home team in 2013.”