MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The Miami Marlins held a pre-spring schmooze with the media luncheon Friday and conspicuously absent was team owner Jeffrey Loria, one day after reports that Loria has a deal to sell the team for $1.6 billion.
That would amount to almost pure profit after he paid chump change for the Fish in 2003.
Loria won’t comment on a sale and players and management declined to play inside baseball on a possible new owner.
“I wish I had more information on it. All I know is what I’ve seen on Twitter, and that’s about it. I wish I had more knowledge on it, but I don’t,” said Marlins First Baseman Justin Bour.
The Marlins won the World Series in 2003, but no sooner had Loria hoisted the championship trophy than he sold off his championship players, outraging fans.
Then there was the more than half-billion-dollar stadium Loria convinced the county and city to pay for. Outraged taxpayers recalled the county mayor who backed the giveaway, removing him from office.
Not one season in the new stadium, Loria laid off the bulk of a star lineup – more outrage.
In 2014, Loria hired a big name batter, Giancarlo Stanton, hoping to regain affection, but CBS4’s Gary Nelson bluntly reminded him of the mood in South Florida.
“You, quite frankly, are much despised among many in this community,” Nelson noted at a news conference at the time. “Can a deal like this wash that much bad blood away?”
Loria did not answer the question. Many fans still loathe him.
“I won’t be disappointed to see Jeff Loria go. I’ll be disappointed that our tax dollars were given to that man and he’s running away with such a huge profit,” said Marlins fan Gwen Taylor.
Possible new owners? Various reports say New York development magnate Charles Kushner, Ivanka Trump’s father-in-law, or Ivanka’s brother-in-law Joshua Kushner. Ivanka, of course, has a father with a very familiar face.
It’s unlikely Loria will sell the team before March of next year. If he sells before then, he would have to give a cut of the take to the taxpayers.