MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A new era of Miami Marlins baseball began on Tuesday.
Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter sat behind a microphone at Marlins Park on Tuesday, introducing themselves to Major League Baseball as the newest members of a very exclusive club.
“It’s one of the most exciting days of my life,” Sherman said to the collection of media members.
The ownership group led by Sherman and Jeter completed its purchase of the Marlins on Monday, closing the sale that had been in the works for most of 2017.
MLB owners unanimously approved the sale last week.
“I always wanted to be a baseball owner,” Jeter said. “I’ve had my mind set on this for years and I’ve been focused on Miami for years.”
Jeter used a lot of key words when describing his plans for the ballclub, saying that “respect, integrity, honor, hard-work,” will be cornerstones to build upon.
He also said that fans can expect to hear the terms community, culture, communication and patience a lot.
“I like competing, competition is key,” Jeter explained when asked about his motivation to own the Marlins. “I like to be a part of teams and this is competition at the highest level.
“I don’t miss playing the game but I miss being part of a team.”
Jeter stressed that the fans are the most important thing and that the owners want to get to know them and hear what they have to say.
When asked how big of a role he would have with the day-to-day operations, Jeter said to expect seeing him around quite a bit.
“The vast majority of my time and effort will be here working for the Marlins,” he said. “I think you have to be present, you have to be involved.”
Jeter plans to begin evaluating the players and staff in the coming days.
There has been speculation that the new owners would want to start from scratch and dump most of the Marlins current players in order to rebuild the farm system.
Jeter would not confirm nor deny any of those rumors but did allude to changes being on the way.
“Moving forward there are going to be at times unpopular decisions we make on behalf of the organization,” Jeter said, adding that any moves would be for the “betterment of the organization.”
“We want this to be an organization where players want to come play,” he said.
The purchase price for the Marlins was a cool $1.2 billion, netting former owner Jeffrey Loria with a nice profit after he purchased the team in 2002 for $158 million.
Jeter has about a four percent ownership stake in the Marlins and will be the head of baseball and business operations.
“You will not read anything about any players, any front office [personnel] before they hear it from me,” Jeter promised.
Jeter played 20 years in the majors, all for the New York Yankees. He won five World Series titles, five Gold Glove awards and was a 14-time All-Star.
Sherman’s equity stake is around 46 percent, the highest of anyone in the group.
He described sitting in Marlins Park following Sunday’s game, staring out of the stadium as the roof opened. He called it his “little field of dreams,” referencing the Kevin Costner film in which he builds a baseball heaven in his backyard.
While Marlins Park is a beautiful venue, it will likely be a while before fans can make that kind of connection.
Hopefully Tuesday is the first step in that direction.