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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The festivities surrounding the Major League Baseball All-Star Game are getting underway in South Florida.
As Fan Fest prepares to open its doors, the President of the Miami Marlins is talking about the event and the added spotlight on the organization.
“The excitement around this community is palpable,” he said. “People are talking about it.”
The All-Star game is finally in Miami, a first for the franchise that came into the league in 1993.
The hot topic surround the Marlins however, is the for sale sign hanging outside Marlins Park.
The hot topic with everyone, except for Samson.
“Jeffrey [Loria] is the third owner in franchise history and it’s been 25 years,” Samson said. “You never know when ownership reigns come to an end or don’t, but it’s not something I talk about right now.”
Speculation continues to grow. Not only about a sale of the team, but potential trades that have a fan base worried about losing local stars.
“Here’s what happened,” Samson explained. “Under Wayne Huizenga, under John Henry, under Jeffrey Loria. Three ownership groups, two World Series [wins]. Great seasons. Seasons where we lost a lot of games, seasons where we won a lot of games. That’s called baseball. That’s what you have in all these other cities. So, what I want to say to our fans is ‘just be so happy that we have an All-Star Game. Be so happy we have baseball in Miami. Certainly players are gonna get traded and players are gonna get signed.”
A recent USA Today article says the Marlins are losing money, and lots of it, leaving many to wonder if trading big contracts will make it easier to sell the franchise.
“That’s just not the case,” Samson said when presented with the scenario. “I can’t dissuade anyone from thinking what they wanna think but we’re operating the team the way we have every year. For the last 18 years in baseball, 16 in Miami. Which is taking advantage when you can, when you think you have chance in going for it. And if you’re not able to do it, you do what other teams have done. The question is will there be a rebuild? It’s not a fire sale, with a rebuild like many other teams have done, including two in our division.”
Samson would not give a time table for the sale of the franchise.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred will speak in Miami on Monday and hope is that he will give an update on the sale.