Not South Florida's fault
Why would baseball give up on South Florida? South Florida taxpayers paid $360 million to build a new ballpark and to improve the Marlins' chances of sustaining a competitive team.
South Florida didn't hire a risky manager. South Florida didn't gut the roster. Jeffrey Loria did.
If baseball could give up on Loria, that would be one thing. But it appears the owner didn't violate any rules with this fire sale, so there's not much that can be done. That said, baseball is a game filled with unwritten rules — and ways that they're policed. If there's some way for Bud Selig to throw a brushback pitch, it should be aimed at Loria, not the people of South Florida.
Give up on Jeffrey Loria
Los Angeles Times
The idea that baseball would pull the plug now is the kind of lunacy that would lead to lawsuits and federal investigations — oh, right, the ballpark financing already is under investigation, because the Marlins lied to secure it.
As a baseball trade, the Marlins' deal is defensible. Better to blow up a bad team and collect a ton of prospects than tinker with the roster and end up with sustained mediocrity. But no one can trust Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria as the man to implement the plan. He promised a new ballpark in Montreal, then killed baseball there.
Loria is doing his best to kill baseball in Miami, too, but baseball ought to take the team away from him before he can.
There is no way baseball should be taken away from South Florida, especially if it were up to the taxpayers, who funded a brand new stadium.
The problem South Florida faces is that the Marlins are constantly changing. Yes, the franchise won two World Series titles. However, baseball is built on the tradition of teams growing with the community.
There needs to a consistent commitment to build a franchise. Barely into its second generation, what traditions have been formed for the community to embrace?
What player is identified as Mr. Marlin? Baseball can survive, but consistency is critical for the future.
MLB owes South Florida
Jeffrey Loria seems intent on doing for South Florida baseball what he did for Montreal baseball.
But at this point — after participating with Loria in the building of Marlins Park — it would be wrong for MLB to give up on baseball in Miami. If anything, it has an obligation to go above and beyond to save the franchise, which might mean removing Loria as owner.
The Marlins have had ownership issues since Wayne Huizenga decided he wanted out and have had stadium issues in every year but 2012. That they averaged 27,400 this season shows there's reason for hope, if the Marlins ever get their act together.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun