Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Here's the problem with the people angrily wringing their hands and gnashing their teeth about the Marlins/Blue Jays trade

They are not acknowledging that the trade is a good move for the Marlins.  "They" includes really good writers like Jeff Passan, who carries on forever here about what a piece of shit Jeffrey Loria is.

[Loria and team president David Samson] were two men who for years lied about their finances, lied about their intentions, lied all to get Miami to build them a $634 million ballpark that was supposed to end this wretched cycle of turning a major league franchise into a swap meet.

Yes. They stink.

And yet all this time, throughout the lies, the SEC investigation, the embarrassing payrolls, the pocketing of revenue-sharing dollars...

All of these are shitty things that Loria has done/been involved with.  And yet: the trade was still the right thing for the Marlins to do.  They won 69 games last year.  There's no reason to expect the Nationals or Braves to get worse this coming season.  Would it be better for the Marlins to continue to trot out an expensive but non-competitive team?  When the Red Sox pulled this same exact shit three months ago, there wasn't a peep about embarrassment to the game or other such horseshit.  That's mostly because Loria is a known asshole and John Henry isn't (to the degree he should be), but the fact is that both teams made almost the exact same move and both of them are better off for it.  I'm not the world's biggest Jonah Keri fan, but he hits the nail on the head here.  It's worth a read.  To wit:

Thing is, the Marlins weren't going to win with the players they had, at least not for the foreseeable future. Last offseason, they signed Reyes, Buehrle, and Heath Bell while narrowly whiffing on Albert Pujols, breaking the bank in an attempt to build an exciting, winning team as they moved into a new ballpark. After all that, they won 69 games, finishing second to last in the National League in runs scored while allowing more runs than all but four other NL clubs. Free agents tend to produce their best results early in long-term deals, while they're still at or near their prime, then fall off in later years. The Marlins got productive Year 1 performances from Reyes and Buehrle, bundled them with a talented but hugely injury-prone pitcher in Johnson plus a couple of fungible veterans, and cashed them in for some intriguing prospects, plus the GDP of a Pacific island nation in salary relief.

If the Jeff Pearlmans of the world could stop crying about how the sanctity of baseball has been forever tarnished by this deal, maybe they'd realize what Keri realizes.  But what's the one thing that Keri:

It's a system, first and foremost, in favor of owners who fall in line with the commissioner's office. ... Loria hasn't made McCourt money from baseball yet. But he's pulled off a series of shrewd and increasingly profitable business moves, exploiting all the advantages afforded to members of MLB's ownership cartel.

and Passan:

[N]ot a word from the commissioner. Not a lamentation that by the time the balloon payments on the stadium hit, Miami taxpayers will owe more than $2.4 billion. Not a sign that he intends to protect the sport from the cretins within. And not a chance, unless public outrage on the matter changes his thinking, that he'll use his best-interests-of-baseball clause to keep Jeffrey Loria and David Samson from murdering another baseball market.

agree on?  Not that anyone needed a reminder, but Bud Selig is a real cumbucket.  My advice to you: if what Loria did pisses you off, or at least seems wrong on some level, don't bitch and moan about him.  Bitch and moan about the system that allows him to be him.


The rage of Larry B said...

I skimmed the Keri article and he nicely pigeonholes Luria as a slick manipulator who has and is using MLB as his personal piggybank. Lurie is able to justify the trade and salary dump by saying they only won 69 games last year but Keri nicely points out how much money Lurie should make next with his new bargain basement payroll.
NFL owners like Davis and Model were viewed as cretins when they tried to benefit from team ownership but not baseball oqners. Make you feel like a fool for rooting for the McCourt Dodgers or any sports team, really.

Anonymous said...

Keri also talks about how Huizenga (didnt look up spelling) did this in 97 after Marlins won the WS and praises him for doing the two things that owners are supposed to do: win a ring and make money. I believe he is paraphrasing a chapter from a book he edited and co-wrote along with the Baseball Prospectus staff. I am not sure if he wrote this specific chapter, but there is a whole chapter on the dismantling of the WS Champ Marlins and Huizenga and its very interesting. Highly recommended book overall.

Alex said...

Fire sales happen a lot. The Expos had their fair share.

Someone made a point that taxpayers forked over 75% of the cost of the new stadium in Miami, yet ownership pulls the rug from under them by selling star players. Rationally, it seems like a good move but aometimes rationalism and fans don't mix well.

Personally, government shouldn't be subsidizing loser businesses let alone Hollywood and sports teams. Alas, I'm a tight ass that way.

Meanwhile, Toronto is looking to buy a title.

As an aside, in case you may have missed it, Simmons offers his take on Bettman and the NHL lockout.

I think makes the case that the NHL should move its business models towards TV shows he likes.

Or something like that.