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SBD/November 15, 2012/Franchises
Marlins' Samson, Loria Speak Out In Defense Of Trade With Blue Jays
Published November 15, 2012
MIXED FEELINGS: MLB Commissioner Bud Selig at the owners meetings in Chicago yesterday said that the league has yet to see a formal submission for review of the proposed blockbuster trade between the Blue Jays and Marlins that sheds almost all of the Marlins' veteran payroll. Selig declined further comment on the much-discussed deal, but is expected to address the matter later today following the conclusion of the meetings. Selig is not expected to use his best-interests-of-baseball powers to scuttle the trade. Loria, meanwhile, declined to address a group of assembled reporters as he attended committee meetings yesterday, angrily snapping. "Not today, boys. If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm not going to figure it out for you." On the record, other team execs yesterday said they felt there was nothing overtly wrong with the deal. Even outspoken critics of the prior activities of revenue sharing recipients. "Both teams thought they improved themselves. That's what trades are all about," said Yankees President Randy Levine. "There's a collective bargaining agreement, and so far as we can tell, everybody's playing by the rules." White Sox Chair Jerry Reinsdorf declined to characterize his feeling on the trade, even as his body language suggested concern. "That's an interesting question," Reinsdorf said when quizzed on the trade. "I think I'm going to leave that to the commissioner. As a smart man said, it's above my pay grade." More privately, many owners communicated astonishment regarding the deal. "Just when you think you've seen everything, this comes along," said one team exec with multiple decades in the game, shaking his head (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal).
30 ANGRY MEN? ESPN’s Buster Olney said if he were Selig, he would "be worried about the owners’ meetings ... knowing how many angry people are going to be in the room.” Olney said team execs told him “there are going to be a lot of questions raised about revenue-sharing money thrown at the Marlins in recent years, whether or not this is going to do damage to the Miami market going forward” but if you are Selig this is a “road you’ve been down before.” ESPN’s Darren Rovell said the sell-off and receiving revenue-sharing payments is a “brilliant business move." Rovell: "Is it unethical? It would seem that would be the case” ("OTL," ESPN, 11/14).