SBD/November 16, 2012/Franchises

Marlins President David Samson Responds To Upset Fans, Asks For Trust

Samson said fans could look back on this past season as a "very painful time"
Marlins President David Samson took questions from callers Thursday on "The Dan Le Batard Show" on WAXY-AM in Miami in the wake of the team's trade with the Blue Jays earlier in the week. One caller told Samson, "It just seems you are out of touch with the common fans." Samson replied, "To our fans, all I want to say is I understand. I really do. And I want to earn that trust every day and I think the best way to earn it is by being honest about what we have and not be seduced necessarily by names but be an absolute slave to results. That’s what we are and that’s what I hope will show and I really hope these decisions were right. I hope the more right decisions we make, the more trust there is." Samson added, "I really hope that over time we’ll look back on these times and say this was a very painful time but that it worked out just like the ballpark debate which was very painful like it is in every city." Samson was "pressed for dodging questions on what the team's payroll will be" in '13. He said, "Last year our payroll was amongst the highest and we were amongst the worst. So if our payroll is amongst the lowest, we should be among the best?" ("The Dan Le Batard Show," WAXY-AM, 11/15).

STARTING OVER: In Miami, Clark Spencer cites one MLB agent who said that it "will be extremely difficult for the Marlins to attract free agents in the future." The agent said, "No one's ever going there again. They’re going to have to overpay by 25 percent to get guys to come there now. They basically took the no-trade clauses and stuck them up [SS Jose] Reyes’ and [P Mark] Buehrle’s (butt). There’s no integrity in anything that they do and anything that they’ve said." He added, "They’re the laughingstock of baseball. Miami is now baseball’s Siberia" (MIAMI HERALD, 11/16). In West Palm Beach, Greg Stoda writes the Marlins will "look like an expansion team next season." That is what Owner Jeffrey Loria "will be asking fans to buy into." Stoda notes the expansion Marlins in '93 drew 3.1 million fans to Joe Robbie Stadium, "which might be double" the number the Marlins draw next season (PALM BEACH POST, 11/16). SPORTS ON EARTH's Joe Posnanski wrote under the header, "Why Would Anybody Go To A Single Marlins Game In 2013?" The most "ridiculous part about the most ridiculous trade in memory is how quickly the Marlins gave up on themselves, their fans, their players, their new stadium and their city." Maybe the Marlins are "just that strapped financially, even though they basically had a new stadium built for them" (SPORTSONEARTH.com, 11/15).

FOOL ME TWICE... SPORTS ON EARTH's Jorge Arangure Jr. wrote the "biggest mistake one can make in assessing the dismantling of the Marlins is that Miami fans have been duped." To "imply they have been betrayed implies they were respected in the first place." Not when ownership has "lied to them time and time again." What fans have "learned is that you can’t buy yourself a championship from scratch -- which is a boost to every baseball man who strongly believes that scouting and development is the genuine approach to building a franchise." Loria could have "continued to throw cash at free agents, but it wouldn’t necessarily make the franchise any better" (SPORTSONEARTH.com, 11/15).

FAN-NING THE FLAMES: In Toronto, Richard Griffin writes the Blue Jays and GM Alex Anthopoulos have chosen "to spend money, to spend money wisely, to try and compete with the big boys." What is "surprising, but was intuitively necessary for ownership, is that the attendance did not suggest this bump was coming." What management "understood was that a skeptical fan-base was ready to jump ship if Rogers showed it did not want to compete right now." Do not "underestimate the influence of the Jays' fans on this deal, a reflection of their support the first seven months of 2012" (TORONTO STAR, 11/16).

THANKS A LOT: In Tampa, Gary Shelton writes Loria "did as much damage to the Rays' future as he did to that of his team." In other words, "the Rays' quest for a new stadium just got a little harder." This time, the "backlash against Loria The Insufferable will be so great that it might affect a vote in Tampa Bay." This is the "disservice Loria has done his fellow owners, especially those in need of new stadiums" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 11/16).
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