SBD/March 22, 2013/People and Pop Culture

SI Profile Of Marlins' Jeffrey Loria Examines "Baseball's Most Besieged Owner"

Loria says despite Samson's advice, he has never considered selling the Marlins
Marlins Owner JEFFREY LORIA is profiled in this week's issue of SI, and S.L. Price writes he is MLB's "most besieged owner." Loria was "intent on reclaiming the narrative" surrounding the Marlins when he placed a full-page, 800-word ad in four South Florida newspapers last month explaining the team's highly scrutinized offseason. Price: "Never mind the crucial task of solving the eternal puzzle of sports in South Florida. Never mind that some people inside his shaken franchise are wondering whether Miami was ever a baseball town." Few if any owners "involved themselves as intimately as Loria in their team's baseball operations." But even after "last season's debacle," he remains "cocky." Loria said, "With the players we have now? In another year or two people are going to look back and say, 'Jeffrey, you were a genius.'" Former Eagles Owner NORMAN BRAMAN has "spent the last decade fighting government-sponsored financing for the Marlins' -- and the Dolphins' -- stadium projects." Braman said, "Jeffrey was always a jock sniffer. After I sold the Eagles he said, 'How can you sell a sports team?' It means everything in the world for him to have arrived where he is today. He doesn't give a crap about anything else. It's him." While Forbes values the Marlins at $450M, those "hoping that Loria will cut and run will have to be patient." Per the terms of team's Marlins Park deal with Miami-Dade County, if Loria sells his 93% stake in the team before '15, he will "have to give the county a cut of the profit." Marlins President DAVID SAMSON said that since the completion of the deal, he has "received feelers from interested buyers 'once a week' -- and is advising Loria to sell." Samson: "I would've sold it opening night. Just walk on the field, say, 'Thank you Miami, I love you, this is your ballpark, see you later.'" But Loria said that he has "never given the idea of selling 'a moment's thought'" (SI, 3/25 issue).
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