I have never seen Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria in person, and I never really want to. And not just because the guy is a total douchenozzle. I’ve always had this mental image of Loria being no taller than 5-foot-4, allowing his physique to match his Napoleonic attitude. (It also would give us the liberty of making jokes indicating that Mr. Loria is not particularly well-endowed, although he seems like exactly the kind of guy who would take Extenz every day so maybe this is not the case).
Of all the assholes in baseball — and trust me, there are more than can be counted — Loria has long struck me as the worst. First, he gutted the Expos and left them for dead before buying the Marlins in one of the shadiest deals that baseball has ever allowed. It seems preposterous that baseball would allow a guy to own one team, do nothing to make it competitive and then sell it before buying another. This type of thing should have been disallowed back when the owners of the Cleveland Spiders bought St. Louis, sent all their good players there and then left the Spiders to have the worst team ever in 1899. (How’s that for a Grandpa Simpson rant? Also, even more proof that Cleveland has been cursed far longer than any of us give credit).
After taking over the Marlins, Loria has somehow managed to lift a World Series trophy over his head (typing that last sentence makes me feel the despair over and over again. GAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH) despite continually running his team like a chop shop.
In 2006, Loria really upped the ante when he fired NL Manager of the Year Joe Girardi — beloved as a player in these circles, and by far one of the best guys I met while covering the Cubs as an intern — because of their inability to see eye-to-eye. Most notable was Girardi’s insistence that Loria stop berating umpires during the middle of the game, since after all that’s a manager’s job.
Just over a week ago, we learned that Loria has been cooking the books while swindling talking South Florida taxpayers into helping finance a new stadium for the team they don’t show up to see in the fucking first place. (He tried the same act in Montreal and it didn’t fly in Canada, where taxpayers are apparently willing to pay for health care but not subpar baseball).
But this week, Jeff Loria finally painted his masterpiece.
As Braves manager Bobby Cox embarks on his farewell tour of baseball after 25 years leading Atlanta, every National League team he has visited for the final time has offered a memento to Cox when he comes to the ballpark — examples include a seat from Wrigley Field and an autographed Stan Musial photo.
Every team has done this except for the Marlins, that is.
The likely reason?
When Florida fired manager Fredi Gonzalez midseason, Cox said the following of Loria: “That guy doesn’t appreciate anything.”
As Bobby just proved himself, never have words rung truer.