MLB Rewards the League's Worst Owner by Giving Miami 2017 All-Star Game
Consider Jeffrey Loria's crimes. After decimating baseball in Montreal, the art dealer bought the Marlins with an interest-free MLB loan and then duped fans for a decade. He blatantly lied to taxpayers about how much money his team was making at Sun Life Stadium and then engineered the most crooked stadium deal in history. And through it all, he let his loudmouth former son-in-law run the franchise while insulting everyone in town and embarrassing himself on reality TV.
So of course Major League Baseball has decided to reward Loria for all his fine work. MLB will announce later this week that Marlins Park will host the All-Star Game in 2017.
See also: Six Lies About the Marlins Stadium
The marquee event comes to Miami after a few failed attempts. Pro Player Stadium was supposed to host the game in 2000, but MLB was so upset over then-owner Wayne Huizenga dismantling the 1997 World Series-winning club that it moved the game.
Loria also tried to get the game in 2015, but MLB then wisely noted the fact that Miamians were all but marching through the streets with pitchforks and flaming torches against the owner and decided to avoid that spectacle.
Now, Loria is getting the ultimate compliment from new Commissioner Rob Manfred. If MLB execs think Miami has chilled out about getting hoodwinked on a terrible ballpark deal, they should ask David Beckham how his quest to build an MLS stadium is working out.
Loria could hardly be more despised in South Florida if he had gone on live television and trashed Gloria Estefan and Pitbull in the same sentence. He couldn't be more disliked if he had been photographed French-kissing Fidel Castro while wearing a Che T-shirt.
And it's not an irrational hatred. He has truly been the personification of all that's wrong with professional sports in America.
He has turned a minimal investment into ownership of a team now valued above $600 million, all on the backs of the taxpayers who are being billed for a stadium they got no say in. His promises to invest in good players lasted all of half a season before he pulled the plug (after lying to one of his own stars, Jose Reyes, who had bought a house four days before getting shipped to Canada).
His front office's cynical disregard for regular Miamians is so obvious that David Samson, his ex-son-in-law/team president was caught on tape laughing about how dumb he thinks Dade County residents are.
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Did we mention that just last week, New Times reported that county auditors have found millions in improper expenses the team included in its small portion of stadium costs, including phone bills, janitors' expenses, and food costs?
Add it all up, and Loria just missed the number one spot on Rolling Stone's list of worst sports owners in America, losing only to a guy whose team name is literally an ethnic slur.
Commissioner Manfred, it's not too late to reverse this decision. In fact, MLB hasn't even officially announced its pick for the 2017 All-Star Game. Turn this whole thing into a cruel practical joke on Loria by heading to the podium later this week and giving the Washington Nationals the All-Star Game. Miami is begging you.
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