Derek Jeter is erasing the memory of Jeffrey Loria by being an even worse owner. Instead of building
This week, Jeter and his minions persuaded Miami-Dade County’s Art in Public Places board to allow them to move the Red Grooms-designed structure under the guise of needing more space in order to sell more tickets.
The Marlins’ top brass made a ludicrous pitch: They need to build a standing-room area for millennial baseball lovers who want to buy cheap tickets to a game. Given that the franchise produced the lowest single-season turnout for any team since the 2004 Montreal Expos, Jeter should instead be concentrating on getting more customers to pay for all the empty existing seats in the stadium.
Meanwhile, the former Marlins stars he traded away all got their first taste of playoff action this fall. Giancarlo Stanton, last year’s National League MVP, made it to the American League Division Series with his new team, the New York Yankees. Christian Yelich, Stanton’s former teammate in the Marlins outfield, is playing for the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Division Series. Though Jeter could find excuses to justify unloading Stanton’s monster contract, Yelich was entering only the third year of a seven-year contract. Trading him made no sense, especially when Jeter got only prospects in return for Stanton and Yelich, as well as their All-Star outfield partner, Marcell Ozuna, who went to the St. Louis Cardinals.
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Before Jeter and his partners paid $1.2 billion to buy the Marlins last year, the ex-Yankees Hall of Famer told Business Insider he wanted to be like George Steinbrenner, the late iconic owner of the Bronx Bombers. It’s obvious Jeter didn’t learn anything from the Yanks’ legendary boss. Jeter was probably the guy in the locker room who believed only he deserved the highest salary.
If anything, Jeter is taking chapters from Loria’s playbook. After all, Loria all but tanked the Expos so he could force Major League Baseball to sell him the Marlins in 2002 at a discounted price of $158.5 million. And for all the criticism Loria received, he did win a World Series as an owner and last year had built a team that was a good pitching staff away from being a playoff contender.
Jeter got rid of the Marlins’ best players because he knew the team would need to spend money on pitchers. Instead, he wiped out any chance the Fish had of fielding a winning team, as well as winning over fans. Don't be surprised if Jeter relocates the franchise to Charlotte, North Carolina, in the next three years.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.