Miami Marlins Fans Will Stay Home in Protest of Fire-Sale
Miami sent starting pitchers Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson, shortstop Jose Reyes, infielder/outfielder Emilio Bonifacio and catcher John Buck to Toronto, in exchange for shortstop Yunel Escobar, starter Henderson Alvarez, catcher Jeff Mathis and prospects Justin Nicolino, Adeiny Hechavarria, Anthony DeScalfini and Jake Marisnick (ESPN.com).
All of the big names that Miami brought in prior to the 2012 season are gone.
Heath Bell was sent to the Diamondbacks, and now Reyes and Buehrle have been sent to Toronto.
The team made a huge deal this offseason bringing in Buehrle, Reyes and Bell along with manager Ozzie Guillen. None of these men remain with the team today.
One has to wonder what on earth Jeff Loria was thinking.
Loria has gutted his team. The only big name that still remains is Giancarlo Stanton who sounded off on his Twitter account last night upon hearing of the trade saying, "Alright, I'm pissed off!!! Plain & Simple."
Logan Morrison joined in with Stanton tweeting, "I'm not gonna do whatever body thinks I'm gonna do and freak out! Ugh, I need a bath."
He followed that up by tweeting, "hey @JonHeymanCBS I just read that we got mathematically eliminated from the 2013 playoffs. Is that true?"
Needless to say, the remaining players are none too thrilled with the salary dump that Loria is conducting.
Fans and analysts are also turning to Twitter to voice their displeasure with the trade:
- "We knew Jeffrey Loria was a swindler. But now, he must be stopped http://cbsprt.co/UnLqw1 #Marlins #MLB" (CBS's Scott Miller @ScottMCBS)
- "'They've lost all credibility,' said one exec. 'I don't know how they can even show their faces in South Florida now.' #marlins" (ESPN's Jerry Crasnick @jcrasnick)
- "Jeffery Loria, David Samson, Larry Beinfest should b out of a job. Get a free new stadium from the public, then sh*t on them. Smh #marlins" (Fan: Max Mackey @Macmurda1)
According to thinkprogress.org's article on the stadium, the Marlins were able to secure "$409 million in public bonds" for their new stadium.
The article goes on to say that, "In the end, the cost of the stadium rose to $634 million. All told, the cost of repaying the bonds will be an estimated $2.4 billion over the next 40 years."
Roughly 65 percent of the new stadium was funded by the public and the Marlins have effectively taken the money and run away with it.
The same Think Progress article cites numerous moments of citizen opposition to the stadium deal, including instances where citizens recalled public officials who supported the stadium deal from office, yet the deal was still approved in 2009.
Loria's dumping of player salaries finds the team with a horrifyingly low 2013 payroll.
According to a tweet by Fox Sports' Jon Morosi the Marlins new salary commitments for 2013 total $25 million.
$11.5 million of that $25 million is owed to starter Ricky Nolasco.
The Marlins have $13.5 million committed to other players, that's not even half of Alex Rodriguez's yearly salary.
Miami ranked 12th out of 16 teams in the National League last season in terms of attendance. According to ESPN's tracker, the team attracted 2,347,251 fans last season.
By my estimation, if the Tampa Bay Rays were only able to draw 1.56 million fans in 2012, the Miami Marlins will be lucky to draw one million.
Just some final food for thought. The Marlins gutted their roster following their 2003 World Series victory. Even during that impressive season, the Marlins only drew 1,025,639. They saw a slight rise over the next two seasons but by 2006, they were back to just barely above one million (ESPN.com).
This time, the Marlins do not have the luxury of the post-World Series hangover.
All the team has, is failed expectations from the 2012 season, a blatant dumping of salary and a near-talentless roster for 2013.
The Marlins new roster is absolutely deplorable and this trade is an egregious f-you to the Miami fan-base. Loria has blown up the franchise and although he's done it before, the fans may never forgive him for this indiscretion.
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