November 19, 2012
Marlins Ownership and a History Lesson in Greed
“The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right; greed works.” —Gordon Gekko, Wall Street
I don’t know if Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria owns a copy of Oliver Stone’s Wall Street. The movie, which came out at the height of the 1980s’ “excess is best” period would seem to play well with him. That now infamous speech by Gekko summed up everything that was wrong with not only Wall Street but also where America was headed. Loria, it seems, is still living in the 80s.
I’m not saying Jeffrey Loria is Gordon Gekko. The biggest difference between the two is that while Gekko out-and-out broke rules, Loria has been able to skirt the edges of them, dodge bullets, and snub his nose in the process.
To understand Loria, the greed element, and what his most recent fire sale means requires understanding of his history within Major League Baseball.
Loria Gets the Expos
It’s here where the “Loriaizing” of each club he’s owned began to take shape. He almost immediately said that Olympic Stadium was substandard and that a new ballpark was needed. When that didn’t seem to be taking hold, Loria and his stepson David Samson, who was made club Executive Vice President, began dismantling the fan base further by not coming to an agreement for English-speaking radio and television deals. The effect was simple: it made the case that Montreal was not a viable baseball market even if the actions of the ownership had played a key part in driving fans away.