Jeffrey Loria's club is seeing a historic decline in tickets sold in the second year of its new ballpark.
“Nobody loves me, nobody cares, Nobody picks me peaches and pears. Nobody offers me candy and Cokes, Nobody listens and laughs at me jokes. Nobody helps when I get into a fight, Nobody does all my homework at night. Nobody misses me, Nobody cries, Nobody thinks I'm a wonderful guy.” –Shel Silverstein, poet and singer/songwriter
Shel Silverstein didn’t write this about the Marlins. For one, he died just a few short years after the club was christened in South Florida. Certainly, the Marlins are loved by some, just not by as many as they could, which is to say the current owners haven’t done themselves any favors. In poll after poll, column after column, Jeffrey Loria is ranked as the worst owner in all of North American professional sports.
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A look at Jeffrey Loria and Miami's current financial situation.
“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.
A look at the ten most likely places for a new MLB club
It seems that nearly every week, articles surrounding the potential relocation of the A’s and Rays surface. A panel looking into a potential San Jose relocation for the A’s has been gridlocked since 2009 (and remember, the A’s have been looking to move to San Jose for a heck of a lot longer than that). The Rays haven’t been far behind in their efforts to get out of Tropicana Field. Whether it’s the commute for fans to get to the domed stadium, the aesthetics, or the need to be closer to an urban core, it seems that Tampa Bay has been seeking a new ballpark for just as long. Relocation for these two clubs is crucial.
Another thing that comes up less frequently but has extra meaning going into 2013 is expansion. With the Astros moving into the AL West, the American League and National League will now be balanced at 15 clubs a piece. The problem is that 15 is an odd number, and as a result, interleague will become a daily affair. It’s unlikely that’s something that the league wanted, so getting to 32 clubs would take care of that matter. That would mean revenues spread thinner with two extra mouths to feed. Additionally, it’s no given that one or both wouldn’t be revenue-sharing takers, and trying to get ballparks built is no easy feat in this economy. So, 30 is a number that seems to suit the “Big Four” sports leagues in North America. The NBA has it. Ditto for the NHL. Currently, only the NFL—which has the advantage of being highly centralized (revenues are shared more evenly across the franchises) and exceptionally popular—is the exception at 32 clubs.
The Marlins' position players are fed up by their ballpark's dimensions, and Ozzie Guillen is fed up with them. Who's making the most sense
After my last Bill Veeck blowout, I planned to leave my copy of Veeckas in Wreck alone for a while, but current events keep making me pull it back off the shelf. This time, the impetus was Ozzie Guillen's recent complaints about his players' complaints about the dimensions of Marlins Park.
Examining attendance trends throughout Major League Baseball in the early going of 2012
You’re reading Baseball Prospectus, and I write for them. So, maybe not everyone will understand when I say that numbers are flat. They don’t tell the whole story. They can only get you close. What you have to have with numbers is “context.” I don’t care what the application of numbers is; if you don’t explain them, you’re only telling part of a story and, possibly, the wrong one.
Major League Baseball attendance is no different. The variables underneath what drives attendance figures are often overlooked. Each year I look at the numbers, and each year there seems to be something else to throw in to try and determine the underlying facets of them.
Roundtable discussion of the pressing questions facing the NL East teams as we approach the start of the season
1) After a disappointing sophomore campaign, what can we expect of Jason Heyward going forward?
MJ: Jason Heyward had an injury-riddled sophomore season in Atlanta, but there is a lot to like about his chances at a rebound campaign in 2012. His offensive line was deflated by a .260 BABIP, but his peripherals were once again stellar. His 11.6 percent walk rate represented a regression from 2010 but cannot be considered poor, and his .162 ISO likewise dropped from the previous year but did not experience a precipitous fall.
The noise coming out of Miami only rivals the shuffling market for closers. What are the fantasy implications?
Jose Reyes | Miami Marlins | SS | Signed as Free Agent Few would have predicted Reyes signing with Miami even a month ago, but the newly relocated Marlins are making big waves in the free-agent market this winter. In Miami, Reyes's value will likely rise a bit, but his ultimate fantasy value will be heavily tied to how many games he manages to stay on the field for. He'll bat leadoff for the Fish as he did for the Mets, but he'll have some much bigger bats behind him to drive him in; once you get past Emilio Bonifacio, who will bat second, he'll have Hanley Ramirez and Mike Stanton.
Reyes has averaged just nine home runs per season in Citi Field, so you might expect his power production to improve now that he's leaving (after all, he had a couple of 15-plus homer seasons in Shea Stadium). That is, until you realize that the new Marlins Ballpark has deeper fences than Citi almost the entire way around. The good news is that Reyes will recoup some of this value in terms of his steals. Ozzie Guillen is one of the most aggressive managers in terms of attempting steals, so Reyes could find himself back up over 45 or 50 swipes in 2012.
A look at whether Ricky Nolasco should be expected to play up to his peripherals or if he's destined to be a perennial underachiever
The Anti-Nolasco Case by Derek Carty Ricky Nolasco is a player I—like many fantasy owners familiar with DIPS—have targeted in fantasy drafts over the past few years. I owned him in both Tout Wars and Yahoo! Friends & Family last season, which, as others who owned him know, did not turn out very well.
While I still like Nolasco and am, in part, just playing devil’s advocate here, there are some very real warning signs that we need to take into account with the Marlins hurler. The most obvious one is the drop-off in his strikeout rate; it has fallen from over 20 percent from 2008-2010 to 16.6 percent in 2011, coinciding with a drop in fastball velocity of one mph since 2009. But while that’s concerning, it’s not the main reason to be worried about Nolasco. Even if his strikeout rate hadn’t fallen off this season, there would still be one very convincing reason to discount Nolasco’s FIP.
Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria would like to make a smash as the Fish move into their new park, but the team would be better off making only minor moves.
Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria wants people to forget about the Florida Marlins, forget about Sun Life Stadium, and forget about a miserable year that saw the team spend 92 of the final 105 days of the season in the cold, dark cellar of the National League East, only its second last-place finish since Loria purchased the team, unopposed, from John Henry in 2002.
A low payroll and thin farm system do not bode well for the opening of a new ballpark
Kiss 'Em Goodbye is a series focusing on MLB teams as their postseason dreams fade -- whether in September (or before), the League Division Series, League Championship Series or World Series. It combines a broad overview from Baseball Prospectus, a front-office take from former MLB GM Jim Bowden, a best- and worst-case scenario ZiPS projection for 2012 from Dan Szymborski and Kevin Goldstein's farm system overview.
A new way of adjusting for a player's environment.
One of the fascinating things for baseball fans is the differences between ballparks--the role that the very park itself plays in baseball is probably unique in sports. Different ballparks bring a very different character to the proceedings, and of course, they can even change the course of the events on the field.
It doesn’t help that MLB’s rules on the subject can be remarkably vague on the subject--at one point it states that “[a] distance of 320 feet or more along the foul lines, and 400 feet or more to center field is preferable,” which does little to indicate what might be allowed. This, of course, gives great latitude to ballpark designers, and they’ve taken advantage of that latitude.