Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
There are a lot of reasons to hate the Internet. Cat videos. YouTube comments. I can't think of any others right now, but existence is full of ambiguity so there must be some. There are also lots of reasons to love the Internet. I like that video where the dog teaches the puppy how to go down stairs, for instance. That's about it, though. Oh, and I also like it when somebody takes out a full-page ad in the paper, and they put it online so everyone can enjoy it. Case in point: Yesterday, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria took out a full-page ad in the Miami newspapers ...
It's no secret that last season was not our best -- actually it was one of our worst. In large part, our performance on the field stunk and something needed to be done.
So far, so good. It really was one of your worst seasons. Actually, it wasn't one of your worst seasons; it was the worst. You purchased the Marlins before the 2002 season. The 2012 Marlins, purely in terms of on-the-field performance, lost more games with a worse run differential than any of your previous teams. So yes it stunk and something did need doing. But don't let me interrupt, please continue!
As a result of some bold moves, many grabbed hold of our tough yet necessary decision only to unleash a vicious cycle of negativity.
Translation: People are really, really mad at me.
As the owner of the ballclub, the buck stops with me and I take my share of the blame where it's due.
In the old days, when a person said "I'm to blame" or "I take full responsibility," it was often followed by "and so I tender this resignation." Now when someone takes full responsibility, nothing happens. But I digress. Can you list exactly the mistakes you've made, and what you've learned from them? How much of a share do you have coming? Is it less than twenty percent, like the Marlins' contribution to the financing of Marlins Park?
However, many of the things being said about us are simply not true. I've sat by quietly and allowed this to continue. Now it's time for me to respond to our most important constituents, the fans who love the game of baseball.
Wait. Confused. Why are you responding to the fans who love the game of baseball? Isn't it the "many" who unleashed the vicious cycle of negativity you should be responding to? What did those poor baseball-loving constituents do that merits a response? Have they also been negative? But they love baseball!
The controversial trade we made with the Toronto Blue Jays was approved by Commissioner Bud Selig and has been almost universally celebrated by baseball experts outside of Miami for its value.
Hold the phone ... the trade was approved by Commissioner Bud Selig? Well what the hell are people complaining about? But there's something I can't figure out ... If it wasn't the baseball-lovers who unleashed the vicious cycle of negativity and it wasn't the baseball experts outside of Miami who unleashed the vicious cycle, who was it? Because I'm concerned that they might not read the Miami newspapers, in which case you'll have to do this all over again soon.
In fact, objective experts have credited us with going from the 28th ranked Minor League system in baseball to the 5th best during this period. Of the Top 100 Minor Leaguers rated by MLB Network, we have six -- tied for the most of any team in the league.
That's a good point about the farm system. A year ago, it wasn't real good. Now Baseball America says it's the fifth-best in the game. Baseball America concurs about the prospects, too, placing six Marlins in their Top 100 list. You're on really solid ground here, talking about all the young talent and how wonderful the team might be in three or four years. Well done. Now's the time for a quick, graceful exi--wait, there's more? A lot more?
The very same naysayers who are currently skeptical once attacked us for bringing Pudge Rodriguez to the Marlins in 2003. More than any other, that move contributed to our World Series Championship.
You know that was 10 years ago, right? Still, Pudge was really good that season. I might argue that hiring Jack McKeon in May to manage the club made an even bigger difference than signing Pudge. But the naysayers were probably skeptical about that one, too. Now you're going to say goodbye, right? Before you say anything that might actually get you in troub-- Oh, no.
The ballpark issue has been repeatedly reported incorrectly and there are some very negative accustations [sic] being thrown around. It ain't true, folks. Those who have attacked us are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts. The majority of public funding came from hotel taxes, the burden of which is incurred by tourists who are visiting our city, NOT the resident taxpayers.
A lot of people probably figure a New York art dealer is above saying ain't. Now we know better. You're a real man of the people. About those hotel taxes, though ... Yes, the direct burden is borne by the tourists and the convention-goers. And hell yeah, soak those non-resident taxpayers for all they're worth. You've heard of opportunity cost, though, right? Those hotel taxes might have been spent on just about anything else; coincidentally, "just about anything else" would probably have created more permanent jobs and tangible benefits for the residents than a new baseball stadium.
The Marlins organization also agreed to contribute $161.2 million toward the ballpark, plus the cost of the garage complex. In addition, the Marlins receive no operating subsidy from local government funding. The ballpark required that all debt service is paid by existing revenue.
I don't know what that means. But I did read this and it looks bad. Real bad. Probably the best thing is to avoid the words "debt service" until you sell the franchise, at which point your prospective buyers will be thrilled with the news that the Marlins won't be servicing any stadium debt, nossir.
Furthermore, many are attacking the County's method of financing for its contribution, but the Marlins had nothing at all to do with that.
Translation: It was those other guys who stole the money. We just asked for it, and they gave it to us, and we spent it.
The fact is, with your help, we built Marlins Park, a crown jewel in our beautiful Miami skyline, which has won over twenty design and architecture awards and will help make us a premiere ballclub moving forward.
Well, that's why we play the games, to win design awards. - Everyone
The simple fact is that we don't have unlimited funds, nor does any baseball team or business. Fans didn't turn out last season as much as we'd like, even with the high-profile players the columnists decry us having traded. The main ingredient to a successful ball club is putting together a winning team, including a necessary core of young talent. Are we fiscally capable and responsible enough to fill the roster with talented players, invest in the daily demands of running a world-class organization and bring a World Series back to Miami? Absolutely! Is it sound business sense to witness an expensive roster with a terrible record and sit idly by doing nothing? No. I can and will invest in building a winner, but last season wasn't sustainable and we needed to start from scratch quickly to build this team from the ground up.
Huh. Seems like a strange strategy. So if the Marlins didn't win last season, the plan all along was to start from scratch immediately? Did you mention this to anyone with the city or the county before asking for the $500 million (plus debt service)? Also, did you commission any studies about what would happen to attendance if you signed a bunch of high-profile players? It seems like that's something you might want to do, before signing a bunch of high-profile players. You're right, though: It's not sound business sense to lose with an expensive roster. Is it sound business (or baseball) sense to sign a bunch of past-their-prime veterans and think you're going to win 20 more games than the year before? Absolutely not!
An organization is only as good as its connection with the community. We know we can do a better job communicating with our fans. That starts now. From this point forward we can ensure fans and the entire community that we will keep you abreast of our plan, rationale and motivations.
Sounds good. Say, a full-page update in the all the newspapers, on the first day of each month from now until the next time you're in the World Series? Because the naysayers
objective experts can really use the material.
Amidst the current news coverage, it an be easy to forget how far we went together not so long ago. In 2003, I helped bring a second World Series Title to South Florida.
Actually, that does seem like sort of long ago. I think that was before e-mail. Instagram for sure.
We know how to build a winning team, and have every intention of doing so again.
Depends on your definitions of "know" and "winning team", I guess. One thing we "know" is that in the nine seasons since winning the World Series, the Marlins have lost more games (750) than they've won (707) and been outscored by 293 runs (give or take zero runs). Considering that you haven't come within four wins of a postseason berth since 2003, it's not completely apparent that you do, indeed, "know" how to "build" a "winning" "team".
We're in this together and I humbly ask that we start fresh, watch us mature quickly as a ball club, and root for the home team in 2013.
Hey, we'll be there at the ballpark in 2013. Right there with the other 43 people in Miami who, after all those winning teams you've built, still love baseball.
Jason Brannon (a.k.a. Twitter's jdbranno) conspired to help create this ill-gotten piece of literature.
To read much more about Jeffrey Loria and the Miami Marlins, please visit SB Nation's Fishstripes.