In a presser a couple of days ago, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria promised that he would “figure out what went wrong and how to go about rectifying it. And we will.” As a lifetime Washington Redskins fan, statements like that are cause for a fog of despair and gloom to settle on my normally sunny outlook. Y’see, I’ve lived through the Dan Snyder horror show. When I see owners start talking about how they intend to “fix” losing teams, I can’t help but replay the litany of errors Redskins fans have endured since 1999. In November of 2010, the Washington City Paper published a breakdown of some of Snyder’s somewhat colorful and checkered history in the corner office at Redskins Park.
When Earvin Johnson put together his dream team syndicate to purchase the Dodgers from Nemesis-grade owner Frank McCourt, he made sure that a real baseball guy was part of the group. Guggenheim Partners put up most of the money, but Stan Kasten is the guy that really runs the show. Snyder, lacking any experience in actual football beyond being a fan, has put together a master class on how to grind one of the most loyal fan bases in football into the dirt. Over the period between 2003-2009, the Redskins have slipped in nationwide popularity from #6 to #17. A hallmark of Snyder’s tenure has been his influence on roster decisions, mostly through then-GM Vinny Cerrato. Sometimes it looks like Jeffery Loria is taking a page out of Snyder’s playbook, with arbitrary roster moves handed down from the non-baseball team of Loria and Samson.
For fun, here is a comparison of Snyder and Loria:
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However, I urge caution and reflection before running out to the garage to find the pitchfork and that old torch. There still isn’t a smoking gun that explains why so many of our starters and new acquisitions suddenly had back-of-the-bell-curve seasons. I’d argue that over the course of this season, the only actual disappointment/bad offseason move has been Heath Bell, and mostly for the weakness he’s shown in his slump. Seriously…blaming your catcher? In the meantime, Loria has cleared away some salary and traded away some bad clubhouse juju, and has put together a pitching staff that is starting to look very good. Aging rental player Carlos Lee is doing exactly what we’ve asked of him. Giancarlo Stanton is headed to the firmament, and will get there in a Marlins uniform.
Although Loria has made a number of moves that have seriously pissed off Marlins fans over the years, he’s Bush League in comparison to Snyder.