Just when things were starting to look like they were turning a corner for the Marlins…
According to a Miami Herald article by Charles Rabin, the United States Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched an investigation into exactly how the Marlins ownership was able to secure funding for the new Marlins ballpark from both the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County. The SEC has sent a subpoena to the Marlins owners demanding all documentation related to the discussions between all parties included. The SEC has also demanded all financial records of the Marlins ownership relating to the deal. The city, county and the Marlins ownership have until January 6, 2012 to hand over all relevant information.
My gut feeling on this one is that while this looks bad for the Marlins from a public relations standpoint, it appears as if Loria is not at fault, even though his business practices may have been sleazy. It appears that the SEC is pointing their fingers at the leaders of the city of Miami and Miami-Dade county as being the ones who are to blame for this situation and the ones who may face legal action and punishment if found guilty. Loria and his gang may just have to testify against them. It is the job of elected public officials to act in the best interest of the public that elects them. All Loria did was get away with what these public officials allowed him to get away with, perhaps shady, perhaps unethical, but probably not illegal. Again this is just my gut feeling, for what it is worth.
Jeff Passan with Yahoo Sports has a somewhat different opinion in his recent article, in which he calls the Marlins ownership, and Loria in particular, out on what he considers to be shady business practices. I’m not going to elaborate on a lot of Passan’s points but you should know that he comes across very much like an Occupy Wall Street protester.
One of Passan’s points that strikes a cord with me is when he notes that any potential free agent signings the Marlins are currently pursuing should heed his warning and take the SEC investigation into account when they consider signing. This point is crap, in my honest opinion, because it will take years to gather and decipher all the information to figure out who the guilty party is. Then you’ll have what is sure to be a lengthy trial process. This will not affect the Marlins ability to sign any free agents, but it could possibly affect the Marlins ability to keep them if things get nasty with the investigation or Loria has to face a pricey legal battle later.
Everyone should relax as Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post has taken care of addressing this issue with Marlins Vice President, PJ Loyello, to which he responded with the following text message:
"“It (the SEC investigation) will have no affect whatsoever on our roster plans” ~ Marlins Vice President PJ Loyello"
You heard it from the horses mouth folks, you have nothing to fear.
Enjoy the winter meetings fellow Marlins faithful. They should still be as exciting for the fish as we expect them to be.