Soap opera sale of team is so ‘Marlins’

Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami Marlins have been on the market for the entirety of the 2017 baseball season. Through numerous twists, the sale looks as unlikely as ever.

How much abuse can Marlins fans take? Like an ex-lover who can’t let go, the sale of the Miami Marlins is keeping fans clinging to hope. It’s stringing them along in an unhealthy way. After it seemed like the sale of the team was a done deal, they’re now further than ever.

The two competing teams are reportedly short on the dough. Jeffery Loria is asking for a mammoth sum, $1.3 billion. He reportedly isn’t willing to come off that number, having originally asked for $1.6 billion when the team was put up for sale.

He might have to lower his price to sell the team. And competing bids will have to raise more money to buy the team. It’s a mess.

Those who have gotten an inside look at the structure of the sale aren’t optimistic. Apparently the team is in debt, with a number of financial commitments that make potential owners leery of dropping a 10 figure sum.

Derek Jeter wants to buy the team. The belief is that he is the preferred partner for the Miami Marlins organization, and Major League Baseball as a whole. They’d love to have Jeter involved in baseball again. But he can only commit $25 million of his own money.

Jeb Bush was originally part of a joint bid with Jeter to buy the team, but he dropped out. 

Now, Jeter is tasked with finding a partner who is willing to put up the lions share of cash, and have virtually no say in how the team is run. It’s a tall task. Even for Derek Jeter, obstacles are stacking up in a hurry.

There was something about Alex Rodriguez for a while.

There is nothing new out of the Tagg Romney-John Smoltz bid to purchase the team.

Fish in limbo

Now reports have surfaced that a third party is interested in purchasing the team. The identity of those in the group hasn’t been revealed. It appears that a sale is less and less likely as time goes on.

There is a some sentiment around the baseball world that the team should rebuild. But with the current ownership trying to get out, are they in a position to do something like that? There is no way of knowing how that would hurt or help the sale without knowing who is buying it.

All this comes together to undermine the foundation of an already tentative fan base. The Miami baseball crowd doesn’t like Jeffery Loria and want him out. They have for a number of years. As the impending the sale drags on, animosity grows. Restlessness grows. Supporters become disinterested.

For now, any substantive decision regarding the direction of the franchise is on hold. Fans don’t know if they should get behind this team, or keep them at arms length.

Next: Miami Marlins trek towards .500 mark

In any divorce, it’s the kids that get hurt the most. The fans are the kids here, and the uncertainty is building contempt and resentment. Whenever the sale is executed, baseball in Miami will finally have a chance to thrive the way it was supposed to.

Until then, the soap opera sale of the Miami Marlins is another entry on the list of maltreatment against the franchises fans.