Jeffrey Loria may have stonewalled an attempt by former Florida governor Jeb Bush to purchase the team. - Mike Ehrmann
News came out yesterday that former Florida governor Jeb Bush put in an offer to purchase the Miami Marlins, but Jeffrey Loria declined to sell. At this point, Marlins fans would have been happy with anyone but Loria running the team.
Miami Marlins fans have, for a long time, hoped for a new owner in light of the actions of current owner Jeffrey Loria. Given the latest act of fan betrayal by Loria and company, fans are hoping now more than ever to receive new ownership for this team.
According to recent rumors, Loria was at least propositioned by another person to sell the team. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, a prominent Republican figure and potential 2016 presidential candidate, is rumored to have offered to buy the Marlins from Loria.
According to a source, Bush made a "large offer" to buy the team this offseason, but Loria told him he’s not selling. A second source said Bush had put together a group of wealthy investors, with Venezuelan media mogul Gustavo Cisneros among possibilities mentioned.
If this is true, the Marlins may have been at least considered for sale, even if Loria eventually declined to bite on the deal. Without even considering the spending habits of Bush given his term as governor of the state, Marlins fans probably would have been ecstatic to receive news that the Fish were sold to another owner. Without knowing Bush's way of handling a team, however, we still could not be sure that the Marlins would be properly under his leadership, though most fans would agree that the club's current plan under Loria is suspect at best and that a change is likely to bring some improvement.
Unfortunately for the Fish, it does not seem as though Bush made any real headway in trying to purchase the team, wealthy investors or otherwise. Furthermore, as we have all expected, Loria is highly unlikely to sell the team.
Loria, 72, theoretically would have more incentive to sell after 2014, when he no longer would need to share profits with Miami-Dade County. But a friend of Loria insists that barring a health problem or change of heart, he does not want to sell because he loves owning a team.
This confirms what we have believed all along about Loria. Like any self-respecting owner, he loves the status symbol that is owning a professional team. As a result, Loria is much more likely to cut costs and pare down payroll rather than sell when hard financial times come around, such as what supposedly happened last season. As a result, even when times are tough for the owner, he would rather throw everything else of weight from his ship than abandon it himself. No matter what high-profile name offers to take the Marlins from his hands, it is not likely that Loria will relinquish his hold on the team any time soon.