Miami Marlins Owner Jeffrey Loria Still Denies Any Wrongdoing

Doug Benc

Several months after the fire sale trade with the Toronto Blue Jays, Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is persistent in saying he did the best thing for his team and refuses to admit that Miami taxpayers payed for the majority of Marlins Park.

After trading half of the Miami Marlins' 2012 opening day roster to the Toronto Blue Jays in November, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria published a letter to the fans, blaming everybody but himself for the team's lack of success and ticket sales. In the letter, Loria said that taxpayers did not fund Marlins Park, which PolitiFact Florida later found not to be totally accurate.

"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," Loria wrote in the letter.

Loria cherry-picked a fact that puts the situation in the best light while omitting a thorough explanation, the Miami Herald and PolitiFact later explained. On the surface, Loria was indeed correct, as much of the public funding for the stadium came from hotel taxes largely paid for by tourists.

However, these are still tax revenues that belong to the taxpayer, and if the money didn't go to the Marlins, it would have been handed to the city of Miami to be used for other public purposes. Loria also failed to recognize the fact that the city will be paying off debt for decades as a result of the stadium's costs and their associated loans.

The open letter to the fans, which many considered to be a joke, was a failed attempt by Loria to regain and unite a fan base that was never unified to begin with. Throughout the letter, Loria explained that it was his baseball executives who made several personnel decisions that in the long run did not appear to work out. The fire sale, though, still was not justified.

Loria's "apology letter" was looked down upon by many baseball fans around the country, though even to this day, Loria refuses to blame himself for the team's lack of success, and continues to point to the fact that the team won two championships in a short period of time to try and motivate a young team led by a rookie manager.

In terms of the ballpark, Loria remains adamant. However, contradicting what he initially said, which was "the ballpark figures were reported incorrectly," the truth has been made clear, and Loria continues to make excuses for why nothing is or was his fault.

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