The Miami Marlins have traditionally been a difficult team to figure out, in part because the team does not reveal much in the way of public information. Its methods within the front office are largely unknown, though the little information that they do reveal tends to make them seem like a team governed by very few advanced statistics. Rumors about the Marlins fly about, but the team rarely shoots down any prospective rumor, if only because the club does its due diligence to "listen" on any offer. Very little of the Marlins' "master plan" concocted by owner Jeffrey Loria is ever revealed to the press to any detail.
The level of secrecy that shrouds the Marlins make them a frustrating team to cover. Much of the platitudes we do hear are often just that: platitudes with little in the way of substance regarding the team''s plans. But the fact that the club is already unwilling to reveal much information makes the recent banning by Loria of team president David Samson's media interaction all the more frustrating. Here's Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald on the news:
Besides forbidding president David Samson from doing his radio show, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria also told Samson that he can no longer do interviews. That’s short-sighted, because Samson made himself more accountable and accessible than many team presidents, even amid unpopular decisions made solely by Loria. Loria, by the way, has refused to speak to the media since mid-November.
Jackson is absolutely right on this one. As despised as Samson is, he is at least willing to discuss the team on a weekly basis with the media, and that makes him a far more open communicator than anyone else within the organization. While I personally have not attempted this, I have been told that Samson earnestly attempts to answer his emails, and while the answers themselves may not be what you want to hear, the effort put forth to answer them is true. In some ways, Samson is the most public face of the Marlins' brain trust, and that public nature of his activity lent him some accountability.
Loria often acts in much the opposite way, insulating himself by never answering questions earnestly to the media. And now, due to the backlash against the team thanks to its offseason moves, the Marlins are now becoming more insulated by blocking out another access point to the media in Samson. The most outgoing and forward member of the team's brain trust has been silenced, if for no other reason than to keep outside opinions of the Marlins away.
While things have gone more negatively than deserved for the Fish, this still seems like a move that reeks of insulating a fragile ownership group. Loria simply may not want to hear more negativity coming towards him and his moves and would like to limit any direct contact with media members who could provide that negativity. If that is the case, then the front office and ownership will never learn from its mistakes, because that sort of insulation never breeds growth and change as an organization. If there is anything the brass at the top of the Marlins need right now, it is growth and change, but this silencing is the latest in a way to suppress such development.