Jeffery Loria is a bad owner. He meddles with the team more than he should, he has perpetrated a few of the most notorious firesales in American sports history and he will not even grace an almost entirely taxpayer funded stadium with a winning team.
Recently, on the ESPN: Outside the Lines podcast, Loria was the subject of about 20 minutes of conversation. ESPN's panelists talked about the firesale and the present situation of the Marlins. One of the more interesting bits of information to come from the podcast was, as Michael noted earlier, that Loria says he is "not here to be involved with losing baseball." Given the current state of the Marlins, that is highly ironic.
Jeffery Loria was one of the masterminds behind the 2012 Marlins team full of expensive free-agents, claiming at the time that the Marlins were not here to lose. Then the Marlins won only 69 games on the season and they soon found themselves cleaning shelf of any player with value that was not under team control.
Now the Marlins are 3-11 at the start of the 2013 season after the winter fire sale. Given the circumstances, it is quite hard to imagine that the Marlins and Jeffery Loria are "not here to be involved with losing baseball". At the moment, the Miami Marlins are practically the universal symbol for "losing baseball". Loria stands atop of the organization seemingly just to torment the Miami fanbase.
However, Jeffery Loria does actually want the Miami Marlins to succeed. Like the network TV show ripped form the air after three episodes, the Marlins have not been given a good chance to succeed. It is in Loria's best interest as team owner to make the most money as possible and teams make money when people care about the team and spend money at games and buy jerseys and watch on TV. So far in 2013, the Fox Sports Florida Marlins broadcasts have slipped in ratings, game attendance is near the bottom of the league and I can only imagine how much less merchandise the team is selling. Loria is not making money.
It is, for that reason, that I find it hard to question Jeffery Loria when he says that he is "not here to be involved with losing baseball". He has every reason to want winning baseball, he just doesn't know how to have a winner. The way I see it, what is preventing the Marlins from having a winning team deal is Jeffery Loria's impatience.
Since the Marlins' last winning season in 2009, the only thing that hasn't changed with the
Florida Miami Marlins has been the Front Office. The Marlins have had five different managers and only two players from the 2009 team (Rickey Nolasco and Chris Coghlan) are still on the roster. This sort of turnover is absurdly high for a sports franchise and it makes it nearly impossible for casual fans, or even season ticket holders to grow attached to what they see on the field. Aside from a few moves made solely to cut payroll, it can be assumed that every other move was made in the interest of building a winning team. Loria and the Marlins' front office staff keep sending players out of the organization hoping to hit upon some random combination of players that wins the world series.
Jeffery Loria might honestly think that his transactions will help the Marlins win games. I believe he takes the "not here to be involved with losing baseball" philosophy to the extreme. At the first sign of losing baseball, Loria goes for the complete roster overhaul in the hopes that the Marlins may win in the future because (obviously) if a set of players loses games once, they'll never have a winning season or win the World Series. Even before you even address the "fiduciary duty" that Jeffery Loria might have to the city of Miami or to the fans of his baseball team, you get a rash owner acting against the best interest of a franchise. Sometimes nothing is the best thing an owner can do. Unfortunately, Loria lacks the patience to do nothing.