For better or worse, David Samson was intimately involved in making many of the most important decisions in Miami Marlins franchise history. He’s got some explaining to do, plus some fascinating insight into the present and future of the Fish. Ely Sussman and Isaac Azout spoke with Samson about the re-hiring of Jeff Conine, the dismissal of Glenn Geffner, the consequences of Sandy Alcantara winning the NL Cy Young award, the regrets he has regarding payroll, roster construction, burning bridges with fans and community leaders, and what it will take for Bruce Sherman’s administration to have more sustainable success than Jeffrey Loria’s did.
Enjoy Episode 184!
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From 2002 to 2017, David Samson presided over the Marlins franchise. He won a World Series title in 2003, but did very little winning beyond that. Under Samson and Loria, the marlins were notorious for pinching pennies and cutting corners in ways that were detrimental to the product on the field. The fanbase (understandably) became angry, and later, apathetic.
During the course of the interview, we referenced Samson’s 2012 speech to the Beacon Council, this 2015 ESPN feature on the use of analytics in Major League Baseball and the Marlins’ annual payroll estimates from Cot’s Contracts. Five times during Samson’s tenure, the Marlins had the league’s lowest payroll.
Samson insists that he still roots for the team’s success despite no longer having a financial stake in it.
“I’d love to be a small part of a successful history,” Samson says. “You don’t think that I want Marlins Park sold out every day? Oh my god, that’s my dream for it to be sold out every day so people can enjoy the park that I had a small hand in making real and having had it built. I still love the Marlins.”
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