The county of Miami-Dade is suing Jeffrey Loria and current CEO Derek Jeter over disputes of money-sharing. This involves the Marlins getting a 5% cut from profits made if the team was sold in ten years. Expecting a cut from the $1.2 billion Jeter's group paid to purchase the club, what Miami-Dade got was Loria weaseling his way into not giving up his revenues.
This is nothing new in regards to Loria's antics. He was originally an owner of the Montreal Expos, where he demanded that Olympic Stadium be replaced with a stadium... funded by public money. His attempts to hold the city of Montreal up by forcing them to sacrifice their hospitals is a part of what made him a grease ball in the eyes of Canadians and Expo fans alike. What also hurt relations with Montreal is not renewing television and English-speaking coverage during the 2000 season when the Expos tried in increase revenue for broadcasting rights.
From gauging cities for public money to putting together cookie cutter teams, there's an intriguing question that should be brought up: Should Jeffrey Loria be permanently banned from baseball operations? I will admit that Loria's fervor for making a profit has been surprisingly good in spite of hurting taxpayers. However, he has also hurt the dignity of the game. Many of his teams were poorly run, with any attempt at building a contender half-assed.
In an ideal world, Loria (and any sports owner who squeezes the taxpayers for personal profit) would be ostracized from the sport. However, sports have become an outlet for owners to gain money using underhand tactics. Yes, a sports owner's goal is to make a profit. That's what doing business is all about. But when you let owners like Jeffrey Loria rig the game and rip off cities and municipalities, the only people that win are the owners themselves.
Photo courtesy of Slice Miami
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