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Tag:Jeffrey Loria
Posted on: November 17, 2011 2:55 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2011 2:58 pm
 

No Marlins signings, but it's a 'new environment'

MILWAUKEE -- They're still the new Marlins. The offers are still out there.

The stadium is still new.

And the fact that none of those big offers have yet been accepted?

Hey, none of those big-name free agents has yet signed anywhere else, either.

"I don't feel pressure to do anything -- ever," Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said as he left baseball's owners meetings Thursday. "But it's a new environment."

In this new environment, the Marlins can bid on Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes and others, and even get them to Miami on recruiting visits. They're still considered a longshot on signing Pujols, but may even be the favorite at this point for Reyes.

One complication with signing Reyes would be that incumbent shortstop Hanley Ramirez would need to move to third base. The Miami Herald reported this week that Ramirez isn't thrilled with the idea, but Loria insisted it won't be a problem.

"He's a wonderful team guy," Loria said.

Remember, new Marlins, new environment.

In Loria's mind, new environment and new stadium are related.

Asked Thursday if it was a big step that big-name free agents have visited the Marlins, he was quick with his answer.

"I think all you have to do is go to Miami and look at the ballpark, and you wouldn't ask that," he said.

As for whether he thinks the Marlins will sign Reyes, Pujols or any of the others, Loria simply said: "I don't know, we'll wait and see."




Posted on: June 23, 2010 5:34 pm
 

In the end, maybe this is best for all

So maybe this works out best for everyone.

Best for the Braves, who have always had their eye on Fredi Gonzalez as a possible replacement when Bobby Cox retires. Best for Gonzalez, who was never going to completely please owner Jeffrey Loria unless he won the World Series (and perhaps not even then), and now will be free to go somewhere he gets the respect he deserves.

Best for Loria, who in an interview earlier this year described Bobby Valentine as "someone I've known for 25 years," spoke lovingly about his players, and had almost nothing at all to say about Gonzalez.

Already today, just after the Marlins fired Gonzalez as manager, Valentine told his current employer, ESPN, that he now has no interest in the Orioles job, and prefers to "direct my energy in another direction."

That's understandable. The Marlins aren't nearly as good as Loria thinks they are, but they're far, far better than the Orioles. And while the National League East is better than people think it is, it's far, far less challenging than the American League East.

The Marlins job suits Valentine, and perhaps he suits the Marlins, too, as someone who will have expectations every bit as high as Loria's.

The Braves job suits Gonzalez, too. It won't be easy to replace Cox, who has remained hugely popular with his players. But who better to do it than someone who worked as a coach under Cox, operates as much as possible the way Cox does, and would come in with a ringing endorsement from Cox.

There are some in baseball who wonder if the Cox connection would actually hurt Gonzalez's chances with a front office that has battled with Cox in recent times. But people close to general manager Frank Wren suggested that Wren would be happy to hire Gonzalez.

The Braves have long said that they don't want to talk about a Cox successor, because they don't want to do anything to take away from the celebration of Cox's final season. But they don't need to talk about it right now.

The Marlins, who named Edwin Rodriguez as interim manager, should want to move fast on a permanent replacement. Unlike the Orioles, whose season is already lost, the Marlins remain within striking distance in the NL East.

Is Valentine the guy who can pull them back into the race, maybe do what Jack McKeon did when he took over the Marlins in midseason 2003? Perhaps, but despite what Loria thinks, right now the Marlins look no better than the third- (or maybe fourth-) best team in the division.

Valentine has a history of success, particularly early in his stay.

Maybe he takes this job, and it works out best for him, and for the Marlins. And maybe Gonzalez really does take over for Cox after this season, and it works out best for him and for the Braves, too.


Posted on: April 9, 2010 12:06 pm
Edited on: April 9, 2010 12:54 pm
 

Loria on expectations: 'I have high standards'

The Marlins play in the same division as the two-time NL champion Phillies, and the spring darling Braves. Their payroll is up 58 percent from 2009, but it's still the lowest in the division and the fifth-lowest in baseball. They made no major additions over the winter, unless you count Nate Robertson, acquired after he failed to make the Tigers rotation.

And their owner began spring training by saying, "I expect us to make the playoffs."

Isn't that a little much?

"I have high standards for these guys," Jeffrey Loria said this week. "And I want them to have them for themselves. They're as good as they want to be."

There will be those who read that as even more pressure on manager Fredi Gonzalez, who Loria reportedly considered replacing with Bobby Valentine at the end of last season. Loria won't talk about that decision now, other than to say that "Bobby is someone I've known for 25 years."

He also says, "Fredi's the manager. Period."

But when the owner puts out there that the expectation is to make the playoffs, it's easy to go the next step yourself and say the team needs to do well for the manager to keep his job.

"I expect a lot," Loria admitted. "I expect it from myself, too."

Tonight, the Marlins open their next-to-last home season in the ballpark that has had so many names, it's hard to remember what to call it (just looked it up, it's Sun Life Stadium this year). And the one thing Loria doesn't have high expectations for is Marlins attendance. They were last in the league in 2009 (1.46 million), and when you ask him if they'll draw better, he says, "This year?"

He promises that the fast-rising new ballpark will be "a wonder," and that it will be like no other ballpark ever built.

And he believes he'll have a team worthy of playing there. In fact, he thinks he already does.

"I love the team," he said. "I do. I like the pitching. I like the lineup. I love my players."

*****

As bad as their attendance was last year, the Marlins never announced a crowd of less than 10,000. The Pirates did, and by announcing 9,352 for their game against the Dodgers, they win the award for the first sub-10,000 crowd of 2010, too.

The Pirates had good crowds for their first two games against the Dodgers, so their first-series average of 26,479 was not the worst of the teams that opened 2010 at home. For the first three games combined, the Pirates drew better than the White Sox, Rays, Royals and A's.

Tampa Bay will no doubt draw well this weekend, with the Yankees in town, but their attendance for Games 2 and 3 of the opening series against the Orioles (15,220 and 16,191) is more proof of the long-term problems the franchise faces. And more proof that it will be next-to-impossible for the Rays to come up with the money to sign free-agent-to-be Carl Crawford.



Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
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