American entrepreneur Jeffrey Loria purchased the Miami Marlins in 2002 and owned the team for 15 years before selling it to a group that featured Derek Jeter in 2017. In a recent interview with the Miami Herald, Loria claimed the Yankees legend "destroyed the ballpark."
One of the biggest issues that Loria had with Jeter was the fact that he got rid of a sculpture that erupted whenever the Marlins hit a home run or won a game.
"Destroying public art was a horrible thing to do," Loria said.
Loria's friend, artist Red Grooms, designed the home run sculpture as part of a $2.5 million contract with Miami-Dade County.
When the Marlins hit a home run or won a game, the sculpture sent mechanical marlins spinning, white seagulls soaring, pelicans dancing and a fountain spraying during a 29-second performance. Since being removed from LoanDepot Park in 2018, the sculpture now resides in an outside plaza near the stadium.
"I asked the artist about getting it back, and I told him I would help him find a new home for it," Loria said. "He didn't want to get involved. Now it will rot outside where it is... condemned to neglect and outdoor decay."
Loria also said that he wasn't a fan of some of the other changes that Jeter made to the ballpark during his time in the Marlins front office.
"I was fastidious about all the color we put into the building and it was changed; it didn't have to be changed," Loria said. "They covered up all the [colorful] tiles, which we brought in from Europe. To me it reflected the culture of Miami. Now it's all blue. It's ridiculous. The amenities like the fish tanks behind home plate - they were there for the kids - and they got rid of them. It's silly."
In February 2022, Jeter stepped down from his role as Marlins CEO and sold his shares of the franchise.