Jeffery Loria doesn’t know when to say when. After writing his open letter to Marlins fans (presumably), the Marlins owner met with the media on Monday night, sounding off on a number of topics.
The word Loria used was unilateral – which “the internet” defines as “Performed by or affecting only one person, group, or country involved in a particular situation, without the agreement of another or the others.”
To further clarify his point, Loria noted a few different instances in which he acted unilaterally – signing Ivan Rodriguez, a common hobby horse of his as Pudge led the 2003 Marlins to the World Series title.
Then he spoke of another, more damning transaction, one undermining everything the Marlins could ever hope to do.
After crowing about the Pudge decision, Loria laid out another example of him overruling his baseball operations people to make a rash decision. From Manny Navarro’s transcript of the event for the Miami Herald:
And I made a unilateral decision to see if we can get the best closer in the game at the time last year which was Heath [Bell], who had three straight successive years. I thought that would be great for us in our new ballpark.
SOUND THE ALARM! What the fungus is going on here? The owner decided signing Heath Bell was a good idea? Oh, the tyranny of saves, why must you DO THIS to Marlins fans?
To Loria’s credit/salvation, the Marlins were able to unload the bloated contract of Heath Bell, who looked very much like a man with declining periphrial stats across the board while struggling as the Marlins closer (until he lost the job completely.)
This isn’t the first time an owner went over the head of baseball people to throw his/her money around, mind you. Perhaps Arte Moreno’s insistence that the Angels sign Josh Hamilton will look just as foolish in the coming years. That deal if for a lot more money and a lot more term than Bell’s three-year, $27 million contract signed last winter.
As a self-styled armchair GM, you never like to hear about owners injecting their less than qualified opinion into baseball matters. You’d think being so rich as to possess the capital to OWN A BASEBALL TEAM required the good business sense to let the people you pay as experts in their field do their thing. But then you remember that billionaires are not regular people.
The avarice required to be Jeffery Loria doesn’t invite too much in the way of self-awareness. He could well think he knows better than his baseball ops team. That and the money required to sign Heath Bell is so utterly inconsequential in the grand scheme of things that, hey, who cares? The rich, man. They really know how to live.
And the rest
More from Loria: the Marlins shockingly won’t offer Giancarlo Stanton a contract extension this season. I know! They have him for one more season of indentured servitude (2013) before the arbitration bumps kick in and then they trade him at the end of next season. Book it. [Eye on Baseball]
The Cubs seem to believe guys with cadaver ligaments are the new inefficiency. Frankencubs! [Chicago Sun-Times]
Baseball Prospectus ranks the top 101 prospects in the game. Everybody loves Jurickson! [BP Free]
Cleaning shoes is literally a full time job for your local clubbie.