If you didn’t see enough of it last night as the news initially broke, you’re going to see plenty of columns, editorials and fiery rants today about how Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is a scumbag because he is willingly killing his second baseball franchise because he’s horrible at what he does. And many of them will be great – I like this effort by Yahoo!’s Jeff Passan and this more subtle rundown by Deadspin – because as much as writers, analysts and experts love to argue about every little meaningless thing in sports, hatred for Loria runs deep within the majority. Jeffrey Loria destroyed the Montreal Expos and now he is destroying the Miami Marlins. That’s pretty much all you need to know.
So why? Why did the Marlins trade Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, John Buck, Emilio Bonifacio and Mark Buehrle to the Toronto Blue Jays for Yunel Escobar and several prospects that don’t even include Toronto’s best? Was it a brilliant move to clear money? Was it an admittance of mistakes in even signing Reyes and Buehrle in the first place? Was it just the same old fire sale that we’ve come to expect from the Marlins? Or is it more likely the story of a man under investigation by the SEC for allegedly fleecing the city of Miami in the construction of a new baseball stadium that he couldn’t even fill with a stable of stars because he already created a product so tainted within the community that people refuse to buy in until his stink is washed away?