Fans are not alone in questioning Marlins' latest moves

PBR - Fans and players are not the only people outraged at Jeffrey Loria and his latest fire sale, baseball executives are flustered too.
 
"Bad news for the future of baseball in South Florida, that's for sure," one American League executive told the Review Wednesday. "How he can justify that ballpark and use of shared funds is anyone's guess."
 
According to the collective bargaining agreement, organizations that receive revenue-sharing funds can not use the money to pay down debt and must specify how the funds are used to increase the product on the field.
 
Why is this important? Well, at some point Loria will have to answer for dumping significant salary and talent and not just to fans in Miami, but to other owners and executives in Major League Baseball.
 
"Slashing payroll exponentially after acquiring so much talent via free agency is going to agitate some people, for sure," the executive said.
 
Loria clearly is baseball's public enemy No. 1. He assumed fans in Miami would rush through the turnstiles of a lavish new ballpark and buy into a branding campaign that included a new logo and added on-field talent.
 
Boy, was he wrong.
 
Backed primarily by public funding, the $634 million ballpark was a flop at the gate, drawing an average attendance of 27,400 fans per game, at least 25 percent less than what the organization expected. The attendance total of 2.2 million was the lowest for a new ballpark in a full Major League season in 30 years. 
 
With a payroll whittled down to somewhere near $20 million, what becomes of baseball in South Florida? 
 
Ironically, the residents of Miami-Dade County are responsible for nearly $509-million related to the construction of Marlins Park.

Truthfully, the Marlins have never been a big draw; over the span of 20 seasons the club has exceeded the two-million mark in attendance just three times.

The lack of star-power and deceptiveness from Loria and Co. will only perpetuate a relationship between fans and an organization that already is floundering on life support.

Seemingly, one way or another, baseball fans in Miami will continue to pay.
 
- Patrick Gordon is the editor of the Philadelphia Baseball Review. Contact him at pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com or @Philabaseball on Twitter. 

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