VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Marlins' latest purge prompts backlash

MIAMI (AP) - The attendance-challenged Miami Marlins have antagonized fans yet again by deciding a low-budget team is good enough for their new ballpark.

Advertisement
A blockbuster trade sending three stars to Toronto could save Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria $150 million, which prompted a backlash from South Floridians angered by the team's latest payroll purge.

``Everybody in the world wants to talk about the Marlins and the fact they're now a Triple-A team,'' said city commissioner Marc Sarnoff, who was an opponent of the ballpark project. ``The Marlins have lost pretty much all credibility with fans. Even if this trade is a positive move from a baseball standpoint, it won't be viewed by the general public as a positive move.''

Miami traded All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes, left-hander Mark Buehrle and right-hander Josh Johnson as part of the deal, which awaited final approval Wednesday pending physicals for the players.

Loria declined to discuss the trade with reporters as he passed through the hotel lobby at the owners meetings in Chicago.

``Not today, boys,'' Loria said. ``If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm not going to figure it out for you.''

The trade sent several of the Blue Jays' best young players to Miami, but that wasn't enough to mollify many Marlins fans. Radio talk show host Jeff DeForrest fielded calls from irate listeners shortly after news of the trade broke Tuesday.

``The next move obviously is to have Fidel Castro throw out the first pitch next year,'' DeForrest said. ``That's the only way they could alienate the fans more than they have.''

Castro became a source of acrimony last April, when Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen's praise of the former Cuban leader infuriated team supporters. That was shortly after the new ballpark opened in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood, and attendance never recovered from the tempest.

Management had projected the rebranded team would contend for a playoff berth and draw nearly 3 million fans, but instead the Marlins staggered to a last-place finish in the NL East and attendance barely topped 2.2 million.

With revenue falling short of projections, Loria decided to end the franchise's brief era of big spending. The players traded by the Marlins have combined guaranteed salaries of $163.75 million through 2018, including $96 million due Reyes. The deals he and Buehrle signed when they joined Miami a year ago were heavily backloaded.

Salaries for 2013 include $13.75 million for Johnson in the final year of his contract, $11 million for Buehrle and $10 million for Reyes. The net in guaranteed salaries coming off Marlins' books is expected to be $154 million, which does not account for any cash that may be involved in trade.

Three years ago, the Marlins reached an agreement with the players' union to increase spending in the wake of complaints team payroll had been so small as to violate baseball's revenue sharing provisions. But the trade with Toronto leaves the Marlins with an estimated opening day payroll of $34 million, which would be their lowest since 2008. Oakland had the lowest payroll in the majors last year at $53 million.

Of the lineup that took the field for the festive first game in the new ballpark less than eight months ago, only two players remain - Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison.

Stanton tweeted that he was angry about the trade and changed his Twitter photo in an apparent protest, swapping out his Marlins uniform for a black shirt.

``I'm not saying fans can't be upset,'' Morrison tweeted to his 123,000 followers. ``I'm saying I'm not going to get upset. I can't control it. So don't expect me to be upset.''

Fan ire was targeted primarily at Loria and team president David Samson.

``People are steamed,'' DeForrest said. ``To dump the whole team is mind-boggling, but nothing is surprising with these two guys.''

Many fan complaints involved the ballpark project, which was financed mostly with taxpayer money as Loria and Samson promised a new era with higher payrolls and more competitive teams.

The ballpark is state of the art, but the team has started looking like the same old Marlins.

``This,'' Sarnoff said, ``has taught many who voted for the stadium a lesson: When you go into a public-private partnership, know your partner.''

---

AP Sports Writers Ron Blum in New York and Jay Cohen in Chicago contributed to this report.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
Rogers: ALCS Cheat Sheet
News: 2017 MLB Playoff Results
Cubs hit 3 HRs in NLCS Game 4 win
Tanaka gem lands Yanks 3-2 ALCS edge
Cubs manager Maddon ejected for 2nd time
La Russa leaving D-backs organization
Twins tell Perkins they'll decline option
ALCS turnaround shows Yankees' depth
Yanks on verge of historic second comeback
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
MLB Hot Streaks
4-1 L5 Picks, 23-9 L32 Guarantees
6-1 Last 7 Playoff Picks
6-0 Streak, 9-4 L13 Guarantees
4-1 L5 Picks, 22-10 L32 G-Plays
5-2 Picks, 13-4 Totals, 10-4 G-Plays
6-2 L8 MLB Guarantees
3-0 L3 Picks, +1,628 This Year
24-11 Last 35 Guaranteed Run
7-3 +549 L10, 11-5 +747 L16 Run
+3,155 Net Profits This Year
12-4, +801 L16 MLB Selections
5-1 L6 Picks, 5-1 L6 G-Plays
4-1 L5 MLB Guarantees
3 Straight Playoff Winners
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2017 MLB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Gary Bart + 2943
Stephen Nover + 1628
ASA + 1442
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 2225
Stephen Nover + 1451
Vince Akins + 1117
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
NeiltheGreek + 1422
Kyle Hunter + 832
John Fisher + 521
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
John Fisher + 575
ASA + 399
Antony Dinero + 184
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
John Fisher + 1249
Scott Rickenbach + 841
Stephen Nover + 624
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 1720
Dave Cokin + 1514
ASA + 1049
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership