BRONX, NY - OCTOBER 19: Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria watches from the seats as his team takes on the New York Yankees in game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series on October 19, 2003 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
The Marlins and owner Jeffrey Loria were already on baseball’s hot seat, and the veritable fish tank’s water may soon get even hotter.
Back in 2009 and 2010 the Major League Baseball Players Association was very unhappy with the Marlins. In the days of revenue sharing among MLB teams, the Marlins, by all outward appearances, had continued to pocket that money rather than spend it where it was required to be spent — on improving the on-field product.
So, the Marlins signed a three-year agreement with the MLBPA in January of 2010 in which the franchise would have its finances monitored.
“In response to our concerns that revenue-sharing proceeds have not been used as required, the Marlins have assured the union and the commissioner’s office that they plan to use such proceeds to increase player payroll annually as they move toward the opening of their new ballpark,” MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner said in a statement at the time.
Well, would you care to guess specifically when that agreement ended? If you guessed at the end of the 2012 season, you’d be exactly right. Likewise, if the first place your mind goes is that the Marlins shed nearly all of their payroll obligations (save for the $11.5 million the team owes Ricky Nolasco in 2013) immediately after that agreement ended, you probably wouldn’t be the first to notice the oddity.
It seems like a fair time to mention that, for the immediate future, the Marlins will undoubtedly be receiving revenue-sharing funds, with a payroll for 2013 slated for something like $35 million — despite the fact that initial reports indicated they’d maintain a payroll of at least twice that.
It also seems fair to mention that Marlins Park, Loria’s selfish homage to modernist architecture, was financed by about 80 percent public funds in a city that has one of the highest poverty rates in the country. By the time interest is compounded, Miami-Dade County and the city of Miami are expected to be on the hook for about $2.4 billion.