Originally written on The Baseball Page  |  Last updated 7/27/12

When baseball season opened in Miami on April 4th, fans were promised many things.
They had a new stadium tax payers foot the bill for, adopted a new name, the Miami Marlins, new brightly colored uniforms, suddenly found millions of dollars to pursue and sign "A" list players. They even convinced many fans they wanted to win baseball games. They hired one of baseball's most controversial loose cannons in the speech department, the Chicago White Sox Ozzie Guillen. Miami Marlins Jeffrey Loria and team President David Samson made the biggest promise's of all, "They promised success"...and "BIKINI BABES" - At baseball's half-way season they delivered on the "Bikini Babes" but have fallen far short of "success."

As of today they sit in 4th place of the National League 5 team East Division with a won/lost record of 45-53 (.459) The Philadelphia Phillies are in last place. This past week the "Miami" Marlins began to imitate the old Florida Marlins. They began trading off their players. Players they once said were the future of the franchise. We know old habits are hard to break but in the Marlins case it's not so much a "bad habit" as it's"doing business as usual." Getting rid of their top talent is standard with the Marlins - their history."

We still have several more days before the July 31st trading deadline ends and fans of the Fish are wondering "who's next?" It was just several weeks ago when baseball stooge Jeffrey Loria announced his team still had plenty of time to win a post season play-off spot. With yesterday's trade of Hanley Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers is this Loria's way of essentially sending up the white flag on the season? Hanley's a three-time All Star and the Marlins received from the Dodger's a rookie pitcher and a minor-league pitcher. Was this a "fair-exchange" of talent or did it come down to money? Ramirez had a very large multi-million dollar deal with Miami that will now be picked up by the Dodgers. That's about $38 million in financial commitment. Ramirez is talented but he's also "temperamental." The last time the Dodgers made a trade of this magnitude was in 2008 when they acquired another Ramirez (Manny) from the Boston Red Sox at the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline.

The photo shows Ramirez bear-hugging Marlins President of baseball operations Larry Beinfest after the 2006 NL Rookie of the Year was told he was moving west. Ramirez should save this picture. Proof-positive he's heading west to join a solid major league team the Dodgers. The Marlin organization led by Bud Selig stooge Jeffrey Loria and his step-son David Samson, going back to their Montreal Expos days have "NEVER" behaved like major league team owners. They have always been "carpet-baggers." Minor-league team owners - low level minors at best.
They have lied and conned their way in a variety of cities with the help and blessing of another con-man Commissioner Bud Selig. Team owners don't seem to mind these con-artist. Bud Selig has made baseball owners tons of money. After all, baseball's a business. Making money is what it's all about. It's the fans that have things wrong. Fan's seem to believe it's a "Sport."

It doesn't matter what semantics we use explaining the trades of this past week. "Fire Sale" - "restructuring" - it's all the same. Expensive players are gone. For the "new" Miami Marlins, baseball and Bud Selig its about the money. They got their new stadium (thanks suckers - "oopps"I mean tax-payers) The Marlins need not carry on this masquerade of wanting to win anymore by having expensive players. It's an old marketing trick called, "Bait and Switch" - hucksters like Selig and Loria have brought the art to new heights. Controversial Ozzie Guillen was part of the flim-flam game played on fans. More smoke, diversion to dazzle fans into believing they wanted a winning team. Ozzie says so many outrageous things to upset people did anyone really believe he would last long in a city as "sensitive" as Miami? When he's "fired" Loria will announce how "bad" he feels that Ozzie just couldn't keep his mouth shut. Case closed. They can bring back 81 year-old Jack McKeon to finish the season and calm things down. Meanwhile baseball and Miami Marlins have a "free" stadium, and goes back to a low-payroll.

Win or lose the franchise will generate millions in profits as the Marlins did playing to a fan base of pigeons and sea gulls at the old Dolphin Sun Life Stadium in Ft.Lauderdale. In fact while Loria, and baseball, cried the Marlins were broke, needed a new stadium to keep major league baseball in South Florida, in truth according to Forbes Magazine report of 2011, the Marlins for years had been one of the games most profitable franchises. That truth hid from the public until politicians agreed to build a new ball-park with tax-payer money.

We have a tendency to forget the past. Bud Selig can't mess around with old establish franchises like the Yankees, Red Sox, but I believe baseball's given Selig a free hand to do whatever he feels is necessary to keep secondary markets operating, that include trades. While Bud Selig has such power - They remain the "SAME OLD MARLINS".................

By: Larry Upton

Larry Upton
"Upton on Sports" - source:bostonherald/washingtonpost/bleacherreport/

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