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  1. Tough question: in a fight between Miami realtards and the Marlins, who to root for?

    The lawyers involved, who are probably the only ones who will benefit, are probably the least despicable of the bunch.

    Comment by walt526 — March 21, 2013 @ 4:53 pm

  2. It is official, I am no longer a fan of the Marlins until Loria is gone. The idea of rooting for that team to win a game now makes me sick to my stomach.

    Comment by Cody — March 21, 2013 @ 4:56 pm

  3. We’re well past the schadenfreude event horizon here. I just feel bad for Marlins fans.

    Comment by whocarestom — March 21, 2013 @ 4:59 pm

  4. Can we fire Loria yet?

    Comment by Ruki Motomiya — March 21, 2013 @ 5:18 pm

  5. Don’t feel too bad for them: nonexistence means they don’t have to deal with such petty hassles as taxes, health insurance, or respiration.

    Comment by Anon21 — March 21, 2013 @ 5:20 pm

  6. Classic. Its pretty clear to me the Leon’s are phonies, but Loria has reached caricature status for me.

    Comment by Billion Memes — March 21, 2013 @ 5:22 pm

  7. I feel bad for the taxpayers that got taken advantage of to fund that stadium. Absolutely awful and a disgrace to baseball. Those poor people may not even be baseball fans and were forced into paying for the stadium on a back room deal between Loria and local politicians. Such a shame.

    Comment by Larry Yocum — March 21, 2013 @ 5:33 pm

  8. Alex, I actually don’t see any problem with them using the word ‘alleged’ in their statement. They show a picture in one of the links you provided, and it doesn’t seem to have any impact on the view of the field. Sure, it impacts the view of the ground a few feet from the seats – but it’s not like the padding is blocking the field. If you sit back in those seats, you can see the field perfectly fine. ‘Alleged’ seems to be an appropriate word in this situation, as it’s pretty clear that the fans are just using this as a loophole to get out of their tickets.

    Comment by vivalajeter — March 21, 2013 @ 5:35 pm

  9. The Washington NFL team gained some notoriety after suing fans a year or two ago. Then they traded for the #2 pick, drafted RG3, and then all those sorts of troubles have mostly gone away. Obviously Loria needs to find the RG3 of Miami. I imagine he’ll have some high draft picks in his future, at least!

    Comment by cass — March 21, 2013 @ 5:38 pm

  10. He has better than a RG3 on his team right now but let us see what he does. Most likely a trade next off-season.

    Comment by binqasim — March 21, 2013 @ 5:42 pm

  11. There may be vanishingly few Marlins fans now, but there actually were some once upon a time. There are a lot of people in their 20s who grew up watching Jeff Conine. The team has patiently and methodically driven them away.

    Comment by Alex Remington — March 21, 2013 @ 5:43 pm

  12. Love the choice of not naming the NFL team in DC.

    Problem with this plan is that the time from draft to making an impact in MLB is so much longer. I don’t know the Marlins farm system but if the youngsters that will be part of the next “core” aren’t in it now, those fans have at least two years to wait before they’re good.

    Comment by edgar4evar — March 21, 2013 @ 5:45 pm

  13. You have to think about where the photo is being taken from. (It’s important to note that those photos, which I’ve seen linked in every news story, were taken by Jan Leon herself.) Judging by the angle of the concrete, it looks to me like the photographer was braced against the wall as she took the photo, rather than reclining back in her chair. If she were reclining in her chair, she may have had trouble seeing part of the field.

    If you go to 1:08 in this video (which is on the WSVN news story I linked above), you can see Jan’s head over the ad billboard. It appears to come up to the top of her chin.
    http://www.wsvn.com/news/articles/local/21010151055835/couple-upset-with-marlins-over-season-ticket-seats/

    After the team lowered the billboard from 4 inches to 1 inch over the railing, I think that the Leons’ complaint was ridiculous. But prior to that, I think it may actually have been a fair complaint.

    Comment by Alex Remington — March 21, 2013 @ 5:51 pm

  14. I’ll check out the video once I’m home from work, as it’ll be interesting to see the billboard with her in the seat. I assumed that she took the picture, and that it was a worst-case scenario. If I were in her position, I’d sit back in my seat as far as possible when I took the picture, to show how much of an impact it had. I wouldn’t lean against the wall and make it look like there’s no obstruction.

    You’re right though; when I look again, it does look like she’s leaning forward to take the picture instead of leaning back.

    Comment by vivalajeter — March 21, 2013 @ 5:59 pm

  15. Loria should be forced to sell the team.

    Comment by Ian Roberts — March 21, 2013 @ 6:00 pm

  16. Stanton is a wonderful player and must be a fan favorite down in Miami, but there is no way he comes close to the impact RG3 has had on football fans in Washington.

    There are many reasons for that, the two biggest being the greater impact a single player can have in football compared to baseball and DC’s long-standing love of football and the local team. People may have hated the owner, but they always loved the team. Miami has no such strong bond with the Marlins, as far as I’m aware. There’s also a cultural factor which seems to make RG3 a good fit in Washington, but I think that’s secondary to the other two factors.

    Comment by cass — March 21, 2013 @ 6:01 pm

  17. One QB can change an NFL franchise, there is no equivalent for a MLB franchise

    Comment by theawesomersfranchise — March 21, 2013 @ 6:27 pm

  18. How long is it until MLB forces Loria to sell the team like they did with the Dodgers McCourt?

    Comment by Wil — March 21, 2013 @ 6:32 pm

  19. MLB forced McCourt to sell because he was threatening to create a bad financial precedent for other teams, crafting a sweetheart low-revenue television deal with Fox in exchange for help with his major debt problems. Considering the ballooning TV deal revenues of recent years, Selig couldn’t allow the Dodgers to set that precedent. Loria isn’t hurting anyone outside South Florida, and Fred Wilpon isn’t hurting anyone outside New York, I doubt they’ll be forced out any time soon.

    Comment by Alex Remington — March 21, 2013 @ 6:39 pm

  20. Sure there is. It’s Jeffrey Loria.

    Comment by Tim — March 21, 2013 @ 6:55 pm

  21. Generally speaking the Miami Marlins are bad for baseball. Its a shame they have won two world series when legit teams whose ownership actually care about baseball like the Cubs have not won in 100+ years.
    The Miami Marlins should be sold and re-located. Who does a fire-sale on a team that wins the world series. Who builds a new stadium with tax-dollars and fools the public in building a contender to just fold.
    Marlins be gone. Worst franchise in MLB and probably all of sports.

    Comment by epic23 — March 21, 2013 @ 8:36 pm

  22. Congratulations, Jeff Loria! You have lost a PR battle with a Florida real estate agent. I am sure this will help you to sell many season ticket plans.

    Comment by MikeS — March 21, 2013 @ 8:38 pm

  23. Is anyone else amused by the “We’ve offered to move them ot other seats. . . .” line?

    “Look, we can move you ANYWHERE you want. Seriously, anywhere. Look at all those empty seats. You can have any two of them you like. In fact, we’re short some players, you want to sit on the bench with the team? Can you hit?. . . .”

    Comment by Anon — March 21, 2013 @ 8:55 pm

  24. So Jeffrey Loria is the Jamarcus Russell of the MLB?

    Comment by Jaack — March 21, 2013 @ 9:11 pm

  25. Bud Selig loves publicly financed stadium. He needs more leverage to oust Loria, though.

    Comment by Luke Appling — March 21, 2013 @ 9:18 pm

  26. MLB should institute promotion/relegation (like soccer in most countries). Loria is hell bent on creating a AAA team and I think the Marlins might be very competitive in the International League.

    Course MLB won’t ever do this because of the anti-trust exemption (ie unlike any other sport, the MLB teams control their league and all the other baseball leagues).

    Comment by jfree — March 21, 2013 @ 9:29 pm

  27. I hope the Marlins attendance is under a million.

    Comment by Brian — March 21, 2013 @ 10:09 pm

  28. I had season tickets for 17 years and last year I was lied to about the position of my seats, and ended up not getting what I thought I paid for. There are other similar factors that were involved in this story as well.

    Comment by Z..... — March 21, 2013 @ 10:40 pm

  29. I’m sure the PA would be thrilled about that too.

    Comment by Tim — March 21, 2013 @ 10:46 pm

  30. Does no one recall that Loria did the EXACT same thing with the Expos? The only difference was Montreal refused to give him a stadium. History has a tendency to repeat itself.

    Comment by Dane — March 21, 2013 @ 11:05 pm

  31. The fan the Redskins sued, or at least the one that got the most press, was a LONG time season ticket holding grandmother. She gave up her seats because she could no longer afford them (there was a recession or something), not because the team sucked. She had tried to work it out with them, but they just turned around and sued her (she never showed up in court and got a default judgment, I believe).

    I don’t think it was RG3 that stopped the bad publicity. I think it was that Dan Snyder finally realized he had to stop making decisions that looked horrible like “Yeah, we’re a billion dollar franchise that is printing money, but we should sue the few season ticket holders who back out of their contracts for a few thousand dealers in open court.”

    Comment by Jason — March 21, 2013 @ 11:09 pm

  32. This word gets thrown around way too lightly, but I am really, truly beginning to believe that Loria is a sociopath.

    Comment by Blue — March 21, 2013 @ 11:59 pm

  33. The Detroit Lions take exception to that last statement

    Comment by machado about nothing — March 22, 2013 @ 12:31 am

  34. I have a overwhelming feeling that any Miami baseball coverage is going to be of this sort until Loria is ousted. Such a shame. But hey, at least Miami will be getting a taste of what Pittsburgh fans have been entreated to over the past 2 decades.

    Comment by TroutKingFisher — March 22, 2013 @ 1:19 am

  35. Wouldn’t installing an advertisement AFTER the people pay for the seats technically constitute a breach of contract since they don’t have the view they paid for? Not necessarily that the view is terrible, but if the club sold the seats THEN put in the ad, is that not false advertisement to the season ticket holders?

    Comment by Brian — March 22, 2013 @ 8:51 am

  36. 5 winning seasons, 2 playoff series wins in 34 years (since 1978), racist (according to many lawsuits) skinflint (wanted the players to buy their own socks) owner, terrible drafting etc

    Comment by Clippers — March 22, 2013 @ 9:37 am

  37. For fricking $25k worth of tickets I would expect some special treatment. How can you alienate your best customers? No business could survive doing that.

    Comment by Hurtlockertwo — March 22, 2013 @ 10:00 am

  38. I suppose that would depend on what was stipulated in the contract, right? Did they pay for a view, or simply for a seat?

    Comment by Neil — March 22, 2013 @ 10:02 am

  39. A real Marlins fan?? Sir, you have my sympathy.

    Comment by Hurtlockertwo — March 22, 2013 @ 10:04 am

  40. He’s stupid enough to think that selling now would be “selling low” and refuses to do it. What’s obvious is that the attendance this season is going to be abysmal. Loria has zero credibility and people don’t want to support the franchise with he as the owner. Once the team starts doing horribly and will be less profitable, he’ll have even less leverage.

    Comment by RMD — March 22, 2013 @ 10:05 am

  41. That would depend on what the terms of the contract are. Most likely, the terms do not explicitly state that the Marlins provide the ticket holders with any particular view. And I’m sure the terms don’t provide that the Marlins surrender their right to modify the seats and the area around them.

    Comment by LTG — March 22, 2013 @ 10:21 am

  42. If I’m a Marlins fan, I’m rooting for Loria to let some racist comment slip.

    Comment by KCDaveInLA — March 22, 2013 @ 11:42 am

  43. MLB brought in Loria to kill the Expos. As a reward, he was able to buy the Marlins partially using money provided by MLB for selling the corpse. Loria has no worries about MLB doing anything to him.

    Comment by siggian — March 22, 2013 @ 11:44 am

  44. I can’t understand why MLB and the other owners want to keep Mark Cuban out of the old boy’s club when Jeffrey Loria is the alternative. Cuban would be great for Miami. No one could ever question his willingness to spend on the team or his desire to win, yet it’s the fact that he’s outspoken that keeps him on the outside. Despicable.

    Comment by PillsburyFlowboy — March 22, 2013 @ 12:45 pm

  45. Except the Marlins’ biggest customers actually seem to be the rest of the MLB (via revenue sharing), MLB.tv and their local TV broadcasters… plus they already got their big subsidy from taxpayers for that new stadium.

    Comment by TheUncool — March 22, 2013 @ 12:58 pm

  46. IOW, there’s no such thing as an RG3 in the MLB amateur draft.

    Comment by TheUncool — March 22, 2013 @ 1:01 pm

  47. The whole point of my article is to argue that the team is profitable despite doing horribly. He doesn’t need to win. He doesn’t need to sell. He can just lean back and make money.

    Comment by Alex Remington — March 22, 2013 @ 1:30 pm

  48. Loria isn’t costing anyone else any money. They’re worried that Cuban will cause trouble for the rest of them. They might be right.

    Comment by Alex Remington — March 22, 2013 @ 1:32 pm

  49. Loria is a clown and a joke but in this case I’ll side with the club. Assuming that they have made every reasonable accommodation to find alternative seating for the season ticket holder I think they have done their job. There are plenty of seats available to choose from. This is clearly a case where the buyers just want out of a contract they signed. No different really than those that try to get out of their cell contract because Verizon tacked on a $0.2/month new fee.

    Comment by BJsWorld — March 22, 2013 @ 2:35 pm

  50. It’s not really clear exactly what options the team offered her. If they truly offered her worse seats, then I think the team is in the wrong. So I’ll withhold my judgment on the merits in the absence of further information.

    But as a matter of public relations, the Marlins have indicated nothing but contempt for their fanbase. Loria’s statement implied that no one but “columnists” was opposed to the Blue Jays deal. The fact is, the team has been around for 20 years, and though they’ve won two championships and have had three different owners, they have a long-established history of trading away star players and blowing up the team rather than spending money on it.

    I don’t know if the Marlins are wrong on the contract law, but they’re grossly, obviously wrong on the optics. They need to bend over backwards for their fans, not sue them.

    Comment by Alex Remington — March 22, 2013 @ 2:43 pm

  51. This makes one think that either there should not be a luxury tax, or there should be no money for those spending below a “spending floor”, since it is angering that teams who are trying to be successful are being ripped off by teams that just want more money.

    Comment by Zigs — March 22, 2013 @ 3:01 pm

  52. The reason for the luxury tax is that there are structural disparities between the 30 teams in baseball. The Rays are certainly trying to win, but they could never in a million years compete with the Yankees and Red Sox in the free agent market. The luxury tax is meant to level the playing field a bit.

    Take a look at Wendy Thurm’s excellent series on team finances:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/a-snapshot-of-team-finances-bottom-tier/
    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/a-snapshot-of-team-finances-middle-tier/
    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/a-snapshot-of-team-finances-top-tier/

    Comment by Alex Remington — March 22, 2013 @ 3:11 pm

  53. Cuban’s already in Miami. The real problem is that the Texas Cuban and the Miami Cubans aren’t too friendly. It could turn into a turf war a la Scarface.

    say hello to my little friend!

    Comment by jfree — March 22, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

  54. Mark Cuban is as Cuban as Cuba Gooding Jr is. He in fact is Jewish.

    Comment by ZombieShakespeare — March 22, 2013 @ 4:46 pm

  55. There are plenty of Cuban Jews, too, but most of them live in Miami now likewise.

    Comment by Alex Remington — March 22, 2013 @ 5:22 pm

  56. I never thought someone called ZombieShakespeare could be so serious

    Comment by adohaj — March 22, 2013 @ 5:28 pm

  57. Revenue sharing makes this possible

    Comment by adohaj — March 22, 2013 @ 5:29 pm

  58. How would we/bud/MLB get loris out? It’s no feasible.

    Mccourt was forced out due to his divorce proceedings…

    Btw… McCourt still “owns” the dodger stadium parking lot… He’s still making money off the dodgers

    Comment by ealtman — March 22, 2013 @ 6:08 pm

  59. I’m not sure about that. Do the other teams in the marlins division have their ratings suffer when they play them? We know they will get a crappy tv deal because of the damage they are causing to the fan base. How about ticket sales? Do people not show up when the marlins are on the road? Counting it as an automatic win against a terrible team?

    Comment by Me — March 22, 2013 @ 7:49 pm

  60. The customer only seems to be happy with two alternatives though:

    1 – They remove the advertisement. This would cost them more than $25k in lost revenue.

    2 – They give a refund on tickets. This would take away the $25k.

    Neither of those options makes much sense for the Marlins, as one option leaves them with $0 and the other leaves them with negative dollars.

    Comment by vivalajeter — March 22, 2013 @ 7:51 pm

  61. Dangit, i wanted to see if MArlins fans would turn out for the new stadium like i predicted they wouldn’t, now it will just be blamed on the owners and we won’t get to see if they really were going to support the team in a new roofed stadium.

    Comment by DodgersKingsoftheGalaxy — March 23, 2013 @ 11:25 am

  62. And if you add a salary floor he’ll just trade for Tim Thomas, who won’t do any worse for the Fish than whatever hockey team isn’t paying him now.

    Comment by Tim — March 24, 2013 @ 1:30 am

  63. It would depend on the NATURE of the contract.

    Would a reasonable person expect to pay for a seat, and then have it partially blocked by an add?

    (Que the sarcastic, “Yes if they were Marlin’s fans” response)

    Seriously though, I honestly don’t think it needs to explicitly written into the contract. There’s a lot of stuff in most contracts that isn’t explicitly stated but that is still assumed to be part of the contract. It would seem to me that this is one of those cases.

    Not a lawyer, but I did take a contract law class.

    Comment by Brian — March 24, 2013 @ 3:06 am

  64. @vivalajeter

    So what? The Marlins are the one’s that forced the issue by putting the ad there in the first place.

    The fact that neither of the customer’s solutions leave the team better off is irrelevant.

    Comment by Brian — March 24, 2013 @ 3:26 am

  65. Here’s the story about the grandmother they sued: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/02/AR2009090203887.html

    The best piece that I know of to catalogue the long, long, LONG list of Dan Snyder’s sins is this one, by the great Dave McKenna: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/articles/40063/the-cranky-redskins-fans-guide-to-dan-snyder

    Comment by Alex Remington — March 24, 2013 @ 12:13 pm

  66. From the story:

    Hill is one of 125 season ticket holders who asked to be released from multiyear contracts and were sued by the Redskins in the past five years. The Washington Post interviewed about two dozen of them. Most said that they were victims of the economic downturn, having lost a job or experiencing some other financial hardship.

    Redskins General Counsel David Donovan said the lawsuits are a last resort that involve a small percentage of the team’s 20,000 annual premium seat contracts. He added that the team has accommodated people in hard-luck circumstances hundreds of times. He said he was unaware of Pat Hill’s case.

    “The Washington Redskins routinely works out payment plans and alternate arrangements with hundreds of ticket holders every year,” Donovan said. “For every one we sue, I would guess we work out a deal with half a dozen.”

    Comment by Alex Remington — March 24, 2013 @ 12:14 pm

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