In case you haven't heard, the Marlins sent Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, John Buck and Emilio Bonifacio to the Blue Jays for Yunel Escobar and a long list of prospects. In monetary terms, that's a savings of nearly $164 million for Marlins' owner Jeffrey Loria. This, after bilking Miami taxpayers of nearly $400 million to help build a new stadium.
It's the greatest con since Henry Gondorff and Johnny Hooker conned Doyle Lonnegan out of a half-million dollars of depression-era money in the movie The Sting. Ya' folla?
But all Loria is guilty of here is being a lousy, heartless businessman. The real culprit is commissioner Bud Selig. And it's too bad. I was praising Bud in October for the brilliant implementation of the additional wild card in each league and how, while it expanded the number of playoff teams, it also diminished the worth of a wildcard birth.
For Bud to allow a $164 million deal and basically destroy an organization for at least the next half-decade is criminal. Particularly the case here, where hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars were involved in a good faith promise that Loria would keep the team competitive.
Bud should have looked at those long term contracts signed just a year ago by the stars they sent north of the border. Much of the money is on the back end of those contracts. This thing stinks worse than day-old, well, marlin.
Bowie Kuhn, a commissioner from better days in baseball, would never have allowed this to happen. He nixed the A's Charley Finley from purging Rollie Fingers, Joe Rudi and Vida Blue one night in the summer of 1976. And he was right. He used the "best interests of baseball" power he had to nix the deals to the Yankees and the Red Sox.
This Selig? He just continues to kiss the backsides of the owners.
Well, at least Miami still has the Heat.