Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, already a multiple time winner of the "Worst Owner in Sports" award, is at it again. This time, Loria is overruling personnel decisions by Miami's front office because of petty grudges. Check out this tidbit from Jeff Passan's 10 Degrees column at Yahoo!
Loria is the East Coast Moreno, dirtying everything up with his paws. People throughout the organization were disgusted by his handling of Chris Valaika earlier this week, as the Miami Herald reported. Valaika was one of the players verbally abused by hitting coach Tino Martinez, who has since resigned. Martinez was Loria's personal hire, and, still angered by Martinez leaving, Loria personally stopped Valaika's promotion from Triple-A and instead insisted the Marlins call up journeyman Gil Velazquez.
That's right, Loria is middling with decisions that don't even have much of a bearing on the club. This isn't something along the lines of signing Jose Reyes, Heath Bell, and Mark Buehrle, or signing Josh Johnson to a contract extension, or trading Ricky Nolasco…this is a relatively meaningless decision in the grand scheme of things. Valaika is a 28-year old middle infielder in his first season with the Marlins organization that is hitting just as terribly in AAA as he did in the majors. Velazquez is a 33-year old journeyman who has spent time with six organizations over his career and has hit .233/.250/.247 in 76 career plate appearances. Valaika isn't great by any stretch of the imagination, but he's not completely useless like Velazquez is.
Also in Passan's piece is the tidbit that Loria might end up firing team president David Samson and president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest after this season (because both men are clearly to blame for Miami's season). I don't know what executive in their right mind would take this job when you have an owner that is constantly meddling in your plans. The Marlins have actually been respectable since Giancarlo Stanton returned from the DL on June 10th, going 31-36 in the 67 games since thanks to a young core that includes Stanton, Christian Yelich, and Jose Fernandez.
The sad part is that Loria's ridiculous behavior isn't exactly foreign in the game today. The Angels might end up firing GM Jerry Dipoto this offseason because of the team's struggles in 2013, despite owner Arte Moreno being the one that spurred the signing of Josh Hamilton (who has been awful). More owners need to be like Jim Crane in Houston, who is at the helm of the most profitable team in baseball history and is letting GM Jeff Luhnow do whatever the hell he wants with his radical (but very effective) rebuilding strategy. Let the baseball people make the baseball decisions. All Loria is doing is driving away everyone, from the players, to the fans, to the executives of the team, and there's no end in sight to his madness.