Marlins to San Antonio? Please

This is ridiculous.

Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said before the home opener Tuesday that he believes San Antonio is a viable market for a team and he must determine the club’s future “very, very, very soon.”

“San Antonio is a very viable market, and they’re very serious,” Loria said. “Read my lips: They’re very serious.”

2000 MSA Population and % change from 1990

Miami: 5,007,564 (23.5% increase from 1990)
San Antonio: 1,711,703 (21.6% increase from 1990)

When you see statements as non-credible as this one, it’s hard to take anything the speaker says seriously. Shut-up and market your damn team. This reminds me of that Simpson’s episode where the men of Springfield attempt to sabotage Apu’s Valentine’s Day surprises for his wife. Ned Flanders correctly points out that all the effort they are using could have gone to their wives—it’s rent seeking loss— before he’s told to pipe down. South Florida should be a great place for baseball. You have two of the best players in baseball on your team—Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera—playing for peanuts. Yeah, Jeff, you’d make more money if the city bought you a new stadium, but it’s not like you’ve got a bad situation. But no one believes you’re going to move the team from a top-10 market to a city three times smaller. The owners certainly won’t allow it either.

I hope the citizens of Miami do the right thing and dare him to leave. The citizens of Charlotte did the same thing to George Shinn with the Hornets, and look what it got them. The jerk owner left town, and the city got a new team and a downtown arena. Threatening to leave a city is a dangerous strategy. If you don’t get what you want, it can cost you in the long run.

11 Responses “Marlins to San Antonio? Please”

  1. JEC says:

    Well said JC. Remember that Loria pulled this exact same act when he owned the Expos. How did that turn out? Pretty well for him, I’d say.

    He may be bluffing about San Antonio, but I have no doubt that whatever happens to Marlin franchise, Loria will screw the fans and make a hefty profit.

    That being said, I have less sympathy for Miami than I did for Montreal.

  2. Donald A. Coffin says:

    Metro area population is probably most important in baseball, somewhat less important (but still really important) in basketball and hockey, and least important in football, simply because of the number of games in the season. So if the Dolphins were threatening to move to San Antonio, I’d take it more seriously than Loria’s threat.

    And, again, why did MLB give this guy the chance to screw up a second franchise?

  3. Marc says:

    I used to live in Miami (before the Marlins were there) and I dispute the idea that it’s a great place for baseball. First of all, if you have spent a summer in Miami, you don’t have to wonder what hell is like. I wouldn’t want to sit outside at a baseball game there. My experience is that Miami isn’t really a good sports town in general, regardless of the population (other than the Dolphins). I agree that Miami shouldn’t build a stadium, but I wouldn’t cry to see the team move. I don’t think Luria should be condemned for doing what every other owner in baseball has done. He put together a championship-caliber team and the fans still didn’t support it. But the argument that the team would do better with a stadium in downtown Miami is specious. The current location–between Dade and Broward counties, is probably ideal. Nobody lives in Miami.I just don’t think a team there is ever going to draw well.

  4. James says:

    Your demographic figures are very misleading. Here’s why, look it up if you don’t beleive me. The Miami figure of 5 million includes West Palm Beach. The San Antonio figure does not include Austin, which is EXACTLY the same distance from San Antonio as West Palm Beach is to Miami (do a map quest search). In other words, San Antonio and Austin are just as much one market as WPB and Miami. If you include the Austin Metro area of 1.5 million people just one hour or less away from San Antonio, then you have closer to 3.5 million in the greater San Antonio area. Do the research before posting information.

  5. Brian says:

    Just one quick note, Austin isn’t too far away (I want to say about an hour) and I think they’re banking on that city and suburb to pick up some of the slack. I’m not saying it makes sense, just passing on what I’ve heard. When you combine the two, it makes for a more credible scenario.

  6. JC says:

    James,

    If you want to share information with me that you think is relevant, I am happy to hear it. There’s no need to write a comment in that tone. Brian didn’t have a problem making the same argument without being a jerk. I am always willing to change my views when wrong. Why would I continue to hold an incorrect belief in order to “be right?” That’s just silly. In the future, just pass along the info.

    I don’t see what’s so bad about using MSA designations, which exist for a reason. They take into account more than distance. And even if you grant the distance is the same—I’ll just take your word for it—Miami is still has 1.5 million fewer people. That’s nearly a full San Antonio less than Miami. He’s bluffing.

    Brian,

    Thanks for the info.

  7. James says:

    I apologize for the tone, my bad, I just wanted to ensure correct info was being passed, as I have lived in both Miami AND San Antonio. Both are capable of hosting MLB teams, although I am sure MLB would rather them stay in Miami. Agree, Loria may well be bluffing…we’ll see soon. I think it’s 60/40 that someone is south florida will come up with the funds for a new stadium.

  8. lisa gray says:

    i don’t care what the population of san antonio might could be – it ain’t rich enough to support a ML team. there won’t be enough corporate sponsors. since loria wants the city to foot the entire bill to to build him his stadium, don’t know where they gonna get the money.

    they already got the AA missions and they barely draw a few thousand.

    and as for austin being only a hour away, all i gotta say is
    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    traffic in austin worse than in houston and the rich people mostly live and work north of downtown. you won’t get out of work at 5 or 6 and make the 7:05 start time in san antonio.

    its just more loria bullstuff.

    no WAY a ML team gonna survive in san antonio

  9. Rick says:

    Being from San Antonio I may have a little insight into the market. San Antonio IS a small market, however the sports fan base is strong and loyal. The Spurs are always sold out…winning helps of course.
    The Marlins would be welcomed with open arms, but MLB will look at the TV market where San Antonio ranks 37th….and thus no San Antonio Marlins.
    BTW Austin is 60 miles away and an easy commute, but the 2 cities are very independant and polar opposites in politics.

  10. Ben says:

    For whatever reason I wrote letters to the Mayors of San Antonio and Portland (the other main “relocation city” being “discussed” by Jeff Loria & David Samson) imploring them not to allow themselves to get duped by the obviously greedy and deceptive Loria. San Antonio ignored me, but Mayor Potter of Portland wrote back to me. I just can’t see how either of those markets would be preferable to a bigger market with more citizens and less nearby baseball competitors (not to mention a community who loves baseball). The fact that, as JEC points out, Loria already did this in Montreal (subsequently inflicting damage upon the franchise that to this day is still continuing) says to me that he’s the sort of person I would want to avoid working with.

    Anyway, here’s Potter’s response:

    Dear Ben:

    Thank you for emailing about Major League Baseball (MLB) in Portland.

    I met with Marlins President David Samson and his associates several months ago to hear firsthand their interest in relocating the franchise to Portland. However, there have been no discussions regarding stadium financing or public support for an MLB franchise.

    As I have indicated in the past, I support MLB moving to Portland. However, I believe the private sector must carry any plan forward and I will not commit public dollars to attracting an MLB team. I remain receptive to any plan that doesn’t divert City funds from our priorities for schools and public safety.

    Thank you, again, for emailing.

    Sincerely,
    Tom Potter
    Mayor

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