Last offseason, the Marlins were the toast of baseball. For years, the organization has refused to spend money and has generally ranked near the bottom of Major League Baseball. The Marlins opened up a brand-new stadium in Miami and christened the extravagant ballpark by spending on free agents. One year later, the Marlins have ripped apart the team.
Of course, this is a Padres blog and I am not here to talk about the Marlins. What I am here to do is talk about the parallels between the two franchises.
Aug 12, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins relief pitcher Heath Bell (21) throws during the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Marlins Park. The Dodgers won 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
When the Padres opened up Petco Park, the team promised to field competitive money and not necessarily to spend money like a college kid with their first credit card. For the most part, the Padres have kept that promise.
The Padres won 87 games in 2004, made the playoffs in ’05 and ’06, then had near misses in ’07 and ’10. As much as we like to complain about the low payrolls and the lack of success, the Padres seem to have a good plan and developed a strong farm system in the last few years. I do believe in Josh Byrnes and I firmly believe that better days are ahead.
Personally, I do not believe that payroll has a direct correlation to success on the field. The Rays are competitive each year, despite having payrolls similar to what San Diego had in 2012. The Oakland A’s won 94 games, behind a couple of savvy trades and the success of the farm system. This is the blueprint that the Padres must follow in order to have long-term success.
The Marlins have won two World Series’ in addition to engaging in some of the largest fire sales in recent memory. The Marlins shelled out huge contracts to Jose Reyes, Heath Bell, and Mark Buehrle. Now they are all gone. The organization is a laughingstock.
Ehsan Kassim of Marlins Daily had this to say about the Marlins recent moves: “The trade seems like a decent baseball move, but it is a horrible public relations move and the fans are not pleased. Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has screwed over the fans too many times. Most fans feel like Loria should sell the team or be forced out by Bud Selig.”
The Padres have had plenty of dysfunction at the top of the organization. The whole Moorad fiasco left a bitter taste in the mouths of Padres fans. However, the Padres did not give us false hope, only to yank it away in one swift move.
Quite simply, Jeffery Loria might be the worst owner in the history of professional sports. He single-handily killed baseball in Montreal and duped Miami taxpayers into financing a stadium that will likely be empty in April of 2013. As much as we all complain about the lack of baseball success in San Diego, at least we can say: “Hey, at least we aren’t the Marlins.