More from Loria - http://blogs.palmbeachpost.com/marlins/2013/02/25/marlins-owner-jeffrey-loria-speaks-out-on-fan-reaction-reyes-buehrle-stanton/
Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria speaks out for first time since November trade
by Joe Capozzi
Marins owner Jeffrey Loria spoke to reporters tonight at Marlins Park for the first time since the team’s controversial trade with Toronto last November.
An edited transcript of his remarks follows below. He says he never told Jose Reyes to buy a house and never told Mark Buehrle that he wouldn’t be traded.
Loria said he has heard very little negative reaction lately. He said attended a food and win festical on Saturday and was “probably approached by 20 or 30 people all of whom congratulated me and said, ‘You had to do what you did.’ To a person.”
(Your reaction to the negative feedback?)
I haven’t seen anything. I got a few silly phone calls. That was in November. It stopped. I’m hoping maybe we can just call a halt to it all and try and get behind the home team this next year.
(Your reaction to fans want you to sell)
The team is not for sale. Of course I care, it means people are disappointed. But I know what we are doing. I just know we have got to get a little bit down the road here so we can see what we brought in.
(You understand fans are angry because they thought the new ballpark meant an end to fire sales)
It’s not a fire sale. You can call it a fire sale. It’s called hit the re-start button because it didn’t damn work.
I understand the feeling but I have no interest in endless losing and we had two years of that. I want to us get back to our winning ways.
(Jose Reyes said you told him to buy a house just days before the trade.)
What you were told is inaccurate. I never told him to buy a house. He was looking for a house. I will tell you that he came to an ALS dinner which I invited him to. He sat two people away from me, He came late. I asked him what he was doing in the next week. He told me he was going to Dubai. I said. ‘Has your wife been down to Miami? He said yes she has gone down. She is looking for a home. I didn’t say anything after that…
Three or four days after that, Larry came to me with the trade he wanted to do. I immediately called Jose’s agent out of respect for him and said Jose is going to be traded and I want you to call him before he reads about. He hasn’t bought a house yet has he? ‘No, he is contemplating.’ Just call him and let him know…
(Why you wait until now to speak out and not in November?)
It’s hard to stop a runaway train. I wanted to decompress sit back and see what we needed to do…
(You understand the anger fans have toward you?)
I have a sense of it. I’m sorry that we’ve built this amazing ballpark and fans are feeling the way they do but we did this for a reason – we weren’t going anywhere and I think anybody who is a baseball person will realize that after two years that we had, we had to do something. We had to do something quickly and swiftly and bold.
I’d like to turn the clock ahead two years from now and look back at what we did. We had three or four prospects in our system. We didn’t have people in our system that we could call up last year…
As I said to somebody last week. We didn’t break up the 1927 Yankees. We broke up a losing ballclub that was going nowhere for two straight years. I’m about winning I like to win, I love winning. I love this ballclub and I like what we’ve done now. It’s a little painful for a lot of people but no pain, no gain.
Frankly, we stunk and it was a disaster. I stood by and I just watched it and finally I spoke to our guys and said what do we do and these are the suggestions that came forward, we’ve got to start again …
We didn’t build this building for 10 years to have probably going to be this year fewer fans coming. It’s a spectacular place. But the baseball people told me we aren’t going anywhere.
(Why include Buehrle and Reyes in the trade? Why not keep them?)
Buehrle is a very interesting guy. He’s in this mid-30s. Where he is to join us? You have to look ahead… You make a team four years from now, Buerhle doesn’t fit in. he’s at the end of his career earning $17 million, 18 million, and frankly that doesn’t work down here at that point for us because there are other players we want to sign…
(He talks about Marlins farm system)
We haven’t had great luck from 2002 to 2008 or 09 with the exception of Mike Stanton. We brought Josh Johnson along and a couple of other guys but I can give the names of players who never made it… Hermida didn’t work out, Jeff Allison didn’t work out, Sinkbeil didn’t work out. Volstad came here, wonderful kid, terrific guy, didn’t really work out that well for us.
(Do you intend to sign Giancarlo Stanton?)
We are hoping that that moment will come but Giancarlo needs to play this year. He is here for certainly the foreseeable future and we will cross that bridge at the appropriate moment.
(Your reaction to his comments after the trade?)
I love Giancarlo. He’s a great young talent and I wish him nothing but the best. I have nothing but fond admiration for him. I don’t have any negative feelings.
I understood that. But I’m going to wish him a great season. My wife and I saw him in France… (Loria said he met in Paris and had dinner in the Eiffel Tower.)
(But a lot of fans think it will be only one more year.)
I don’t have any comments about that? One more year? He will be here this year and I’m hopefully he will come here the next year… I would love to see him be the centerpiece of this ball club. He’d the young giant in the ball club but you can’t make promises in this game because strange things happen all the time…
Loria said the team won’t make Stanton an offer this year. “I dont think this is the year to go to Giancarlo with an offer. We have to let him play it out, let him feel more comfortable.”
He elaborated again about Stanton’s criticisms: “I know it was an immediate knee-jerk reaction saying what he said. I don’t hold that against him.”
I’m a firm believer that Miami loves its baseball but nobody wants to watch losing baseball…
We’ll get back to where we want to get to.
It was very hard last year, you comer to a ballgame and Heath (Bell) is blowing ballgames day after day, it’s kind of depressing. Other things happened and we need to fix the chemistry and we needed to fix the core of this team.”