How Former Owner Jeffrey Loria Claims Derek Jeter Ruined The Miami Marlins

Getty Image

Jeffrey Loria is widely considered one of the worst owners in Major League Baseball history.

He played a large role in the collapse of the Montreal Expos and then ran and hid when he purchased the then-Florida Marlins in 2002.

Loria, largely on the backs of those before him, won his first and only World Series with the Marlins in 2003. But he then proceeded to strip the team for parts, trading its biggest names to anyone and everyone who was interested.

Thus began an extended stretch of mediocrity for the organization that would later morph into a similar stretch of putrid play.

Loria rebranded the team as the Miami Marlins in 2012 when they moved into a new, publicly funded ballpark. But that did nothing to cover up the 69 and 62-win seasons that immediately followed.

Eventually, Loria sold the team in 2017 to a group containing New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter. Jeter owned just four percent of the team but was still named the team’s CEO’s.

One of the first moves Jeter and company made was to remove the giant sculpture in center field that would light up when the Marlins would win or hit a home run.

Loria was not at all happy with the decision.

“Jeter came in and destroyed the ballpark,” Loria said in an interview with the Miami Herald. “Destroying public art was a horrible thing to do.”

Loria’s friend, Red Grooms, designed the sculpture for $2.5 million.

It now sits outside the park, “condemned to neglect and outdoor decay,” according to Loria.

Jeter resigned his role of CEO just four years later and sold his stake in the club.

Loria isn’t the only one critical of Jeter’s time with the club.

Former team president David Samson previously excoriated the superstar following his departure from the organization.

“He assumed that he could get a bigger TV deal. He assumed he could get a big naming rights deal, that he’d get tons of season-ticket holders, that he would make the team a winning team,” Samson said. “And after four years, I think he realized that being a shortstop and being an executive are two totally different things. … And I think he realized quickly that being a pitch man for Subway was probably going to be more up his alley than running the team every day.”

Somehow, Jeter may well have found a way to be more hated than Loria by Marlins fans and former staff.