What little hope the Marlins had left for the sake of their franchise was crushed by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig Thursday, when he indicated he would not block the trade that would basically decimate their whole team. Selig said that since there was really no precedent for such a thing, there was nothing for him to do. Owners will be owners, amirite?
No need to get down on Selig, though. Jeffrey Loria remains Miami’s Public Enemy No. 1. If Selig started dabbling in the art of arbitrarily blocking trades, well, Supreme Leader David Stern has showed us what kind of shit storm that can lead to. Better for Selig to contain the shit storm to Miami, and better to leave it squarely on Loria’s shoulders. So theoretically, he could’ve stopped it, but better that he didn’t. There is an alternative, however, and we’ll get to that once we get to Selig’s reasons for reviewing the trade, via the New York Times:
“I want to think about all of it, and I want to review everything,” Selig said. “I want to be my usual painstaking, cautious, slow, conservative self in analyzing it. There’s a lot of variables here.”
…and why he subsequently let it go through:
Despite the upheaval, Selig gave no indication that he had any plans to block the trade, saying there was no such precedent. He also made an effort to defend the deal. Selig said he talked to two independent baseball people who thought the Marlins did “very well” with the prospects they received from the Blue Jays.
“Clubs have to make their own decisions, and that’s not up to the commissioner,” Selig said.
“I am aware of the anger, I am,” Selig said. “The questions are fair about the Marlins fans. I want you to know that. It’s a subject that I’m extremely sensitive about.”
OK, so that part about the Marlins doing “very well”, yeah, that’s pretty much bullshit. Predicting how prospects will turn out is about as easy as running a baseball team is for Jeffrey Loria, and we all know how that goes. The Marlins got skindicked. But it’s not the skindicking that should perturb MLB fandom — that’s not unprecedented. It’s a matter of the owner’s particular motives, and the fact that he’s holding his fanbase and city financially hostage.
So what can Bud do? Take fucking care of Loria. Fine him. Suspend him. Cut the head off his prize horse and put it in his bed, I don’t care. But you can’t let owners run around, hijacking their franchises and their fans. Vetoing the trade wouldn’t have sent the right message, I agree. So it’s time to come down on Loria and figure out the Marlins.
[New York Times, Getty Images]