I may have just written an article for Vice Sports on how Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria’s windfall from selling the team isn’t really the result of the stadium subsidies he got — those stadium subsidies look to have just gone down a hole, huzzah! — but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate and agree with this lede from Miami New Times’s Tim Elfrink:
Tens of thousands of baseball fans, officials, and journalists have arrived in Miami today for one reason: to see the worst owner in professional sports for themselves.
(Though when I mentioned this, I did have one person ask me: “What, James Dolan is visiting Florida?”)
As good as that opening line is, the main point of the article is even better: Loria, not content with suing his fans for canceling their season tickets to his terrible team, is now trying to seize a commercial building owned by one fan as compensation:
Loria’s team is suing a fan named Kenneth Sack in Broward County to take a $725,000 building he owns in Oakland Park — all as part of the same ugly dispute that has led the team to sue at least nine season ticketholders and luxury-suite owners since 2003…
In January, the team won a judgment against Sack for the full $97,200, but his attorney appealed because the lawyer had missed key hearings and filings after suffering a heart attack and spending months in the hospital. That civil case remains open.
But in the meantime, the team has used that judgment to try to nab a building owned by Sack. On March 12, the Marlins initiated a foreclosure proceeding for a commercial building Sack owns in Oakland Park, arguing that they can seize the property to fulfill the $97,200 he owes them; they ask the judge to appoint a receiver so they can begin collecting rent from the location. (Oddly, county property appraisers say the building at 5090 N. Dixie Hwy. is actually worth $725,000.)
Concludes Elfrink: “The Marlins have so deeply ruined the relationship with their fans that it’s a fair question whether professional baseball can ever recover in Miami. For now, be warned: Don’t sign any contracts with the Fish unless you’re ready for them to come after your property if things go sour.” Have fun with your new $1.2 billion toy, next billionaire in line to own the Marlins!