They’re dumping salary down in Miami again. This, alas, is not a surprise. After the latest blockbuster deal that’s left the Marlins roster a shell of its former self, many fans are angry. They’re calling for owner Jeffrey Loria to sell the team, for commissioner Bud Selig to force him out of the sport. The fans feel betrayed, victims of the old bait and switch, and they’re struggling to understand what compels them to continue with their support of the professional baseball, why they continue to line the pockets of the fat cat Loria. The fans are confused, disenchanted, experiencing crises. They feel cold and alone and are struggling to find meaning in the darkness. They are, one could theorize, exactly where Jeffrey Loria wants them.
Because, you see, Jeffrey Loria is an independently wealthy and clandestine social scientist, and the people of Florida are his test subjects. He builds them up, and then breaks them down, all the while keeping detailed notes on his observations and results. Loria watches the baseball team in Florida, they win the Wold Series. There is elation. The team is then gutted. There is sorrow. Loria sees this and acquires the team, abandoning his previous social experiment in Montreal for more fertile territory. Loria hammers revenue sharing checks for a while, and then wins the World Series again. Remembering what he has learned from his forebearers, the team is once again gutted, and more monies are pocketed. Lows and highs. Highs and lows. Loria giveth and Loria taketh away. Loria observe the emotional turmoil of the turnstiled masses and Loria make record his findings.
Loria’s most recent machinations were perhaps his more cruel and complex yet. The owner convinced the taxpaying citizens of Miami to finance the bulk of a new 600 million dollar stadium. He then used their money to craft backstop aquariums and bobblehead museums and a towering, phallic, expansive clusterbomb of a home run sculpture. He changed the name of the team and he made their clothing bright orange. Loria sat back while all this was happening and he took his notes. He then expressed interest in every single available free agent. Pujols, Fielder, Wilson, Reyes and all the rest. He gave a few a lot of money. He signed a closer to a bloated three year deal. He signed Ozzie Guillen to manage the team. He brought in cameras and began filming a television show. Loria slammed madness down upon the people of Florida. He introduced chaos, whipping the fans into an electric green frenzy. He sold them DayGlo promises and served them overpriced daiquiris from the pool bar of the stadium’s nightclub.
And then he took it all away. The team played badly. The manager said inflammatory things. The expensive closer with the crazy eyes who believes in aliens gave up a lot of runs. A brash young outfielder tweeted a photograph of a women breastfeeding. The losing continued. Loria started trading away players. Hanley Ramirez and Anibel Sanchez and Omar Infante departed. The season ended and the winter came and the trading resumed. Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, John Buck—all gone, off to Toronto. The fans began to revolt, the columns started to post, and all the while, Jeffrey Loria was there to watch it all happen.
So why does he do it, this grand experiment? Why does Jeffrey Loria toy with the people of Florida so? One could venture that he’s collecting important data, mapping patterns of human behavior that will be used in the future to contribute towards the greater good of all mankind. One could surmise that Jeffrey Loria is being selfless in this endeavor, willfully casting himself as the villain, valiantly taking the brunt of his methods scrutiny and criticism in order to keep his experiment pure and uncorrupted. One could hypothesize that Jeffrey Loria is a martyr for truth, and mathematics, and science. That, or he’s just a total dick.