Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria told the media yesterday that he's optimistic that Miami will pass a plan this week to move the team into a proposed stadium in Little Havana. Leaving Dolphins Stadium, which is on the Broward County line, will assure that baseball fans in Broward and Palm Beach counties will forever forget that South Florida has a baseball team. Loria said:
''The timing for the stadium could not be better, and to get this stadium built now is the perfect time."
Sure, the economy's in the crapper, and I don't recall Ben Bernanke saying the Marlins are too big to fail. But Loria promises that a Marlins bailout could help Florida's economy stink a little less:
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"Our nation is embarking on one of its largest public-private partnerships we have seen in any of our lifetimes. Florida is falling in sync with what is going on across the country. People need jobs. People need paychecks. The time to get it done is now."
Before the stadium organist starts playing the cavalry charge, it's important to note that Jeffrey Loria isn't exactly the Ben Bernanke of professional sports.
It was Loria and his buddies who were accused of racketeering in 2002 in a sneaky deal to sell the Expos to Major League Baseball after screwing the city of Montreal out of its team. In response to a lawsuit that accused Loria et al. of wire and mail fraud, Loria and the others settled out of court, a move that proved Loria is the perfect man to help the Marlins get a new stadium.
Yes, all this background does sound like the confusing last minutes of Law and Order: Clubhouse. But if the Marlins owner says moving the Marlins down to Miami will help you pay your mortgage, then I guess we have no need for Jack McCoy to cross-examine the truth out of Loria. Besides, it's unlikely that, in the end, Loria will admit his intention to screw the shit out of Florida voters. For that, we'll have to wait until the stadium is built.