Miami baseball fans HATE owner Jeffery Loria. Whether it be because he dismantled the 2003 World Series champions within two seasons, or his crying poor and conning the city into putting up $2.4 billion for a new stadium, or his insistence on suing fans who balked at crappy season ticket packages, they HATE him. The news that he will sell the team has many counting the seconds until he is no longer in charge.
Loria's $158 million investment in 2002, will likely land him a BILLION-DOLLAR profit. Three teams of investors are looking to buy the team for around $1.2 BILLION. The players in the sale are as interesting as the prospect of Miami having an owner who actually cares about the product.
Derek Jeter has been named in this hunt for a long time, but he's not the only big name involved now. It was reported Tuesday that Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan has joined Jeter's group. Jordan is reportedly kicking in "very little" cash, but that's not surprising. Jordan has the reputation of a man who likes to use his name and save his dough.
Jeter obviously isn't a billionaire who can afford to put hundreds-of-millions into owning a team, so his group is primarily bankrolled by retired Florida money manager Bruce Sherman and 14 others.
Another "group" appears to be just one man. Jorge Mas. Mas is a Miami billionaire, who serves as the Chairman of the Cuban American National Foundation. Mas, whose net worth is pegged at around $2.5B, is a Miami guy. He graduated from the _... twice. His business, MasTec, is based in Coral Gables. He has deep ties to the community and, maybe most importantly for the future of the franchise, connections in foreign markets.
POLITICIANS, A RAPPER, & A HOFer?
The third group said to be making a play has star power all over the map. It is headlined by former Florida Governor, and failed Presidential candidate, Jeb! Bush. One of Jeb!'s fellow investors is Tagg Romney, the son of failed Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Now through in some Miami "heat" with native Latin rapper Pitbull. His involvement in the bid was announced this week just after his performance at the Home Run Derby. Not the final but the last noteworthy investor in this group, has to be Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Glavine.
Frankly, all of these ownership groups would be preferable to Loria. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred was quoted Wednesday, as saying, the Marlins will choose "soon" the winning bidder. It will be a great day for Miami baseball, with a much brighter and more fan-friendly future.