The 15 Worst Owners in Sports

Frackers, fuckers, racists and robbers – you don't need to be a bad person to own a pro franchise, but it certainly helps

Jeffrey Loria, Miami Marlins
David Santiago/Getty2/15

2. Jeffrey Loria, Miami Marlins

If you live outside the tax base of Miami, the most despicable thing Jeffrey Loria ever did came on the heels of one of the smartest things a sporting municipality every did: say no.

After an initial investment of $12 million in the Montreal Expos, Loria triggered a series of showdowns with fellow team owners and local government until he wound up with 94 percent control, an alienated fanbase and a sweetheart ride out of town. Loria sold the Expos to "Expos Baseball, LP," essentially Major League Baseball, for $120 million. He then bought the Marlins for $158.5 million, with the $38.5 million difference ponied up by MLB in an interest-free loan. After that, he committed to a strategy of cost-control with cheap young talent, selling off everything else, letting revenue sharing do the work of profit-making and crying poverty to the City of Miami, while resorting to the same threat game as in Montreal. ("San Antonio is a very viable market, and they're very serious. Read my lips: They're very serious.") It worked. Loria erected a white-and-pastel mausoleum massively underserved by public transportation, one so empty that the retail spaces in and surrounding it as well as parking remain un- or under-leased, cratering any illusion of the "revenue" that a publicly financed stadium would bring. In exchange, through 2048, the City of Miami is on the hook for $2.4 billion. With a B.

To complete the illusion that Loria would now use his new stadium to field a competitive team, he bought a lot of free agents, signed them to backloaded deals, then shipped them out within the year in a stunning 12-player trade that reduced his payroll obligations by $160 million. He even lied and told Jose Reyes to buy a house in Miami four days before exporting his ass to Canada. (So many awful things happened that year that you might as well just click this.) Loria is going to eschew free agents, trade away good players for prospects at the height of their value and keep "rebuilding" and pocketing revenue-sharing checks until he dies. Here's what baseball fans get in exchange: Go fuck yourself. In the meantime, he'll also probably continue meddling in baseball operations, switching starting pitchers and holding up talent moves, like he does already.

And he's already started on the competitiveness shell game again, signing slugger Giancarlo Stanton to a heavily backloaded $325 million contract that Keith Olbermann sublimely tore to bits just a day later. But you get to make those decisions when you're someone who got a start in this world buying art for Sears. Who are we to judge a baseball man who has drunk so deep from the cup of life? After all, besides immiserating and plundering two baseball towns and every fan in them, Loria's great contribution to the world is a book of philosophy based on Peanuts comic strips where he assures us that the pre-teen characters of that world aren't into wife-swapping.

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