With the Miami Marlins playing host to this week’s All-Star Game festivities, the last thing Major League Baseball needed was another firestorm surrounding current Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria.
Naturally, that’s exactly what they’re getting after the Miami New Times reported Loria is attempting to seize property from a former Marlins season ticket holder as part of on-going dispute that’s spawned nine lawsuits.
In this case specifically, Loria is suing a fan named Kenneth Sack in Broward County to take a $725,000 building he owns in Oakland Park. This would serve as repayment for Sack backing out of his season ticket plan following the team’s first season at Marlins Park.
At the time, Loria was asking season ticket holders to make three or four year commitments, while dangling several perks and promises that he ultimately reneged on. Once Sack and others realized they weren’t getting what they had agreed to, they were gone, and Loria has been left to chase the money owed him ever since.
“I didn’t want my money back or anything, but I said, ‘Please give me back the stuff you promised,'” longtime fan Mickey Axelband told New Times last year. “The answer I got back was basically, ‘Yeah, we know we took it all away, but tough (expletive).'”
Many fans like Axelband and Sack decided not to honor their written commitment to buy more season tickets. Across professional sports, fans often decide to walk away from long-term season-ticket promises — nearly every other team decides not to endure the public-relations nightmare of waging legal fights against the fans who support their club (not to mention the taxpayers who built the stadium).
But the Marlins aren’t an ordinary team. And Loria has repeatedly made it clear that he couldn’t care less what his team’s fans think about him. So beginning in 2013, the Marlins began suing anyone who walked away after the first round of season tickets.
In January, the Marlins won a judgment against Sack for the full $97,200 that was still owed from his original agreement. That ruling was subsequently appealed by Sack’s attorney, who the Miami New Times reported was forced to miss key hearings and filings after suffering a heart attack.
Showing little remorse, Loria and his legal team have moved forward with trying to seize the building owned by Sack to fulfill the judgement and the money that’s owed.
It’s another illustration of how selfish and vindictive Loria can be when he doesn’t get his way. It’s one thing to be a business man. It’s quite another to draw the line against paying customers who have been lied to repeatedly and tax payers who foot the bill for his $2 billion stadium.
Loria has never cared who he hurt, and that’s the biggest reason he’s been outright disaster as a major league owner. There are other reasons too. Too many to mention here. But the light at the end of the tunnel is that the Marlins could be sold before the end of the month, meaning Loria’s days of making Marlins fans miserable are officially numbered.
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