Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Today in greed

And now a few thoughts on corporate dumbness, while waiting for Aaron Judge's last crushed baseball to come down ...

That was some great stuff last night, for baseball and for the city of Miami. Tonight's All-Star game will be great stuff, too.

Maybe, if the host Marlins are lucky, it will be great enough to obscure the not-so-great stuff.

The not-so-great-stuff involves the Marlins' cotton-headed owner, Thick Jeffrey Loria, who's decided the only way to deal with fans who owe him money is to send in the Armani legbreakers -- aka, the lawyers. According to ABC News and Miami New Times, the Marlins have sued at least nine season-ticket holders since 2003, and are currently trying to seize a $725,000 property owned by season-ticket holder Kenneth Sack over $97,200 the Marlins say he owes them.

This is not quite as distasteful as picking on some poor Joe Fan because he's behind on his upper-deck payments, in that it's one rich guy suing another rich guy. But the tone-deafness pertains: It's a Major League Baseball club trying to bully one of its fans -- one of its high-dollar fans, no less -- because the club didn't follow through on certain promises and the fan rightly decided not to pay for what he wasn't getting.

Granted, in this case there is more than a whiff of Trumpian privilege here. At issue, after all, is not the quality of the view from the cheap seats or the freshness of the hotdogs, but such snooty amenities as pre- and postgame buffets and prime parking spots. Apparently the latter never materialized and the quality of the former was not up to snuff.

First-world problems, as they say.

And yet ... it's still a very bad look. And Thick Jeffrey, like most of these owners, doesn't seem to get that. Or doesn't care, because he's already got his ballpark, and most of his paying customers are still paying, so why would he care about how this all looks?

Even if he should.

"I don't understand why Major League Baseball continues to allow Jeffrey Loria to behave like this," Daniel Rose, an attorney representing another former season-ticket holder, told the New Times. "At the end of the day, what is the motive to go after fans like this? It just shows their greed and a complete lack of respect for their fan base."

As does strong-arming the taxpayers to foot the bill for all these glittering palaces the Thick Jeffreys of the world so love to build for themselves. But that's another Blob for another day.

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