What do the Miami Dolphins have to do with the Florida Marlins? Everything.
The two form a symbiote, of course the Marlins are the cash cow for the Dolphins which is something Wayne H. Huizenga would never admit.
Let’s not even rehash the sham that was the ’97 fire sale and the ridiculous claims Huizenga, whom I affectionately call H-bomb, made in regards to losing money. Back then, a $52M payroll was “outrageous”. Today, its bottom of the league (then there is the Marlins hovering around 20M – the Dollar Store of MLB). We can, however, focus on the near criminal lease H-bomb suckered John Henry into that present owner Jeffrey Loria is living with. That lease forces most of the revenue from Marlins games, all 81 of them per season, to line H-bomb’s pockets. The Marlins, naturally, are cash strapped and cannot put a good product on the field.
Of course, some will ask is this is the chicken or the egg – is the Marlins franchise cash strapped because they don’t put a name brand product on the field?
H-bomb’s lease has an effect on the Marlins financial situation, no matter how you examine it.
Still, the Dolphins being put up for sale by H-bomb is not only a good sign for the Dolphins, but a good sign for the Marlins. The Marlins’ stadium lease at JRS (it will not be discussed by another other name here) is up in 2010. The Marlins are pushing to get a stadium deal done so they can move in in the year 2011. What this means for the Dolphins and H-bomb is that the Marlins will no longer be a tenant after 2010 and all that surplus revenue, used towards making the Dolphins’ situation a very lucrative one, will vanish.
No more Marlins means that the Dolphins, and HBomb, have to figure out a way to pay the rent on the place for the rest of the year. No tenant from February to August means no revenue generated. This is what forced Joe Robbie himself out as owner of the Dolphins in the first place. And now it is coming back to push H-bomb out as well.
He gave us the MLB franchise, but promptly attempted to destroy it while still in its infancy. If there is any justice, H-bomb should be forced to keep the Dolphins at JRS with horrible attendance just to make up for what he has done to the rest of South Florida’s franchises. And I am a Dolphins fan.
All this aside, it seems that this is a barometer for things to come. If the Marlins are indeed moving out then Huizenga’s desire to sell the Dolphins will be a sign that they are going to be successful in their relocation.