In a Sea of Villainy, Jeffrey Loria Shows the Way

Is Jeffrey Loria the devil? Or evil mastermind? Or just smarter than we all think?
Is Jeffrey Loria the devil? Or evil mastermind? Or just smarter than we all think?

Lance Armstrong is on Oprah confessing that he cheated. And that he lied about cheating.

Notre Dame media darling Manti Te’o, a runner up for the Heisman trophy and heart of the Irish defense, may have been involved in a hoax over a story about a girlfriend that died of leukemia.

Somewhere, Jeffrey Loria is sighing relief, smiling in the mirror giving himself an “atta-boy”.

You see, Loria, as vile as he may be to the shifting allegiances of Marlins’ fans these days, got one thing right – he shut up. He lied and he knows it. No matter how he spins it, he lied to people both “big and small” and made a decision that was vastly unpopular with pretty much anyone in South Florida. Whether or not you agree with his decision, the team did have 93 losses and spent over $100M last offseason to get to that point. That’s a reality.

And one can argue that he is handling it horribly, too. His initial reaction to the media was “We finished in last place. Figure it out.” He didn’t go on Oprah and confess anything. He didn’t do an apology tour. In fact, his PR shot in the arm is usually David Samson, team president (and stepson) who gets out in front of these things and takes it on the chin. He goes on radio shows – heck, has his own radio spot from time to time. People may not totally embrace his distinctly vinegar personality, but they are at least entertained by what Samson says.

Total silence. Blackness. That is what Loria wants. He wants his organization to not even address this publicly. There has been no public attempt to smooth things over with frustrated wunderkind Giancarlo Stanton. Heck, even the annual Fanfest has been cancelled and renamed “Winter Warm Up”.

But you know what? Loria realizes that nothing good can come from it. That in opening his mouth, no one is going to buy what he says anyway. There is no point. In this, he looks like a genius, a mastermind. Lance Armstrong is going around trying to pitch a new, honest, and humbling image – you know he is up to something. Te’o has yet to interview and address this, which in his case may prove to be a mistake. Then again, maybe the silent treatment in this of endless blogging and social networking is the way to go. Let people think what they will, you can do little to change it and probably do more damage trying to defend yourself. Especially when you are guilty to begin with.

Then again, if the Marlins do turn this around and start winning, what will Loria’s reaction be then? Definitely not a “I-told-you-so”. But he certainly would have the ability to “buy back” some trust from this fan base. Admittedly, that is a pretty big “if” looming over that fancy new Marlins Park – built by an angry tax paying community that feels betrayed. Yet in light of today’s sports landscape, and in our society in general, lying, cheating, and stealing is rampant. So, get in line. You bought the ticket, now see the show.