With his team about to open a new $600 million ballpark that was built with public funds that are now under investigation by the SEC, you'd think David Samson would know when to keep his mouth shut.
But this is the Marlins team president we're talking about and treating the people who are footing owner Jeffrey Loria's bill with any type of respect has never been a part of his routine.
Speaking before a group of wealthy Miamians on Tuesday, Samson let loose a "smarmy" speech that targeted taxpayers, politicians and even Jose Reyes.
"I don't have to hold back now that the stadium is built — not that I ever have," Mr. Samson said while addressing a group of about 75 people who came to hear him speak at a Beacon Council breakfast meeting.
He called politicians "not the intellectual cream of the crop," adding about the entire population, "We're not the smartest people in Miami. If you're in this room, you're instantly in the top 1%."
If you've read any of Jeff Passan's work on the Marlins' stadium situation, you actually might agree with Samson's above assertion or the one that politicians are "not the intellectual cream of the crop." The Marlins obtained public funding without ever having to reveal their financial records that showed they were making a lot more money than their tin cup act. In reality, Loria and Samson were funneling millions of profits to themselves with very few people asking questions around south Florida. Still, it's amazing that Samson would make such brazen comments in a world of social media. And it's not like he stopped there.
• Samson also tried to paint Reyes, his team's newest superstar, as greedy. The former Mets shortstop signed a six-year, $106 million deal with the Marlins in December.
"[Reyes] said 'I really want to play in Miami as long as you pay me $1 more than anyone else… I really want to make the most money I can.'"
• Referring to the team's explored move to Las Vegas (before the Miami stadium deal was passed), Samson said he was told that the casinos would buy all the tickets and that nobody would come to the games. Not that he or Loria cared, of course.
"We don't care if nobody comes," Mr. Samson recalled with a smile. "We'll play in front of nobody, and we'll have all the money."
It really is a shame that Marlins and baseball fans are stuck with this guy. The team will take the field this season and they'll be a legitimate reason for excitement in the NL East because Larry Beinfest and Michael Hill have really built a heck of a team that consists not only of high-priced free-agent talent but a good core of homegrown players. They'll be featured on Showtime and aim to really give baseball in south Florida a much-needed jump start.
But no matter how talented or colorful Ozzie Guillen's squad turns out to be, it'll be tough to root for them and get behind the Marlins. And it's all because the two men behind the franchise couldn't look any more gleeful after what they got away with in this stadium deal.
Big BLS H/N: Deadspin
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