As of the end of October, former Marlins President David Samson is no longer on the team’s payroll – and he’s wasting no time using his newfound freedom.
On ESPN’s Dan Le Batard Show earlier this week, he revealed that former Yankees star Alex Rodriguez had interest in buying the Marlins before former teammate Derek Jeter did so. In fact, Samson says he played them off of each other in the bidding process:
“A-Rod wanted to be an owner, and Jeter wanted to be an owner. And I love the fact both wanted to be owners because they don’t like each other. So I would say stuff to Jeter’s camp like, ‘Hey, A-Rod is about to get this team.’ And I said to A-Rod, ‘You know Derek Jeter is about to own a team? You better up your bid by about $100 million in the next five minutes or Jeter is going to get the team.’”
Rodriguez has denied that he tried to purchase the team.
But it’s probably a good thing Samson he never worked for A-Rod anyway, as he didn’t think highly of him during his playing years. In response to a question about why the Marlins never pursued signing Rodriguez late in his career, Samson said: “There was no possible way anyone could be worse for your team. The juice wasn’t worth his squeeze any more because he wasn’t a good player any more. We would have had the worst part. We would have had the circus without the parade.”
And speaking of bringing former stars into the organization, Samson discussed Barry Bonds’ one-season tenure as a hitting coach in 2017. Once again, he held nothing back:
“I’m trying to think if I ever had a worse hitting coach in my career than Barry Bonds… Hold on. I’m thinking. No. You know why Magic Johnson was a bad coach? He didn’t have patience for people who didn’t see the court the way he saw it. Barry Bonds can’t teach hitting because he just hits,” Samson said told Le Batard.
In terms of household names leaving the organization, Samson shared the tension that arose when Jeter let go of special assistants Andre Dawson, Tony Perez, Jeff Conine and Jack McKeon, and then tried to hire them back at a reduced rate.
“They thought it was pathetic. He fired them all, which is his choice, but then he tried to get them all back like at 25 grand. It’s embarrassing,” Samson said. “And Jack didn’t come back for the 25th anniversary because Jack doesn’t want to be a part of it. He’s made to not feel a part of it because Jeter wants nothing to do with anything that happened in the past.”
Once he was finished detailing the team’s interpersonal workings, Samson also revealed a blockbuster trade that nearly happened – but never came to fruition. A year before young Marlins ace Jose Fernandez died in a boating accident, he almost became an Arizona Diamondback. In fact, a deal was as good as done to trade him for Patrick Corbin, who just this week signed a six-year. $140 million contract with the Washington Nationals. Samson said the deal would also have included Brandon Drury in the return for Fernandez.
Watch Samson’s full appearance below:
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