Shorter version of Jeff Loria’s letter to fans: it’s everyone’s fault but mine


In case you weren’t around yesterday Marlins owner Jeff Loria published a full page “Letter to our fans” in the Miami papers, purporting to explain the Marlins’ controversial and exceedingly unpopular moves since last year. The full text of it can be seen at our post on it yesterday.

I just got a chance to read it and noticed something. Despite saying “the buck stops with me” and “I take my share of the blame where it’s due,” he is pretty clear in his letter that the buck hasn’t gotten to him yet and that any blame to him is not due. Indeed, Loria believes that he is in no way to blame for the state of the Marlins and the fans’ unhappiness with the franchise.

Here is a list of the people Loria believes to be responsible for where things currently stand, in order as they are mentioned in the letter:

  • Anyone who does not believe the trade with the Blue Jays was a good idea because it was “universally celebrated by baseball experts outside of Miami for its value.”
  • Every member of last year’s roster, all of which Loria says “underperformed as compared to their career numbers.”
  • “naysayers who are currently skeptical”
  • People who are “reporting negatively” and making “negative accusations” on the ballpark and its funding.
  • “Those who have attacked us.”
  • People who are “attacking the County’s method of financing” for the ballpark;
  • “columnists” who have “decried” the trade;
  • “We” meaning the team, for not communicating well with the fans. This is a superficial stab at responsibility, but the tone and placement of it is clearly that of a person who thinks they’re always right saying “I guess I’m not being clear, because you still don’t understand that I am right.” If Loria did want to take responsibility for the poor communication he would mention the fact that he has given no interviews and made no statements at all since last season ended and until this letter was published. He has also apparently forbidden team officials from talking to the media too. Yes, Jeff, “we” could do better with communication.
  • He would, however, like to remind us that he helped bring the 2003 World Series championship to Miami. I guess when the team plays poorly it’s on the roster, when they don’t it’s on him.

Give Loria this much credit: he’s honest. He does not believe he is in anyway responsible for what’s happened to this team, so he will not pretend to be responsible or sorry for it.  I suppose in some strange, awful world there is something noble to that. Problem is, no one besides him believes it, so I don’t think the letter is going to do a thing for him or the team.

Mike Trout has yet to strike out this spring

Rob Tringali/Getty Images

Everyone is well aware of how good Angels outfielder Mike Trout is at the game of baseball. The 26-year-old is already an all-time great, having won two MVP awards — and arguably deserving of two others — and the 2012 Rookie of the Year Award. He has accrued 54.2 WAR, per Baseball Reference, which is right around the threshold for a Hall of Fame career. Trout does it all: he draws walks, he hits for average, he hits for power, he steals bases, he plays good defense.

But here’s an achievement that is amazing even for a player like Trout: he has yet to strike out this spring. In 41 Cactus League plate appearances, he has 10 hits (including a triple and two homers) and six walks with zero strikeouts. Across his career, Trout has a 21.5 percent strikeout rate, right around the league average. He isn’t usually such a stickler for avoiding the punch-out, but this spring he is.

To put this in perspective, 134 players this spring have struck out at least 10 times, according to 938 players have struck out at least once. The only other players to have taken at least 10 at-bats without striking out this spring are Humberto Arteaga (Royals, 23 AB), Tony Cruz (Reds, 18 AB), Oscar Hernandez (Red Sox, 10 AB), and Jacob Stallings (Pirates, 18 AB).

According to Angels assistant hitting coach Paul Sorrento, the lack of strikeouts hasn’t been a conscious effort from Trout, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Ho hum. The best player in baseball is apparently getting even better.