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Shocker: Jeffrey Loria is stiffing Miami on the profits of the Marlins sale

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Jeffrey Loria had an agreement with the Miami-Dade government. In exchange for them paying for most of the cost of the Marlins new stadium, Miami-Dade would get a cut of the profits if and when Loria sold the team. Pretty simple, right? Of course.

Loria bought the team for $158 million. He sold the team for $1.2 billion. That means he cleared over a billion bucks. Fine, take out some for legal fees and various other expenses, but it still means he cleared close to a billion bucks, right? And that Miami-Dade could therefore expect a little check representing their cut, right?

Wrong. Because this is Jeffrey Loria we’re talking about, and he wouldn’t give you a nickel to save your life. From the Miami Herald:

Jeffrey Loria’s lawyers have told Miami-Dade County not to expect any profit-sharing revenue from last year’s $1.2 billion sale of the Miami Marlins, according to two sources familiar with the talks . . . Loria’s accountants claim the sale amounted to a loss of $141 million.

The article explains, at least superficially, how Loria’s attorneys claim that a billion dollars in profit turned into a $141 million loss on the deal. I’m sure it’s the sort of thing the lawyers will argue with a straight face if and when Loria is sued by Miami — as he likely will be — but it’s laughable to suggest that Loria took a loss. It’s a shell game. It’s akin to the way Loria used to claim he was losing money running the team, but forgot to mention that part of those expenses were millions in management fees . . . paid to himself. It’s like when a movie studio makes a billion on a blockbuster but then refuses to pay the star points on his deal through the magic of creative accounting.

For as ridiculous as that all sounds, my sympathy for Miami-Dade only goes so far. Jeffrey Loria has been a cheapskate and a hustler since long before he came to Miami. It was idiocy at the time to give him half a billion for a stadium that allowed him to make a billion more, and the fact that it’s not coming to bite the taxpayers on the behind is about as surprising as the sun coming up over the Atlantic tomorrow.

We’ve been saying it for years, but we’ll say it again: never give the owner of a sports team a dime. For anything. Ever.

The Red Sox to designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment

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The Boston Red Sox plan to activate Dustin Pedroia from the disabled list today. That’s a big deal. The move they’re making to make room for him on the roster is a big one too: they plan to designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment.

The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier first reported the impending transaction. He was told by a major league source that Ramirez was informed this morning he’ll be moved off the roster. A designation for assignment, of course, means that the Sox have seven days to either trade or release Ramirez.

Ramirez, 34, is experiencing his worst season as a major leaguer thus far, hitting .254/.313/.395 (88 OPS+) in 195 plate appearances as he split time between first base and designated hitter. Given how well Mitch Moreland has hit at first and J.D. Martinez has hit at DH, there is simply no room for Ramirez in the lineup.

Ramirez, a 14-year big league veteran, won the 2006 Rookie of the Year Award and won the NL batting title in 2009. He has been a below average hitter in three of his last four seasons, however, and long removed from his days as a middle infielder, he has little defensive value these days. That said, his fame and the possibility that he could put together a decent run if used wisely will likely get him some looks from other clubs.