Just when you think the Marlins' (alleged!) stadium swindling of Miami-Dade County couldn't get any more odious, Miami Today reports team president David Samson called Miami residents stupid at a breakfast meeting with local business leaders:
"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%."
Well, maybe not the guy who just trolled the county and then called us stupid, because that's decidedly not the top 1% of smart. Enjoy that ongoing federal investigation of your stadium deal, buddy! But Samson wasn't done. According to Miami Today, he also insinuated that the team doesn't give a rip about its fans:
If the Marlins were to move to Las Vegas, Mr. Samson said, he suggested the casinos there buy out game tickets in advance so nobody would be drawn away from the casinos.
"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."
Of course, ownership's track record has long suggested they don't care much for the fans -- Samson's stepfather, long-miserly owner Jeffrey Loria, even turned gentle Canadians against him -- but actually admitting it over breakfast is an entirely different deal. At least wait until we've had our 11 a.m. mojito, or everyone who got screwed by a plotting fire-saler with terrible taste is dead.
Objectively, it doesn't make sense to hate a ballclub. It's just laundry, after all. But in their 19 years of existence, the Marlins have done nothing more than sell off beloved players anytime they win, pocket revenues without putting them back into the team, lie to their city about the money they're bringing in, and spend taxpayer cash without giving taxpayers a say. I think it's okay to hate the Marlins.
UPDATE, 9 p.m.: Samson has said he was "misquoted, misrepresented, mis-everything," and a Local10 reporter who listened to the speech believes an admittedly "arrogant" Samson was misquoted about Miami's lack of intelligence (the article doesn't address the other points of contention).
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...
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.