Derek Jeter is returning to baseball. No, he’s not coming out of retirement to play for the Yankees, rather he is looking to fulfill one of his long-term goals to own a Major League Baseball team. Jeter is part of a group, which includes former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, that could purchase the Miami Marlins. As of Tuesday, April 25th, the Jeter-Bush group had reached a tentative agreement to purchase the Marlins from current owner Jeffrey Loria.
Loria purchased the Marlins in 2002 for $158.5 million. The current sale, first reported by the Miami Herald, is set at $1.3 billion. Not a bad return on investment for Loria, a former New York art dealer. Loria previously owned the Montreal Expos, purchasing the team in 1999 for $18 million. Loria essentially ‘flipped’ the Expos, selling to the MLB’s Commissioner’s Office in 2002 for $120 million. Well apparently I’m in the wrong business. I should be buying and selling MLB teams. Marlins fans will likely have a parade once the sale is official. Loria has been called “baseball’s most hated man” and “the worst owner in sports history”. These lighthearted nicknames most likely stem from the controversial construction of the Marlins’ new stadium, in 2012. Wait, so I can’t use taxpayers’ hard earned money to build my new stadium and then cut payroll by $70 million? No Jeff, that’s not how that works. Anyway, back to Jeter….
The sale isn’t official yet, but the Jeter-Bush group has attained exclusive negotiating rights with the Marlins. Reportedly, they outbid a group including Mitt Romney’s son, Tagg Romney, and Hall-Of-Fame pitcher Tom Glavine. No offense Romney family, but Mitt and Tagg? Too many Matts and Thomas’ in the world? Okay seriously, back to Jeter….
Jeter has always been outspoken about his aspiration to own a MLB team. That dream may be becoming a reality. Since entering the league in 1995, Jeter has been a great ambassador for baseball. He always represented the Yankees with class and dignity. Above all else, Jeter made one thing a priority throughout his career, WINNING. I’m certain he will carry that same mentality to his ownership role.
The Jeter-Bush group has a few more steps to climb before the sale is official. Their financial structure must be approved by MLB (I’m sure that won’t be a problem). And, any sale requires 75% approval from MLB owners. I will never doubt The Captain, so expect winning ways to return to Miami (somewhere, right now, Pat Riley’s on the phone trying to get in on that action – anything for a W right?). The only part baseball fans will have to get used to is seeing Jeter don something other than pinstripes.
Are you excited to see Derek Jeter own a Major League Baseball team? Let me know in the comment section below.
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