Saturday, November 16, 2013

Fabi Watch

Without taking a formal survey, I think I can safely say that a majority of folks in Miami-Dade County despise Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria.

And, why not? There are plenty of reasons to hate the guy.

But there's no point in repeating any of them here. Just go to Google and search for "loria most hated man in baseball." (While you're there, go ahead and Google "miami herald's most fraudulent columnist.")

Fabiola Santiago, the Miami Herald's High Priestess of Morality and Virtue, hates Jeff Loria, too.

So much so, that she devoted her Saturday column to him. (Going after low hanging fruit is Fabiola's specialty.)
I believe in fairy tales, the magic of Christmas and that Bigfoot is somewhere out there.

But in Marlins team owner Jeffrey Loria, not at all.

The most-loathed team owner in America struck a new low this week with a manipulative video of the most likeable guy in baseball — newly crowned Rookie of the Year José Fernández, a cubanito with a lot of heart and pitching skill, reuniting with his beloved abuela after a six-year separation.

Sure, Loria is a devious, scheming assh*le. There's nothing he won't do to burnish his image, no matter how poorly thought out it is.

It will be a long time before anyone in South Florida forgets "the sad, shameless sight of Loria trotting out [Muhammad] Ali's disease-ravaged body for a forced on-field ceremony" last year at Marlins Park.

But criticizing the guy because he reunited José Fernández with his grandmother?

But that's how Fabiola rolls. She. Hates. Everything.

Towards the end of her column, Fabiola writes:
Exactly what did Loria do to bring Fernández’s grandmother?

Nothing special.

Cubans were forbidden from freely traveling until last January’s reforms. Now any Cuban with a passport and U.S. visa can visit. Cuba is churning out passports, and the U.S. Interests Section is granting multiple-entry visitor visas. Fernández’s grandmother traveled like any other abuela. Only that her grandson, with a rookie starting salary of $495,000, can easily afford the paperwork and plane ticket.

Unbelievably, she seems to suggest that Loria didn't do anything that the grandmother in Havana - and her grandson in Miami with his big, fat baseball salary - couldn't have done on their own.

Had she picked up the phone and called the Marlins organization, she might have learned exactly what Loria did - or didn't do - to make the reunion happen. That's what a real journalist would have done.

But my favorite part of Fabiola's screed is when she writes that the reunion video is "a crass marketing ploy to vindicate Loria for...putting the area’s financial health at risk with a bad $600 million stadium deal."

Fabiola conveniently omits the fact that it was her colleagues at the Miami Herald who aided and abetted Jeffrey Loria by churning out a never-ending stream of columns and editorials in favor of the stadium deal.

Fabiola then ends the column with this rebuke: "Don’t use the pathos of our exile for marketing purposes. Stay way out of our politics [Mr. Loria]."

Really, Fabiola? Stay out of "our politics?"

An argument could be made that if that same warning had been issued fifty years ago to newly-arriving Cuban exiles, Miami might be a markedly different place today.

Now, that's something I'd like to see you tackle in your next column, Fabi.

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