Over the years, there’s been no shortage of suggestions that Miami’s Jeffrey Loria (above, shown using Muhammad Ali as human shield) isn’t merely an thoroughly unpleasant person to work for, but that when it comes to integrity, he makes Fred Wilpon look like Ian MacKaye. Now, with his Marlins playing to an empty stadium and Giancarlo Stanton praying he’ll be part of the next fire sale, Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal claims Loria “has gone from merely meddlesome to completely hands-on.” Providing further details, the Miami Herald’s Clark Spencer writes, “Sources said Loria is now making most — if not all — of the baseball decisions, which is fueling speculation that president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest and team president David Samson could be ousted after the season.”
• The Marlins front office wanted to demote struggling catcher Rob Brantly to the minors in May. But Loria balked, and Brantly remained with the Marlins until August when his prolonged slump could no longer be ignored, and he was finally demoted.
• When the front office wanted to call up utility infielder Chris Valaika last month, Loria put his foot down again, vetoing the promotion. Valaika was one of several players who claimed that hitting coach Tino Martinez — Loria’s hand-picked choice for the job — assaulted them verbally and, in one case, physically.
• Loria also sent last-minute orders to Minnesota in April to have rookie standout Jose Fernandez pitch the first game of a day-night doubleheader instead of Ricky Nolasco, who had been scheduled to go first. Loria didn’t want to expose Fernandez to the colder night temperatures.
“There’s not one move that happens that he doesn’t do,” the major-league source said. “That’s just how he operates the team. The team is run in this sort of backwards way.