Former Marlins Owner Jeffrey Loria Blasts Derek Jeter, Says He ‘Destroyed The Ballpark’

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Derek Jeter was an incredible baseball player — maybe not such an incredible businessman. At least that’s according to former Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria.

During a recent interview with The Miami Herald, Loria dished his opinion on Jeter’s performance as the Marlins co-owner from 2017 to 2022. And the Hall of Famer’s first bad move, Loria said, was trading away 2017 National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton.

“[Derek Jeter] was a magnificent player, and he should have asked for some advice or not been so hasty,” Loria said. “Playing shortstop doesn’t translate to success in a business environment. You have to learn, you have to ask questions.”

Former Marlins Owner Jeffrey Loria Blasts Derek Jeter For 'Destroying The Ballpark'
Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter hold their first press conference as Miami Marlins owners on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Loria also didn’t approve of Jeter’s decision to trade future All-Stars Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna. During his tenure, the New York Yankees legend also cleaned house in the Marlins’ scouting staff and fired Hall of Famers Andre Dawson and Tony Perez.

“I think Derek felt what he was doing was right,” Loria said. “You have to admire a guy who wants to work hard at it, but you have to have experience before you make those executive decisions. Many of their [decisions] didn’t work out.”

But Loria’s biggest complaint against the 14-time MLB All-Star had nothing to do with personnel.

Jeffrey Loria Will Never Forgive Derek Jeter For Ditching The Home Run Sculpture

In 2012, the Marlins erected a 70-foot-tall gaudy, neon-colored monstrosity in left-center field. Its name was Homer.

And after every Marlins home run, Homer wheeled around giant marlins and seagulls while flamingos shimmied, bright lights flashed and a water cannon shot liquid into the heavens like celebratory bottles of expensive champagne in South Beach.

It was a spectacle, all right. But Jeter wasn’t a fan.

Former Marlins Owner Jeffrey Loria Blasts Derek Jeter For 'Destroying The Ballpark'
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

So Jeter and his supporters proposed getting rid of the statue to make way for a multi-level standing-room area where fans could watch the games for just $10. The space, they hoped, would bolster the Marlins’ sagging attendance rates.

And ultimately, the five-time World Series champ got his way. Homer was removed then resurrected outside of the stadium in February 2020.

“Jeter came in and destroyed the ballpark,” Loria said. “Destroying public art was a horrible thing to do.”

Created by sculptor Red Grooms, Homer was commissioned for $2.5 million by Miami-Dade’s Art in Public Places program. The Marlins funded the artwork as part of their agreement to help finance their new stadium.

But even though it’s not dancing for the long ball anymore, Homer still sits outside the ballpark for fans to visit and enjoy — albeit “condemned to neglect and outdoor decay,” according to Loria.

Written by Amber Harding

Amber is a Midwestern transplant living in Murfreesboro, TN. She spends most of her time taking pictures of her dog, explaining why real-life situations are exactly like "this one time on South Park," and being disappointed by the Tennessee Volunteers.

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