Loria Speaks… We Listen

Marlins owner Jeffery Loria was acessible to the media yesterday which meant we the fans get some more insight into what’s going on with our beloved team. I think many people spend far too much time speculating about what Loria is doing and often they are wrong.

Talking about his current roster and future payroll plans, Loria said:

“I’m not asking for patience,” Loria said before the Marlins’ season-opening 7-2 loss to Johan Santana and the New York Mets. “I’m asking people to realize we’re doing it the right way.

“We know how to build a championship team here. We’ve already done it once. When the stadium opens, we’ll be able to do the things we want to do.”

It’s clear they are following their plan of building with young talent but the main concern from fans is whether they will recycle these guys before they win again. To that, Loria responded:

“There are a lot of guys we’re going to keep,” he says, although he doesn’t say which ones.

“It’s OK to fall in love with these players,” he says, adding that this is “the most intriguing team” he’s ever been around.

We can interpret that to mean many things but in general you have to be optimistic when he encourages us “to fall in love” again.

As for the ballpark we learn that Loria, an internationally renown art dealer, is very hands on:

Loria finds himself drawing upon those early lessons more than ever as he increasingly turns his attention to planning every last intricacy of the Marlins’ future home. He spends hours each week on the phone to Kansas City, where a team of architects at the legendary HOK firm is working steadily to prepare the first set of renderings.

They aren’t expected for perhaps another year, but already certain hints are emerging.

The new park will give pitchers every chance to succeed when it opens in 2011, per the Marlins’ philosophy. But considering the day job of the club owner — international art dealer — it has the potential to be so much more than just another brick-lined playpen for millionaires.

Loria doesn’t sound interested in building yet another throwback yard.

“We’re not looking at retro,” he said. “We’d like to see a contemporary building … realizing that we’re in Florida.”

I already know that some people will complain about this. The fact is, the ballpark is located in the middle of a neighborhood without any strong architectural characteristics. Retro ballparks are great, but they’re also becoming more and more repetitive and stale. The jewels of the retro movements — Camden Yards and AT&T Park, were built sometime ago and both leverage their surroundings (the warehouse, McCovy Cove) to bring in a special feeling. Closed roof retro stadiums look like fake big airplane hangers.

The trend to modern styling, apparent in many of the new projects in Miami, is a trend around the world. Just look at Allianz Arena in Munich or the Beijing National Stadium for the latest inspiration in modern stadium design. In the end, we are better off with something that looks like the picture above then another Turner Field.

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