Photo: The hapless Miami Marlins.
What does a former-Presidential candidate, New York Yankee’s greatest shortstop, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, a Yale-educated baseball-obsessed New York city art dealer, Pitbull (not the dog), a basketball GOAT (not the animal), HOF pitchers and Belmont’s own Tagg Romney have in common?
Not much? Au contraire!
They are all in a battle royale to become part of America’s national past time as owner(s) of the Miami Marlins. And in one week’s time, we’ll know if Romney will be a part-owner of a Major League Baseball team.
With a July 31 deadline by Major League Baseball looming, the competition between two or three sets of bidders is a free-for-all who will spend millions take control of one of the most miserable franchises in recent baseball history.
The Grennsbrook Way homeowner and private equity manager and life sciences investment fund owner Wayne Rothbaum are bidding approximately $1.1 billion to buy the Marlins from art dealer to the New York elite Jeffrey Loria who many in sports circles consider the worst professional sports owner in the US for rarely investing in the product on the field.
Since making their initial offer a few months ago, the Romney/Rothbaum tandem has added a truly incongruous mix co-partners to strengthen the their team including former Florida governor and Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, Pitbull – the popular Miami DJ – three great former starting pitchers (Tom Glavine, Dave Stewart, Al Leiter) and the CEO of Shoney’s (some kind of Southern regional restaurant chain) David Davoudpour.
For Romney, being owner would be a return to the sports business, having been head of marketing for the Los Angeles Dodgers before becoming vice president of onfield marketing at Reebok.
Add to the mix is Florida cable-laying tycoon Jorge Mas who is making a late run for the team, yet there is evidence he is not as enthusiastic about the bid as the other two.
The sale process began in February when members of Jared Kushner’s family engaged in talks to purchase the franchise. The Kushners abandoned their pursuit of the team when the price peaked at $1 billion.
Any sale will require the approval of Major League Baseball.