MIAMI (CelebrityAccess) — In what has since been charitably described as a comedy sketch, former Marlins president David Samson took to the stage at ESPN and Miami sports columnist Dan Le Batard’s birthday party to brag about the windfall realized on the recent sale of the team.
In a short video of the moment, Samson, dressed resplendently in a silk blazer, took to the stage amid a chorus of boos and told the audience that he loved being jeered.
“Here’s why I love when you guys boo me,” Samson said in the video posted to Le Batard’s social media. “I want you to keep booing me, because guess what? $1.2 billion. Fuck you!” Samson added, raising a one-figure salute for the crowd.
— Dan Le Batard & Stugotz Show Reddit (@LeBatard_Reddit) December 18, 2018
Since the video was first reported by the New Miami Times, Le Batard responded, noting that Samson was playing “a heel wrestling manager” and that it was all in good fun.
While it might have all been in jest, it was definitely in poor taste. In 2012, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria convinced Miami-Dade County to take on a pile of debt to provide the team with a new stadium that would eventually cost taxpayers more than $2.4 billion. The deal proved to be so unpopular that it prompted voters to recall former Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez in 2011.
It also sparked an investigation into financing by the Securities & Exchange Commission, including if bond investors had been misled about the stadium’s retractable roof, and if political contributions had played a role in the county’s approval of the new stadium. In 2016, the SEC declined to bring charges, but that is likely cold comfort for the taxpayers of a city that has faced austerity measures and financial shortfalls in recent years.