Caught up with Jeffrey Loria, who was on hand this afternoon at the team's turkey giveaway near the new ballpark construction site, and the owner of the Marlins touched on everyone from Bobby Valentine to Joe Girardi, and from Josh Johnson to Hanley Ramirez. He was far from effusive on any particular topic, but he touched briefly on a few burning issues, such as what his thoughts were on the pronouncement last week by Johnson's agent that there would be no multiyear contract for the pitcher after negotiations hit a brick wall over the length of the contract.
Said Loria: "You know our organization. We don't negotiate anywhere else except in the office (not in the press, in other words). I don't have any comments on any of the process. We're going to do what we have to do, and they're going to do what they have to do. We do love Josh. We'll see what happens."
Asked if the organization has an internal policy against awarding contracts to pitchers that are greater than three years in length, Loria replied: "We don't have any organizational situation about any of that. We just don't. But you have to look at numbers, and statistics, and innings, and injuries, and all the variables. That's a decision that Larry (Beinfest) is going to make with Michael (Hill) and the rest of our team. Everything is always case by case. Hanley was his own case. Now it's Josh's time to protect his family."
Loria was asked about the end-of-season reports that he was considering Bobby Valentine to replace Fredi Gonzalez. Loria's response: "I don't want to get into that. I've known him (Valentine) for 20 plus years. It had nothing to do with reality. I don't want to say anymore. Fredi's the manager and he has a contract. He's the manager, period."
Loria said he was on hand at Yankee Stadium during the World Series, after which he wrote to Girardi and members of the Steinbrenner family, offering his congratulations. Loria fired Girardi as Marlins manager after the 2006 season, his first and only one with the Marlins.
"I congratulated them all," Loria said. "They did a great job, and they deserve what they got."
Loria said he was pleased with the outcome of the NL MVP vote, in which Ramirez finished second to Albert Pujols. It was the best MVP finish ever by a Marlins player.
"Somebody just texted me that. Hanley had a great year. Won the batting title, and a great young man."
Loria said he was the one to notify Chris Coghlan when the outfielder won the NL Rookie of the Year award last week.
"I said, 'Chris, I've got bad news and good news.' And I heard a slight 'oh' on the other end of the telephone. He said, 'All right, let's get the bad news out of the way first.' I said, 'The bad news is you're going to have to keep your standards up, and you're going to have to improve on what you've done. The good news is you won Rookie of the Year and I couldn't be prouder.'"