BOSTON -- Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria addressed players and coaches in a closed-door clubhouse meeting shortly before batting practice, telling them he hasn't given up on them and doesn't want them to quit, either.
Players I spoke with said Loria was calm and matter-of-fact, never raising his voice, during his talk, which lasted for about 10 minutes. Coaches and manager Ozzie Guillen also sat in on the meeting. Here's what Loria said he told the players:
"The general theme was I wanted them to look back when they first started discovering baseball. And then they discovered that they could play baseball. And then they discovered that they could play it really well. And that they could become professionals, and what it meant to them....to start thinking about that for a few moments each day. I went on from there to talk about that this is the best team I've ever been involved with, and I believed in them. That they're capable of doing a lot of successful things this year.
"I pointed to Josh (Johnson) and told him you have that little adorable blond here kid who's in here everyday, running around, and lots of you have little kids running around. Wouldn't you like them to know that you did something good? I'm not quitting on you, so don't quit on yourselves. We have a very good club.
"I"m not angry at anybody. I have no anger with anybody. And Heath Bell at the end reminded them that it's still a family and we should all keep working with each other. There are ups and downs in this business. I still have enormous faith in everybody. The talent level is enormous."
Loria said it was when he couldn't sleep last night following the Marlins' 15-5 loss to the Red Sox that he decided to speak to the team.
"I was up the whole night thinking about it," Loria continued. "I care about this, as you well know. And I mentioned to my wife that I want to say what I want to say to the players.
"I talked to them about that I've had the success I want to have in my life and you still haven't experienced it. Yes, you're making money. But when the money is all spent down the road, it's going to be what you accomplished that matters. And that's what you'll be talking about, not that I had a contract for X million dollars.
"I think they heard. It may resonate with a few guys. It may resonate with many. But, eventually they'll think about it. I can't hit for them, I can't field for them and I can't pitch for them. But I do my part."