Derek Jeter throws out the first pitch after a ceremony retiring his number before the Houston Astros play the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on May 14 in New York City. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 20 (UPI) -- New Miami Marlins co-owner Derek Jeter heard from some very emotional fans Tuesday at a town hall meeting with season ticket owners.
Jeter was part of an ownership group that purchased the franchise in October for more than $1 billion. He is the public face of that ownership group, despite contributing just a small fraction of funds for the purchase. Bruce Sherman, the principal owner of the team, put in close to $400 million for the purchase, according to Forbes. Jeter paid for about four percent of the club, according to the report.
After the purchase, Jeter has been on a firing spree. The Marlins let go of franchise favorites Jeff Conine, Andre Dawson, Jack McKeon and Tony Perez. Jeter's group also cut ties with a longtime scout, who has cancer and was waiting for a kidney transplant.
Marlins skipper -- and former New York Yankee -- Don Mattingly was able to hang on to his job. But Jeter traded 2017 National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees and fleeced the lineup of other stalwarts.
Those moves -- as you might imagine -- didn't exactly sit well with fans.
Jeter told those fans Tuesday that the ownership group is committed to the team and the community to build a winning organization, according to ABC 10 Miami.
"I keep saying this when I'm talking to people over and over,'' Jeter told fans Tuesday, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "This organization has not been in the postseason in 14 years and has not had a winning record for eight years. That is not acceptable."
The former Yankees captain opened the session up to questions from the season ticket holders. One follower asked why the team didn't keep its best bats and try to add pitching through free agency.
"You can't throw money at a problem and continue to dig a bigger hole," Jeter said, according to the Miami Herald. "To not have any depth in the organization, even if you were to win, you would have to build again at some point. Throwing money at a problem is not the answer."
"It's easy to say, 'Go get more pitching and you're going to win.' There are no guarantees by grabbing pitching you are going to win. The only way to be sustainable over time is to build up the minor-league system. That is our focus ... I don't expect you to be happy."
Marlins Man, a Marlins Park staple, talked to Jeter for four minutes, according to reports.
Another fan stepped up to discuss Stanton and Ichiro before she began crying. The session lasted an hour and a half.
Reporters said that video was not allowed at the event, but team cameras were present. Footage could be released from the franchise at a later date.
"This makes me miss Loria," Marlins Man said, according to the Herald.
Jeffrey Loria purchased the Marlins in 2002, before handing the club off to Jeter's group. The Marlins finsihed 77-85 last season in in second place in the National League East. Miami hasn't had a winning record since 2009 and has made the playoffs twice in franchise history. Both of those postseasons ended in World Series titles.
Jeter, 43, is one of the most decorated baseball players of all time. He won five World Series titles during his tenure with the Yankees.