Jeb Bush is no longer involved in a group—that includes former Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter—which is hoping to purchase the Miami Marlins from Jeffrey Loria. A person close to the negotiations confirmed the decision to the Associated Press, saying that "Gov. Bush has great respect for Derek Jeter, and Derek remains a great friend." A report out of Miami, however, makes it sound a little bit different.
CBS Miami claims that the decision comes after a dispute between Jeb and Jeets over control of the organization had they secured the winning bid. Bush was initially going to be involved on the business side, and Jeter the baseball operations, but Jeter apparently wanted more power, which "prompt[ed] Bush to back away."
Here is a sad tweet destined for the pantheon of Sad Jeb News Items:
The CBS Miami report does say that the two parted on amicable terms and their friendship persists, but poor Jeb. Wanted to play shortstop, and didn't even get to play third base.
Jeter "is still in it," but there's still the funding issue as reported by Jon Heyman of FanRagSports last month. It's not believed that Jeter has enough cash on hand to cover the MLB rule that limits financing to 40 percent of the sale, so he still may need to bring on more people.
Prior to Jeb leaving, it was believed this group's bid was "relatively even" with a bid from a group including Tagg Romney and Tom Glavine. With only Jeb's $20 million gone, the Jeter bid still seems fine. But Jeets might find it hard to recruit investors if he develops a reputation as a bad teammate and no one wants to join him. Then again, there's always A-Rod, who reportedly turned down an opportunity to join the Romney-Glavine group. Could he once again join Jeets after being courted by his rival?
A report from the Miami Herald claims that Bush's ability and desire to be the "control person" or managing general partner became problematic due to his limited financial stake in the group.