What's it all about, Jeffrey Loria?

Frustrated fans might want to read book Marlins owner wrote in his 20s for insight into Loria's thinking

You want explanations, don’t you?

You want clues as to how and why Jeffrey Loria could do something so unspeakably cynical to a sports franchise he holds in public trust.  

Now that the Marlins owner has pushed the panic button and left South Florida baseball a nuclear wasteland -- certainly for the next decade and possibly much, much longer -- we are all left searching for answers.

Me? I found myself combing a 44-year-old book to understand how this devastation came to pass.

Loria’s book.

“What’s It All About, Charlie Brown? Peanuts Kids Look at America Today” was written when Loria was a young man of 27, still finishing up his MBA at Columbia University.

With the blessing of Charles M. Schulz, creator of the classic comic strip, Loria spent 111 pages sharing his philosophical interpretations of the characters and their conversations.

He was a part-time professor at the time, teaching a class in art connoisseurship  at the New School for Social Research in New York City.

No one could have imagined at the time what sort of reputation Loria would eventually develop as a major league owner, least of all Schulz, who loved baseball and frequently used it as a device for his strip.

“The important thing about the Peanuts’ psychology is that they do face reality,” Loria writes on page 12. “The Peanuts can cope with living in our society because they accept their personal limitations, while they continually search for more self-awareness and understanding. They’re not able to delude themselves when asked, ‘What’s it all about?’ “

Maybe Loria, openly disappointed with attendance and team performance in the debut season at Marlins Park, simply believes he’s facing reality by dumping $160 million worth of baseball talent on the Blue Jays.

“Regardless of the pain, the Peanuts do not become disenchanted, moody or bitter,” Loria writes on page 68. “But, you can never tell when someone will weaken.”

Marlins fans --  what few are left today – are feeling pretty bitter themselves after seeing their team gutted yet again.

Loria seems to hold particular affection for Charlie Brown, whom he describes at various times as the “world’s biggest loser” and the “world’s biggest blockhead.”

Those same descriptions are being applied today to Loria, even as he refuses to bend to public sentiment and cash out a baseball investment that has grown from $12 million to potentially more than $500 million in a span of 13 years.

“Charlie Brown has trouble adapting to occupational situations – large and small,” Loria writes. “He is terribly afraid of being labeled a phony. … Ol’ Charlie gets some sort of neurotic pleasure out of failure.”

Hmm, sound like anyone you know?

There’s also some insight into a young Loria’s business acumen. He got his start as an art buyer for Sears, building the “Vincent Price Collection” for the B-list actor later known for his creepy voiceover on Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video.

“If you are going to be a successful businessman, you have to win some of the time,” Loria writes. “And, in order to win, you have to fight a little. … Expert haggling is an art.”

Don’t the Miami-Dade politicians know it after tangling with this Artful Dodger.