Loria tracking Stanton's HRs, team's surge

August 19th, 2017
Jeffrey Loria took over as owner of the Marlins in 2002. (AP)Lynne Sladky/AP

NEW YORK -- Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, like the rest of the baseball world, has been caught up in 's impressive home run stretch.

Speaking briefly on Saturday before the Marlins faced the Mets at Citi Field, Loria praised Stanton, and briefly touched on a couple of other team-related topics. A subject he declined to address is the sale of the club to a group led by Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter.

Stanton has gained widespread attention for his recent surge of homering in six straight games, and going deep in 23 of 35 games.

"It's just been spectacular," Loria said. "It's the result of all the hard work he puts in. There aren't many guys who work as hard as he does, during the year and the offseason. You're seeing the results. Dedicated. Hard-working."

Stanton entered Saturday with 44 home runs.

Asked if Stanton could reach 60, Loria smiled and said: "I'm not predicting anything."

The Marlins have been making steady progress after falling as many as 13 games under .500 (14-27) on May 19.

With their 3-1 win over the Mets on Friday, the Marlins crept to within two games of .500 (59-61). The slow start, including a 10-18 May, put the team in an uphill climb for a National League Wild Card spot.

Loria joked he wished he could wipe May "off the calendar."

"It is what it is," Loria said. "They control their own destiny now. We'll keep our fingers crossed."

At the MLB Owners Meetings in Chicago this week, the league reviewed the transaction to sell the Marlins to Sherman and Jeter for $1.2 billion.

Loria assumed ownership of the Marlins in 2002, and the club won the World Series in '03. But Miami hasn't had a winning season since '09.

The regular season ends on Oct. 1, and the new ownership group could take control shortly afterwards.

For now, Loria is focused on what's going on on the field, and not what he will do after the club is sold.

"I haven't given it a second thought," Loria said. "I have no sad feelings whatsoever. I love this game."