By Sylvia Gurinsky
There is no excuse for an economist to go into a court of law and not know what he's talking about.
To an extent, that happened to Tony Villamil yesterday in the case of auto dealer Norman Braman vs. the Florida Marlins. Braman wants the financing of the Marlins' proposed ballpark put to a public vote, and has filed suit to do so.
Villamil is the man Miami-Dade County has entrusted to discuss the economic benefits a new ballpark would bring. But yesterday, he was going on old figures because the Marlins wouldn't give him new ones:
Villamil, who was an economic adviser to former Gov. Jeb Bush, clearly looked uncomfortable.
Blame Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria (and Major League Baseball) for putting him on the spot by not coming clean about the team's finances. It's not a good way to win support for a project - particularly if that project goes to a public vote.
The Marlins are winning hearts on the field this year. But once again, their ownership may have blown the contest that really counts - to preserve their future in South Florida.