PDA

View Full Version : Losing Pays Well For Pirates


Lip Man 1
08-23-2010, 08:37 AM
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=5484947

Lip

doublem23
08-23-2010, 09:01 AM
Deadspin's already published some of these, plus more for other teams.

http://deadspin.com/5615096/mlb-confidential-the-financial-documents-baseball-doesnt-want-you-to-see-part-1?skyline=true&s=i

No White Sox yet, but I am praying.

DSpivack
08-23-2010, 09:29 AM
Despicable.

dickallen15
08-23-2010, 09:30 AM
Deadspin's already published some of these, plus more for other teams.

http://deadspin.com/5615096/mlb-confidential-the-financial-documents-baseball-doesnt-want-you-to-see-part-1?skyline=true&s=i

No White Sox yet, but I am praying.

The White Sox break even every year. Just ask JR as he boards his private jet.

doublem23
08-23-2010, 09:45 AM
Despicable.

If these documents are true, then the Pirates really don't make that much, they're certainly not making enough to field a competitive team every year. Does anyone think their pathetic team that's currently 42 games under .500 would magically be turned around with an extra $20 M invested in payroll? Maybe they'd be able to make a run the Cubs for 5th place.

TheOldRoman
08-23-2010, 09:53 AM
If these documents are true, then the Pirates really don't make that much, they're certainly not making enough to field a competitive team every year. Does anyone think their pathetic team that's currently 42 games under .500 would magically be turned around with an extra $20 M invested in payroll? Maybe they'd be able to make a run the Cubs for 5th place.Yeah. The Royals weren't turned around after they offered a riduclous contract to Gil Meche, even though he greatly overperformed the first year or two of it. Cheapness is an issue, but there are greater underlying issues. It isn't like the Pirates would be great if they still had Bay, McClouth, Morgan, Wilson, and Sanchez with their current pitching staff.

dickallen15
08-23-2010, 09:54 AM
If these documents are true, then the Pirates really don't make that much, they're certainly not making enough to field a competitive team every year. Does anyone think their pathetic team that's currently 42 games under .500 would magically be turned around with an extra $20 M invested in payroll? Maybe they'd be able to make a run the Cubs for 5th place.

Thats with drawing flies to games. If they spent a little money and won a few more games, they would draw more people, advertising revenue would also increase, but they apparently would rather sit back and count their money.

Its pretty sad that you can offer a horrible product every year but still count your built in profit.

doublem23
08-23-2010, 10:21 AM
Thats with drawing flies to games. If they spent a little money and won a few more games, they would draw more people, advertising revenue would also increase, but they apparently would rather sit back and count their money.

Tell that to the Rays, who went to the World Series in 2008, won 84 games in 2009, and are arguably the best team in baseball in 2010. They are 23rd in the league with about 24 K per night and 24th in the league in percentage of seats sold (52%).

I think these documents illustrate the problem of competitive balance is a bit deeper than "the Pirates just aren't trying."

DSpivack
08-23-2010, 10:46 AM
If these documents are true, then the Pirates really don't make that much, they're certainly not making enough to field a competitive team every year. Does anyone think their pathetic team that's currently 42 games under .500 would magically be turned around with an extra $20 M invested in payroll? Maybe they'd be able to make a run the Cubs for 5th place.

That's all true, but it seems to me they're running a cynical operation of burying a team to make a profit, instead of actually trying to field a competitive team on the field. Call it the Sterling-Wirtz philosophy of sports management.

soxfanatlanta
08-23-2010, 12:17 PM
Tell that to the Rays, who went to the World Series in 2008, won 84 games in 2009, and are arguably the best team in baseball in 2010. They are 23rd in the league with about 24 K per night and 24th in the league in percentage of seats sold (52%).

Apples to Oranges.

Pittsburgh has a rich history of baseball; if they played better ball - I'd be willing to bet they would draw the fans. Florida has a rich history of not giving a damn about baseball, see the Marlins.

Hitmen77
08-23-2010, 01:14 PM
If these documents are true, then the Pirates really don't make that much, they're certainly not making enough to field a competitive team every year. Does anyone think their pathetic team that's currently 42 games under .500 would magically be turned around with an extra $20 M invested in payroll? Maybe they'd be able to make a run the Cubs for 5th place.

I agree. I don't think this story is as damning as people are making it out to be. Yes, the Pirates have some profit they could pour back into payroll. But according to the chart in the article, it's only $14 million and that's not going to put them even close to .500.

Some people are suggesting that, if they spend more money, they'll make more and have more to spend. I really have to wonder how much more they would make. The chart has an interesting breakdown in the Pirates income and it shows that the team made only $32 million in gate receipts. That's their gate income when drawing 1.6 million people. If they were able to bump up that attendance to 2.4 million by fielding a winning team, it's not going to bring in a ton more money.

Most damning for the Pirates is that list of "good" players that they have traded away to cut payroll in recent years.......most of those guys aren't very good. If Pittsburgh got those guys back, they'd still be a mediocre team.

DSpivack
08-23-2010, 01:23 PM
I agree. I don't think this story is as damning as people are making it out to be. Yes, the Pirates have some profit they could pour back into payroll. But according to the chart in the article, it's only $14 million and that's not going to put them even close to .500.

Some people are suggesting that, if they spend more money, they'll make more and have more to spend. I really have to wonder how much more they would make. The chart has an interesting breakdown in the Pirates income and it shows that the team made only $32 million in gate receipts. That's their gate income when drawing 1.6 million people. If they were able to bump up that attendance to 2.4 million by fielding a winning team, it's not going to bring in a ton more money.

Most damning for the Pirates is that list of "good" players that they have traded away to cut payroll in recent years.......most of those guys aren't very good. If Pittsburgh got those guys back, they'd still be a mediocre team.

Nearly 20 consecutive losing seasons...they have to do something different.

dickallen15
08-23-2010, 03:13 PM
Tell that to the Rays, who went to the World Series in 2008, won 84 games in 2009, and are arguably the best team in baseball in 2010. They are 23rd in the league with about 24 K per night and 24th in the league in percentage of seats sold (52%).

I think these documents illustrate the problem of competitive balance is a bit deeper than "the Pirates just aren't trying."
Totally different situation.

downstairs
08-23-2010, 03:21 PM
Disgusting. Don't the White Sox operate at break-even on purpose?

What the heck do they even do with the profit? I mean, everyone's salaries have been paid, all expenses met, its just money sitting in a bank? Do they just dividend it out?

Oblong
08-23-2010, 04:57 PM
I don't see the problem. Why waste money on mediocre talent at the MLB level that won't do much to the overall bottom line. Is the revenue going to jump suddenly by the amount in extra payroll? Highly doubt it. They're paying some pretty high dollars through the draft and free agents from other countries. Is it not better to spend $2 million on a 16 year old stud from Venezuela than to a below average MLB veteran?

Whatever they did years ago doesn't matter anymore, it's the current ownership process that does.

Personally I don't care of my team wins 60 games or 75 games. Those are the same thing in my book. I either want contention or rebulding. Mediocrity is boring.

Craig Grebeck
08-23-2010, 06:31 PM
Deadspin is promising the Rangers' financials on Tuesday. Oh pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease let it be a White Sox Wednesday.

Stoky44
08-23-2010, 06:31 PM
Disgusting. Don't the White Sox operate at break-even on purpose?



As often as this is said I find it very hard to believe that JR dosen't make money each year. Even given it the benefit of the doubt, that the "Team" doesn't make JR money, it is semantics. JR owns the lots surrounding USCF, he operates this as a separate company. So the money he makes there doesn't have to go into the team, he makes money (off the White Sox, through parking at the games), and his statement of not making money is still technically correct. This is just 1 example that I am aware of, I am sure there are more out there.

EDIT: This is not to complain about team payroll, which I am happy with. I just do not believe for one instance JR is not making cash off the sox annually.

soxfanreggie
08-23-2010, 09:05 PM
Thats with drawing flies to games. If they spent a little money and won a few more games, they would draw more people, advertising revenue would also increase, but they apparently would rather sit back and count their money.

Its pretty sad that you can offer a horrible product every year but still count your built in profit.

That happens when you spend about $30 million less in payroll than you take in with revenue sharing. For the sake of the Pirates returning to a competitive team - because all those high-priced youngsters will be traded away if their termed continues - I sure hope Mark Cubsn or someone who would care about the team buys then. Until then or if MLB gets rid of revenue sharing, it will operate as a cash cow.

ewokpelts
08-24-2010, 05:37 AM
As often as this is said I find it very hard to believe that JR dosen't make money each year. Even given it the benefit of the doubt, that the "Team" doesn't make JR money, it is semantics. JR owns the lots surrounding USCF, he operates this as a separate company. So the money he makes there doesn't have to go into the team, he makes money (off the White Sox, through parking at the games), and his statement of not making money is still technically correct. This is just 1 example that I am aware of, I am sure there are more out there.

EDIT: This is not to complain about team payroll, which I am happy with. I just do not believe for one instance JR is not making cash off the sox annually.the state of illinois owns the parking lots.

as for your question, the word on the street is that the sox HAVE been making profit since 2005, but it's funneled right back into the operations of the club.

they may run it as break even, but they do make a profit.

tebman
08-24-2010, 08:22 AM
as for your question, the word on the street is that the sox HAVE been making profit since 2005, but it's funneled right back into the operations of the club.

they may run it as break even, but they do make a profit.

That's always been my understanding. JR and his partners could make a lot more money doing something else but they enjoy financing the ballclub. They don't lose money and they receive comfortable income for themselves, but it's not as if they're shoveling money into a bin like Uncle Scrooge. The bulk of the the club's profit goes back into the operation.

The real payday for those guys will be whenever they sell the team. JR's group paid $20 million to buy it in 1981 and, depending on whose estimates you believe, it's currently worth around $500 million. :o:

doublem23
08-24-2010, 08:29 AM
Totally different situation.

Maybe it's not totally the same but it's not "totally different." They're baseball teams. This is a business. The Pittsburgh metro area has 2.4-2.5 million. The Tampa Bay metro area has 2.7-2.8 million. Maybe the head honchos in Pittsburgh have noticed the Rays continued struggles with attendance and support despite being arguably the 2nd or 3rd best team in the Majors over the past 3 seasons. So, rather than invest their profits into a product that will still likely be terrible, they'd rather bank it.

Actually makes a lot of sense to me.

ewokpelts
08-24-2010, 09:31 AM
That's always been my understanding. JR and his partners could make a lot more money doing something else but they enjoy financing the ballclub. They don't lose money and they receive comfortable income for themselves, but it's not as if they're shoveling money into a bin like Uncle Scrooge. The bulk of the the club's profit goes back into the operation.

The real payday for those guys will be whenever they sell the team. JR's group paid $20 million to buy it in 1981 and, depending on whose estimates you believe, it's currently worth around $500 million. :o:rocky wirtz said the same thing. of course, he said the hawks ar enot for sale.

TheOldRoman
08-24-2010, 11:55 AM
Maybe it's not totally the same but it's not "totally different." They're baseball teams. This is a business. The Pittsburgh metro area has 2.4-2.5 million. The Tampa Bay metro area has 2.7-2.8 million. Maybe the head honchos in Pittsburgh have noticed the Rays continued struggles with attendance and support despite being arguably the 2nd or 3rd best team in the Majors over the past 3 seasons. So, rather than invest their profits into a product that will still likely be terrible, they'd rather bank it.

Actually makes a lot of sense to me.I agree with you on the issue but the Pirates are nothing like the Rays. Pittsburgh is a sports crazy town, unlike Florida which only cares about college football and teams that are winning (and then not always). Sure, the Steelers are #1-3 and the Penguins are #4, but there are lots of baseball fans and the town always supports the Pirates when they are good (according to a Pirate fan friend at work). The biggest issue the Rays face is a horrible stadium that is in a bad area and far away from everything. The Pirates have the best park in baseball right near mass-transit in the middle of downtown. While not many people are going to want to spend a summer day inside a dome which smells like a hockey lockerroom, many would go out to PNC if they had a reason.

Stoky44
08-25-2010, 07:58 AM
the state of illinois owns the parking lots.

as for your question, the word on the street is that the sox HAVE been making profit since 2005, but it's funneled right back into the operations of the club.

they may run it as break even, but they do make a profit.

I am not saying you are wrong, but I have heard from more than a few people that JR owns the lots. I am most likely the one in the wrong, I am just trying to find out for sure.

ewokpelts
08-25-2010, 10:20 AM
I am not saying you are wrong, but I have heard from more than a few people that JR owns the lots. I am most likely the one in the wrong, I am just trying to find out for sure.

Well, the property south of 35th was taken over via immiment domain, and I have read that the old comiskey site and it's parking lots were handed over to ISFA as part of the deal. wouldnt make sense for the state to own 1/2 of the US Cellular Field campus, especially when the other half could end up in foreclosure or be part of any possible lititgation.

MisterB
08-27-2010, 03:55 PM
According to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds database (http://www.ccrd.info/CCRD/il031/index.jsp), the Sox signed over the land old Comiskey sat on to the ISFA on 9-26-89. The Property Identification Number is 17-33-218-001-0000 if you wish to query it yourself. The ISFA also owns the "Lot C" property, and I'd assume all the other parking lots as well.