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vinny
08-24-2010, 12:00 PM
For those of you who love baseball and are mildly interested in accounting, someone at deadspin.com has managed to get their hands on financial statements (some audited, some not) for several MLB teams:

Pirates
Rays
Marlins
Angels
Mariners
Rangers
Not really sure if there are any "smoking guns", but plenty of interesting information about the nitty gritty of MLB team finances, including television revenues, revenue sharing, etc.

Link 1 (http://deadspin.com/5615096/mlb-confidential-the-financial-documents-baseball-doesnt-want-you-to-see-part-1?skyline=true&s=i)
Link 2 (http://deadspin.com/5619509/mlb-confidential-part-2-seattle-mariners?skyline=true&s=i)
Link 3 (http://deadspin.com/5619951/mlb-confidential-part-3-texas-rangers?skyline=true&s=i)

russ99
08-24-2010, 12:17 PM
For those of you who love baseball and are mildly interested in accounting, someone at deadspin.com has managed to get their hands on financial statements (some audited, some not) for several MLB teams:

Pirates
Rays
Marlins
Angels
Mariners
Rangers

Not really sure if there are any "smoking guns", but plenty of interesting information about the nitty gritty of MLB team finances, including television revenues, revenue sharing, etc.

Link 1 (http://deadspin.com/5615096/mlb-confidential-the-financial-documents-baseball-doesnt-want-you-to-see-part-1?skyline=true&s=i)
Link 2 (http://deadspin.com/5619509/mlb-confidential-part-2-seattle-mariners?skyline=true&s=i)
Link 3 (http://deadspin.com/5619951/mlb-confidential-part-3-texas-rangers?skyline=true&s=i)

It's criminal what the Pirates are doing making profit on cash brought in from the other clubs.

If I were a Pirates fan, I'd not buy a ticket until that owner is forced out.

soxfanreggie
08-24-2010, 01:07 PM
It's criminal what the Pirates are doing making profit on cash brought in from the other clubs.

If I were a Pirates fan, I'd not buy a ticket until that owner is forced out.

Since Cuban missed out on the Rangers, I'm waiting for Pirates fans to stage a "We want Cuban!" rally. I just couldn't see him buying the Pirates and not spending the money to try and make them a contender.

ewokpelts
08-24-2010, 01:36 PM
Since Cuban missed out on the Rangers, I'm waiting for Pirates fans to stage a "We want Cuban!" rally. I just couldn't see him buying the Pirates and not spending the money to try and make them a contender.i suspect he'll do what he did with the mavs. turn the operation inside out and build a winner. it took him a while to get the mavs up to elite status in the nba.

Also, i'd expect him to push sales(tickets/advertising, ect) hard. just like in dallas.

DumpJerry
08-24-2010, 01:50 PM
Since Cuban missed out on the Rangers, I'm waiting for Pirates fans to stage a "We want Cuban!" rally. I just couldn't see him buying the Pirates and not spending the money to try and make them a contender.

i suspect he'll do what he did with the mavs. turn the operation inside out and build a winner. it took him a while to get the mavs up to elite status in the nba.

Also, i'd expect him to push sales(tickets/advertising, ect) hard. just like in dallas.
Cuban has been rejected by MLB as a potiential once already and was told to not try a for a second team earlier this year. As long as Bud and Jerry are in the league, Cuban won't be.

soxfan43
08-24-2010, 01:57 PM
I'm certainly no accountant but from I gathered from these statements is that most of the teams have both years of making money or operating at a deficit. The recent economy is obviously a factor too. The Angels seemed to make money but they also spend plenty and win. The Pirates stuff is just ridiculous. They are making that much in profit every year but are still this bad year in and year out? There also seems to be a lot of creative accounting techniques and a lot of variation on how teams classify various financial obligations. Are any other teams info supposed to leak on Deadspin?

downstairs
08-24-2010, 01:58 PM
Since Cuban missed out on the Rangers, I'm waiting for Pirates fans to stage a "We want Cuban!" rally. I just couldn't see him buying the Pirates and not spending the money to try and make them a contender.

Yep, absolutely. But you can protest and scream all you want- the fact is owners just can't be fired.

I know its impossible, but I'd love some system where each team had a real board of directors. And the "president" answered to them. Checks and balances like all public companies and most large private companies.

The board itself can oust members by a vote, and they can fire/hire presidents and CEO's.

But all in all baseball is ruled by essentially dictatorship (harsh word, but the best I can come up with). The board of directors on a team are really just yes men.

soxfan43
08-24-2010, 02:08 PM
Yep, absolutely. But you can protest and scream all you want- the fact is owners just can't be fired.

I know its impossible, but I'd love some system where each team had a real board of directors. And the "president" answered to them. Checks and balances like all public companies and most large private companies.

The board itself can oust members by a vote, and they can fire/hire presidents and CEO's.

But all in all baseball is ruled by essentially dictatorship (harsh word, but the best I can come up with). The board of directors on a team are really just yes men.

Agreed. And despite how much fans love their teams and say they'd do anything to win, a sports franchise is still a business. Sure, there are plenty of owners who see their teams as part of a city or the public and do what they can to win within financial reason. But there are also plenty of owners who respect the bottom line more so than the standings. I don't know why you'd buy a team if you're looking to just make money, there's gotta be better investments than a pro sports team.

WhiteSox5187
08-24-2010, 02:45 PM
Agreed. And despite how much fans love their teams and say they'd do anything to win, a sports franchise is still a business. Sure, there are plenty of owners who see their teams as part of a city or the public and do what they can to win within financial reason. But there are also plenty of owners who respect the bottom line more so than the standings. I don't know why you'd buy a team if you're looking to just make money, there's gotta be better investments than a pro sports team.

Agreed, but I would think that if you own a sports team the best way to make money would be to win. You can make a lot of money that way.

Oblong
08-24-2010, 04:54 PM
It's criminal what the Pirates are doing making profit on cash brought in from the other clubs.

If I were a Pirates fan, I'd not buy a ticket until that owner is forced out.

It's not criminal. It's an agreement that was made among the 30 owners. They're not competitors they are partners. No laws are broken. Since when is it a crime to make a little bit of profit when you buy an entity for several hundred million dollars? Teams like the Yankees and Mets are getting something out of this too. They get a huge metropolitan area to divide among only 2 teams instead of 3 or 4 teams. Without revenue sharing then the smaller teams would do what they could to even things out in terms of market size. It cuts both ways.

I don't see why it's better for a team to take $20 million and spend it on expensive free agents that won't really help your team win, all in the name of having an average payroll or to avoid "profit". That's just superficial grandstanding to make it appear like you are "trying to win". It's wasting money. If that $20 million is spent on player development, the draft, and hiring key front office personnel then the dividends from that are exponential compared to 2 years from a guy like Bobby Abreu and Brandon Lyon.

soxfan43
08-24-2010, 05:15 PM
It's not criminal. It's an agreement that was made among the 30 owners. They're not competitors they are partners. No laws are broken. Since when is it a crime to make a little bit of profit when you buy an entity for several hundred million dollars? Teams like the Yankees and Mets are getting something out of this too. They get a huge metropolitan area to divide among only 2 teams instead of 3 or 4 teams. Without revenue sharing then the smaller teams would do what they could to even things out in terms of market size. It cuts both ways.

I don't see why it's better for a team to take $20 million and spend it on expensive free agents that won't really help your team win, all in the name of having an average payroll or to avoid "profit". That's just superficial grandstanding to make it appear like you are "trying to win". It's wasting money. If that $20 million is spent on player development, the draft, and hiring key front office personnel then the dividends from that are exponential compared to 2 years from a guy like Bobby Abreu and Brandon Lyon.

The problem with the bottom statement is that the Pirates don't appear to be using that profit to improve their scouting and player dev. You don't pile up all these high draft picks and still continue to suck if you're re-investing that money in your franchise properly. Or dumping good players for prospects who never pan out. You may not ever be a perennial contender but if you build up your farm system well, then you can buy yourself a window to contend, like Tampa is doing right now. If they manage it smartly then that window continues to stay open. I just don't see the Pirates being anywhere close to where Tampa has been lately. So if I were a fan of the Pirates, I'd be pissed off at this group of ownership for pocketing that profit(which is the owner's right obviously) instead of trying to build a winning team.

Oblong
08-24-2010, 05:30 PM
Actually they went 80% over slot on their first 10 picks in the draft this year. 42% last year. They spent $2 million on a guy from Mexico. In the last 3 drafts they've given out more bonus money than any other team. Overspending on free agents to get them to come to the Pirates so thaty ou can win 73 games instead of 68 is foolish. If I were an investor in the club and they wasted money like that I'd be ticked.

Pablo_Honey
08-24-2010, 06:06 PM
Actually they went 80% over slot on their first 10 picks in the draft this year. 42% last year. They spent $2 million on a guy from Mexico. In the last 3 drafts they've given out more bonus money than any other team. Overspending on free agents to get them to come to the Pirates so thaty ou can win 73 games instead of 68 is foolish. If I were an investor in the club and they wasted money like that I'd be ticked.
Yeah, I think the Pirates have changed in the recent years. No more joke decisions like Van Benschoten as a pitcher or Moskos over Wieters. The Sanchez pick was questionable but it could be argued in favour of the Pirates.

And the bolded part, truer words have never been spoken. Just ask the Royals how dishing out the dough on Meche and Guillen turned out for them. Unless you are the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, etc, you simply don't have enough money to buy every position. Teams like the Pirates need to make an investment into top tier talents in draft to have a winning franchise. I wish Kenny realizes this. Don't get me wrong, he's good at what he does but I wish Kenny would let the farm take care of things once in a while.

TDog
08-24-2010, 06:31 PM
Agreed, but I would think that if you own a sports team the best way to make money would be to win. You can make a lot of money that way.

That has never been true in baseball. Connie Mack famously said he was most profitable finishing in the middle of the standings. There are winners that make money, but every market is different. The Pirates might be a less profitable team if they were winning in their market.

Oblong
08-24-2010, 08:59 PM
That has never been true in baseball. Connie Mack famously said he was most profitable finishing in the middle of the standings. There are winners that make money, but every market is different. The Pirates might be a less profitable team if they were winning in their market.

The key is postseason revenue and local TV/Radio/Marketing and other stuff you can get on the side, like the Red Sox do with the Fenway Marketing group, which is a different entity than the Red Sox team, thus not subject to revenue sharing.

It's not like golf or boxing where you get a higher cut of the $$ the better you do. I'd love to see the revenue of the clubs from traditional sources, like gate receipts, concessions, parking, merchandise, and national TV deals, and th stuff from MLB and MLB.com. I bet there's not much difference between most teams, outside of the top few and bottom few, where they can charge obscene ticket prices or the teams that draw 15,000 a game all year, outside of opening day and when the yankees come to town.

Lip Man 1
08-24-2010, 10:45 PM
TDog:

So let me make sure I understand what you are saying, it's more important to be profitable than to win?

That is disgusting.

Lip

Marqhead
08-24-2010, 11:44 PM
TDog:

So let me make sure I understand what you are saying, it's more important to be profitable than to win?

That is disgusting.

Lip

For someone who owns a team? Absolutely. Come on Lip, you know just as well as every other fan that though we like to think winning comes first for all sports owners that's not the case. $$$ trumps all, and I would wager 99% of sports franchise owners value the bottom line over winning.

Are the Pirates embarrassing? Absolutely. But if they are making money than they are doing a good job from the owners perspective.

Mohoney
08-25-2010, 01:22 AM
Cuban has been rejected by MLB as a potiential once already and was told to not try a for a second team earlier this year. As long as Bud and Jerry are in the league, Cuban won't be.

Jerry Reinsdorf doesn't like Mark Cuban? I thought I remember Reinsdorf saying in an interview that he got along with Cuban?

Oblong
08-25-2010, 07:50 AM
TDog:

So let me make sure I understand what you are saying, it's more important to be profitable than to win?

That is disgusting.

Lip

That's up to the owner(s) to decide and for the fan base to react to. If the choice is "win 85 games but lose $20 million" or "win 70 games but make $20 million" then I think the latter option would be preferable. Obviously the choices are not presented in that manner and a club should be making an effort to make the team better but there's several ways to do that. If you put your efforts into a low cost/high risk method then so be it. What I absolutely reject is the notion that an owner has some moral obligation to sign an average free agent to a multi million dollar deal just to make his team marginally better unless they are looking at serious post season contention. That is money that could be spent in player development with a greater reward.

This is a business and there's issues with banks, lines of credit, loans, etc. that require a solid financial footing. The guy at the bank isn't going to accept "But we had to sign this guy for our bullpen!" for an excuse.

ewokpelts
08-25-2010, 10:23 AM
Jerry Reinsdorf doesn't like Mark Cuban? I thought I remember Reinsdorf saying in an interview that he got along with Cuban?you can get along with someone but still not let him buy an mlb team. jerry is a major player in mlb. not so much in the nba. he has a stronger sway with selig than he does with stern.

ewokpelts
08-25-2010, 10:28 AM
That's up to the owner(s) to decide and for the fan base to react to. If the choice is "win 85 games but lose $20 million" or "win 70 games but make $20 million" then I think the latter option would be preferable. Obviously the choices are not presented in that manner and a club should be making an effort to make the team better but there's several ways to do that. If you put your efforts into a low cost/high risk method then so be it. What I absolutely reject is the notion that an owner has some moral obligation to sign an average free agent to a multi million dollar deal just to make his team marginally better unless they are looking at serious post season contention. That is money that could be spent in player development with a greater reward.

This is a business and there's issues with banks, lines of credit, loans, etc. that require a solid financial footing. The guy at the bank isn't going to accept "But we had to sign this guy for our bullpen!" for an excuse.
The new way of thinking in mlb has been to beef up the farm system, becuase they are more cost controlled at the mlb level. the pirates have shifted ownership, and since then have been working to make thier operation more streamlined and try to produce more homegrown talent.

When they have a breakout season(remember, they are in the nl central, a very winnable division), they will have the tools to continue thier success for a longer period of time than they did back in the late 80's/early 90's. they have a ultramodern stadium with all the amenities to attract premium customers, they havea solid location that provides lots of parking, and they will have a lineup that will continue to play well, but a lower price than buying expensive veterans.

ilsox7
08-25-2010, 10:54 AM
Cuban has said publicly that he feels confident he would be approved by MLB as an owner. I don't think he would have gotten into the Rangers bidding if he felt like he would be left in the cold.

TDog
08-25-2010, 11:13 AM
TDog:

So let me make sure I understand what you are saying, it's more important to be profitable than to win?

That is disgusting.

Lip

That was what Connie Mack believed. He actually built a couple a dynasty-quality teams in the days of the reserve clause. Instead of managing dynasties, he maximized his profits by selling off his stars. It depends on the owner, and it depends on the market.

Different owners believe different things when it comes to winning and profits. No team is going to lose money, and teams that win and lose money (The Marlins, for example) can get it back in ways that anger their fans. Leagues with salary caps as a group put profits before winning as a corporate philosophy. Before the NFL broke the players union, there was a widely held belief in Chicago that the Bears weren't inspired to build a winner because it would cut into profit margins, which was pretty much what Connie Mack said owning and operating the A's back in the Philly days.

WizardsofOzzie
08-25-2010, 02:46 PM
Marlins are in hot water over their books

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=jp-marlinsfinancials082410