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Jerry_Manuel
07-17-2002, 09:03 AM
Astros owner says he'll quit if inequities aren't resolved (http://espn.go.com/mlb/news/2002/0717/1406552.html)

The owner of the Houston Astros says he's through with baseball unless a labor contract is approved that assures a system more equitable to mid- and small-market franchises such as his.

Drayton McLane Jr. said he has lost about $105 million since buying the franchise for $115 million in 1993. He is projecting losses of at least $5 million this season.

Cheryl
07-17-2002, 11:19 AM
Then sell your team. Bet you make up those losses right away.

duke of dorwood
07-17-2002, 11:20 AM
More from Houston Chronicle article:

McLane's comments are the latest salvo fired by management in recent days. Last week, commissioner Bud Selig said two teams have such severe financial problems that they were in danger of not finishing the season. One team, he said, might not even make its next payroll.

That team, the Detroit Tigers, did pay its players Monday, but Selig insisted the problems he described were real.

Since allowing owners to speak publicly on labor matters, they've come forward to detail their losses and the need for significant changes in the labor agreement.

"Drayton tells me precisely the same thing he has told you in almost every telephone conversation," Selig said. "There's rarely a conversation in which he doesn't give me that message. I'm not only not surprised, but I hear it from a lot of other owners. I hear it all day long. I know the kind of money Drayton has lost. I know certain people will dispute the numbers, but they're real."

Lobbying for management, McLane showed a reporter a 10-year financial report that he said had been audited by Ernst and Young.

He pointed out the highlights. Revenues increased from $37.2 million in 1999, the final season in the Astrodome, to $70.8 million in the first year at Minute Maid Park.

Those revenues have remained fairly stable, declining to $67.2 million in 2001 and projected at a record $71.5-million level this season.

However, the statement showed other expenses. Rent increased from $700,000 at the Astrodome to $7.2 million at the new ballpark. That $7.2 million rental payment is among the highest in the game and, combined with just the 20th-highest local radio and television package, McLane has lost money in all but one season.

And player salaries also continued to increase, from $53.5 million in 2000 to $69 million last season to a decrease of $64.7 million this year.

The bottom line are the losses: around $6 million in cash in 2001 (around $11 million after depreciation and amortization) and a bit less than that this year.

Bracing for a late-season work stoppage, McLane recently ordered his baseball staff to halt negotiations with its remaining unsigned draft choices, including the top three picks.

He said holding off, at least for a while, on signing those players will give the club an additional $3 million in operating cash.

"We all collectively agreed that if we have a strike, it's going to be about cash flow," McLane said. "It makes no sense to do anything else. We've got around 170 players in our minor-league system, and if our players go on strike, all our revenue goes with them. We have to give back the ticket money, the signage money we've already collected, the naming rights money. It all goes away. The central fund goes away because it's all based on television. Around 80 percent of it comes from the postseason."

Since only the 40-man major league roster is affected by a walkout, the team will continue to play minor-league games, thus keeping those 170 or so players still on the payroll.

In addition, McLane said the Astros have decided not to fill job openings in their 85-person front office staff and are prepared for layoffs if a work stoppage lasts for any significant length of time.

Reflecting on nine years in the game, McLane said he wouldn't have gotten involved if he'd known his financial losses would be so great and that the disparity between the game's rich and poor teams would grow so large.

"If I knew we were going to have all the strife and all the losses, no, I wouldn't do it again," he said.

Donald Fehr, executive director of the players union, declined to comment on McLane's statements.

NUKE_CLEVELAND
07-17-2002, 11:26 AM
Originally posted by duke of dorwood
More from Houston Chronicle article:

McLane's comments are the latest salvo fired by management in recent days. Last week, commissioner Bud Selig said two teams have such severe financial problems that they were in danger of not finishing the season. One team, he said, might not even make its next payroll.



I actually sympathize with management. These players are getting paid WAY too freekin much to go out & play baseball. If salaries keep going up then we're just going to get hit harder & harder in the wallet to go see a game. Salaries have to be reined in before people like PAYROD destroy baseball.

:payrod

"**** THE FANS, I WANT MY MONEY!"

Cheryl
07-17-2002, 11:27 AM
Well you know, who keeps offering the players that kind of money?

duke of dorwood
07-17-2002, 12:03 PM
Here's a thought- Its way out there-

What if--in a dream world--baseball inc. owned every team. With each team a subsidiary of some sort, that would allow the corporation (baseball) to set salaries for all employees in every "department" (team) and be able to control salaries without fear of collusion?

DrWatson27
07-17-2002, 03:57 PM
Originally posted by duke of dorwood
Here's a thought- Its way out there-

What if--in a dream world--baseball inc. owned every team. With each team a subsidiary of some sort, that would allow the corporation (baseball) to set salaries for all employees in every "department" (team) and be able to control salaries without fear of collusion?

Isn't that how the MLS and the WNBA operate? I know there is quite a difference between soccer and womans basketball compared to MLB in the USA but both of these leagues are struggling to stay afloat which might indicate the same with baseball if they went to that method-just a thought. But at this point anything is worth a look.

soxrme
07-17-2002, 04:10 PM
I AGREE WITH CHERYL - WHY DO THEY KEEP PAYING THESE GUYS ALL THIS MONEY??

MarkEdward
07-17-2002, 04:26 PM
Originally posted by NUKE_CLEVELAND


I actually sympathize with management. These players are getting paid WAY too freekin much to go out & play baseball. If salaries keep going up then we're just going to get hit harder & harder in the wallet to go see a game. Salaries have to be reined in before people like PAYROD destroy baseball.


First, salaries don't influence ticket prices. Second, Hicks didn't have to pay for ARod. Actually, he should have put that money into buying some pitching.

Mathew
07-17-2002, 04:47 PM
Why is Houston a small to mid market team?

Cheryl
07-17-2002, 04:59 PM
Originally posted by MarkEdward



First, salaries don't influence ticket prices. Second, Hicks didn't have to pay for ARod. Actually, he should have put that money into buying some pitching.

What Mark said.

TheBigHurt
07-17-2002, 06:17 PM
Originally posted by Cheryl
Well you know, who keeps offering the players that kind of money?

yeah i agree with you 100% owners are the biggest promblem in all of this

PaleHoseGeorge
07-17-2002, 06:49 PM
Originally posted by Jerry_Manuel
Astros owner says he'll quit if inequities aren't resolved

Promise?

I might actually applaud if he takes Reinsdorf with him.