BOB: More on the financial statement leaksby Brian Borawski
September 01, 2010
Financial statement leak losers
In case you haven't heard, some financial statements were leaked to Deadspin and they released these items earlier last week. There’s been a ton written about this already but that’s not going to stop me from giving you my take. I’m not going to do a lot of rehashing but at the end of this I’ll show where a lot of the stuff has been written.
First off, there have been a lot of talks on how this is going to affect revenue sharing in the next set of collective bargaining agreement negotiations in 2011. The general consensus is that the big market teams are going to be mad at these smaller market teams and this is going to set things up for an “owners versus owners” battle. Keep in mind this is my opinion, but I think that by the time the negotiations really begin, that this issue is going to be a minor one. I’m a little more cynical and it wouldn’t surprise me if the big market teams already knew this was going on (remember, they now how all of this stuff works too). Second, the negotiations aren't going to really heat for another year or so and time heals a lot of wounds. Finally, Bud Selig has been keeping the owners in line for years now so my guess is with him still at the helm that everything will be smoothed over.
I think the biggest losers are the fans of teams like the Pirates and the Marlins. They’ve been fed a bill of goods for a while with, especially for Pirates fans, little to show for it. Of course these teams didn’t break any rules, so there’s little anyone can do about it. I still bet there’s some scrambling up at the MLB offices though.
It looks like the Florida Marlins could also be losers because now there’s some grumblings over them being disingenuous about needing a stadium deal. Now the news coming out of Miami is that the city is going to try to recoup some of the money by getting all of the advertising from a $100 million parking structure as opposed to the originally agreed upon 50/50 split. Field of Schemes has done a nice job of keeping up on this evolving issue and while like Neil says, it's unlikely the city will be able to get out of their parking deal but it'll be interesting seeing them try.
In the meantime, I recommend you read the piece that Kristi Dosh wrote here last week. Also be sure to check out her website to see what she’s been writing about with regard to the business of the sport. Maury Brown also has a lot of content over at BizofBaseball. His latest is on the Tampa Bay Rays and how the leaked documents might make a case for the ballpark they’re pursuing.
Vegas moving forward with stadium plans
One of Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman’s goals has been to bring a Major League Baseball team to Sin City. With his term coming to a close and him being termed out, that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen but the city is also getting closer than they ever have been to picking up a team. Just this week it was announced that the city is in talks to begin building a 45,000-capacity ballpark. Goodman even went as far to say that if they built the ballpark, they would get a team.
He also said that Vegas was designated as an American League city so unless they wanted to restructure the leagues, the number of teams that could come to Vegas are limited. Of course the Rays might top the list with their pursuit of a new ballpark and the team’s owner grumbling about his current arrangement. Of course this will only help the Rays because as we’ve seen with teams like the Marlins, the threat of relocation can help move things along. The Marlins were in talks with San Antonio, Texas as a way to further advance their stadium agenda.
Dodgers hang in the balance as McCourts' divorce battle hits courts
Both Frank and Jamie McCourt went to court as their battle for the Los Angeles Dodgers officially kicked off on Monday. The big question is who has ownership of the team and when the dust settles, the fate of the Dodgers should finally be determined. Jamie McCourt contends that she owns part of the team while Frank McCourt is saying that, pursuant to a postnuptial agreement, that he's the sole owner. At the end of the day, it's hard to tell what could happen with the team with potential outcomes ranging from nothing to the team being sold. Things are just kicking off here so I'm sure we'll have an update on this next week or the week after.
Minor league wrap
With the Minor League Baseball season winding down and it being an even numbered year, several teams have agreed to player development contract extensions with their minor league affiliates. One of the bigger ones include the Washington Nationals keeping on the Syracuse Chiefs and Harrisburg Senators for another two years. The Cincinnati Reds were also busy and they extended their deal with the Carolina Mudcats for another two years. You can get the details on these and more extensions at the MiLB.com press release archive page.
Brian Borawski is a member of SABR's Business of Baseball Committee and writes about the Detroit Tigers at his own website, TigerBlog. He welcomes comments, questions and suggestions via e-mail.