SBD/Issue 238/Leagues & Governing Bodies

MLB Focuses On Insurance Firms In Leaked Document Investigation

Financial Documents Of Six Teams,
Including Marlins, Have Been Leaked

MLB is "focusing its investigation" into the leak of several team financial documents on "insurance companies that do business with clubs," according to sources cited by Richard Sandomir of the N.Y. TIMES. The companies under investigation "sell liability insurance for top-level team executives and directors, not players." A baseball exec said, "A couple of teams are very unhappy because the feeling is MLB didn’t have to provide detailed, individual team financials for this type of insurance" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/25). In N.Y., Red & Vinton report MLB's Department of Investigations has "zeroed in on the insurance carrier after Deadspin.com and the Associated Press published a series of confidential financial reports detailing revenue streams and expenditures for several teams." An MLB source said, "It was beneficial, some of the information. I think a lot of people were glad to see that the receipts were higher" but not happy to see some "transfer of equity was not going toward players and player development" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/25).

SIX AND COUNTING: In Ft. Worth, Barry Shlachter reports Deadspin yesterday released financial documents for the Rangers, now the sixth MLB team whose confidential data has been released, showing that the club lost almost $12M in '09 and about $10.5M in '08. The documents show that the Rangers had $167.4M in revenue last year with $174.8M in operating expenses, a $7.4M operating loss. Other expenses, "mostly interest, pushed the year's net loss" to $11.98M. The Rangers in '09 earned $46.9M in ticket revenue and $66.8M in TV and radio rights (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 8/25).

NOT THE SIZE OF THE DOG IN THE FIGHT: In N.Y., Tyler Kepner notes the Marlins have spent $396M on "player salaries from 2000 through 2010, with 873 victories and a World Series title to show." By comparison, NL East rival the Mets have spent about $1.212B during the same time, "with 878 victories and no championships." Thus, the Mets have spent about $816M more than the Marlins to "win five more games and one fewer title." Marlins President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest said, "You do the best with what you have. But I think some of it is we’re maybe a little bit limited in risk-taking, carving out part of the payroll and saying we’re going to allocate it to a risk in this area and we may hit or we may not" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/25).

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