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Cup o’ Joe, side o’ dough: The books ... open?

A ... specious ... take on MLB team finances

Use Of American Dollars Grows in Venezuela Photo by Matias Delacroix/Getty Images

AP Exclusive: MLB projects $640K per game loss with no fans
Ronald Blum, Associated Press

Major League Baseball told players their prorated salaries would contribute to an average loss of $640,000 for each game over an 82-game season in empty ballparks, according to a presentation from the commissioner’s office to the union that was obtained by The Associated Press.

Painting a picture of a $10 billion industry shuttered by the contagion, the 12-page document titled “Economics of Playing Without Fans in Attendance” and dated May 12 was an initial step in negotiations aimed at starting the delayed season around the Fourth of July.

Teams say the proposed method of salvaging a season delayed by the coronavirus pandemic would still cause a $4 billion loss and would give major league players 89% of revenue.

To the debate going on in the comments a few days ago, MLB has “opened its books” in communication to the MLBPA. The results are ... disingenuous.

Parsing MLB’s Claim of a $4 Billion Loss
Craig Edwards, FanGraphs Baseball

Over the last four years, player payroll has not moved while baseball-only revenues have increased by a $1 billion, to say nothing of baseball-related revenues that have put billions more in owners’ pockets. Keeping EBITDA close to zero is an accounting strategy that reveals little about the financial health of the sport or its value to its owners. In addition to the large annual increases in franchise value, there’s evidence that owners have reaped $5 billion to $7 billion over the last three seasons above and beyond the costs of owning and operating a franchise.

Craig breaks down the truth and lies of the financial dossier the AP reported on above. MLB’s claims are, at best, selective. The money shot comes in the paragraph above, but the entire analysis is well worth a read.

Experiencing 2005: JD earns my love
Lurker Laura, South Side Hit Pen at Sports Illustrated

"You know," I marvel, "With this pitching staff, I feel that if we score three runs, we're going to win. Like, every time."

"I know what you mean, Laura." My father replies, then falls silent for a moment. "It's weird, isn't it?"

The next installment of Laura’s 2005 diary series is here, and it’s delightful. You’d think for all the help she gave Jermaine Dye that season, she’d at least have gotten a spin in his World Series MVP car.

Barons review: top five hitters
Jake Mastroianni, South Side Hit Pen at Sports Illustrated

Obviously, we don’t always get the top prospects for very long, as they get called up quickly if they’re doing well. But we’ve still had a quite a few that made a statement for a long period time while they were here.

A fun little rundown of the top hitters in Birmingham over each of the past five seasons. There are some familiar and expected names, but a couple surprises.

Morning Music
I’m going to bet you’ve never heard of Fanny.

Near and dear to my heart on several levels:

  • These women are badass.
  • They are the first all-female rock band with a major-label release.
  • They’re really badass.
  • Producers fought over one another to record them, and no less that David Bowie listed them as an all-time favorite.
  • Fronted by Filipino-Americans, they hold a very dear place in my heart.
  • I’m a little more Karen Carpenter or Ella Fitzgerald — but June Millington, who slung the axe for Fanny, is my spirit animal.

Not embeddable, but if you search Fanny-Beat Club-1971 you’ll get a killer set that will make you wonder if you’ve just been sleeping in a cave for 50 years. And their take on “Ain’t That Peculiar” will melt your face.