Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Marlins Turn a Profit?

Perhaps no franchise has been examined, dissected, and judged more closely under the microscope than the Marlins, and yet the team continues to compete. Nevertheless, I've been alerted to some new happenings on the Marlins business scene, and some of them are quite insulting.

It's not surprising that Forbes rates the Marlins as 30th in franchise value, although David Sampson was still good for one of his obligatory rants. That's not even what caught my eye. It's this, which Reader Nathan pointed out, that disturbs me:

"According to Forbes's numbers, Florida brought in the second-highest profit last year, at $35.6 million. This is a team that not only spent just $30 million on payroll last year, the lowest figure in the National League, but then shipped off 24-year-old superstar Miguel Cabrera and 25-year-old star pitcher Dontrelle Willis, neither of whom was due to make anything like his market value, to lower this year's payroll to $21 million. That's about a third of what they'll get this year in revenue sharing payments and national broadcast money. There's a reason they're worth $40 million less than any other team, and it isn't that Miami is a small market."

Ouch! I knew the Marlins were getting a nice cut of their salary paid by MLB, but not to this extent. The payroll is 1/3 of the OUTSIDE money they receive! With information like this, it's no wonder some people like Imber feel inclined to abandon the team.

Now to the good news. One thing Forbes does not account for is the dreaful lease the Marlins have on Dolphin Stadium. That's the real reason the Marlins are losing some money, but they're clearly still turning a hefty profit.

The better news? As Tom D'Angelo of the Palm Beach Post proudly reports:

"The Marlins can say they had something to do with the Pirates dropping below them for the lowest average paid attendance in the majors. Because just 10,185 fans bothered to watch the Marlins and Pirates on Tuesday at PNC Park, the Pirates' average attendance for their eight home games fell to 14,766. The Marlins are second-lowest with an average of 15,033."

29th never felt so good! As a last note, I leave you with this interesting piece commending those athletic women depicted in "A League of Their Own." Congratulations, ladies, on the Hall of Fame honors!


Imber said...

That's ridiculous. You hit the nail exactly on the head by citing me in this. How can they be turning in such a profit yet still be slashing and burning their assests?? It's abominable.

ASponge said...

I don't really know what to say. You're absolutely right.

They're still my team no matter what, but as I've said previously, nobody should blame you.

Squathole said...

This ownership group pulled the same scam when they owned the Expos (and look what happened to that franchise over 20 years). They don't belong in baseball. They're ruining the team, the league, the game, and the players themselves.

It's all summed up by Little Davey Samson when he says, "We expect players to out-perform their contracts." Pay 'em nothing, expect big production, and pocket the difference. When their value is established, sell 'em at a profit.

Makes me ill.

Imber said...

Amen squathole.

Jay Warman said...

I don't care how much money they spend or save or pocket as long as they put a competitive product on the field ... WHICH THEY DO!

And how does it ruin the players? There are more successful ex-Marlins than any other team. If anything, playing for the Marlins is a spring board to major league success.

And while idiots like JP Ricciardi and Brian Cashman overpay for AJ Burnett and Carl Pavano, respectively, we get better, younger, more entertaining players.

And I get a whole section to myself. I hate being cramped at baseball games.

ASponge said...

You make a great point, Jay, about cramped stadiums. Let's think of the perks. Where else can you show up in the first inning and get infield box seats for almost nothing?

Being part of an awful fanbase has its perks.