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According to Forbes, Average Value of MLB Club Rises 7% to $523 Million PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 23 March 2011 07:56

Forbes has announced its annual valuations of Major League Baseball’s 30 teams, reporting that the average team is now worth $523 million, a 7% increase from last year and an all-time high.  New ballparks and regional sports networks boosted revenues 4 percent to $6.1 billion for baseball's 30 teams.  The New York Yankees are on top again this year with a value of $1.7 billion. Coming in at No. 2, the Boston Red Sox are valued at $912 million. The New York Mets are valued at $747 million, down 13 percent from last year’s valuation.

In Inside Baseball’s Debt Disaster (p. 100), Forbes reports on how reckless ownership and lax debt policies within Major League Baseball has allowed popular teams like the Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers and most recently, the New York Mets to amass mountains of debt.  In investigating the Mets’ involvement with Bernie Madoff and the team’s subsequent debt problems, Forbes concludes that it will be challenge for Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz to retain majority ownership.

To many, the most surprising will be the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have been rocked by the divorce between Frank and Jamie McCourt, and its growing debt show an increase in value of 10 percent from last year seeing its value increase to $800 million for the first time, up from $727 million last year.

According to co-author Mike Ozanian, the reason for the increase in the Dodgers speaks to the robustness of MLB.

"We increased the multiple of revenue we valued the team to 3.25 from 2.95 last year because baseball team multiples overall are up (better economy and financing environment) and the Dodgers brand (as measured by revenue and ebitda) is as strong as ever" said Ozanian. "So, another way to look at it is our enterprise value for the team rose because debt increased and equity did not decrease.

The Giants, who are reaping the benefits of winning last year’s World Series see an increase of 18 percent, and Operating Income, a form of profit as $29.9 million. The Texas Rangers, who moved from being saddled with debt under Tom Hicks to new ownership through an auction sale last year, and a new TV deal, see a massive jump in value from ranking 12 with a value of $451 million last year to $561 million this year. Note that Forbes lists Ray Davis and Bob Simpson as owners, not Nolan Ryan or recently ousted managing partner Chuck Greenberg.

This initial article shows information released in advance of Forbes releasing all 30 valuations to the public. Those numbers are now available with more information on Forbes.com/sportsmoney

OUR ANNUAL REPORT ON ALL 30 CLUBS WILL BE FORTHCOMING ON THURS.

(See historical Forbes valuations from 2002-2010 - Will be updated with 2011 shortly)

This year’s Top 10 Most Valuable Major League Baseball Teams are:

RANK

TEAM

OWNER

CURRENT VALUE

($ mil)

1-YR CHANGE
IN VALUE %

REVENUES

($mil)

OPERATING

INCOME ($mil)

1

New York Yankees

Steinbrenner Family

$1,700

6%

$427

$25.7

2

Boston Red Sox

John Henry, Thomas Werner

912

5

272

-1.1

3

Los Angeles Dodgers

Frank McCourt

800

10

246

32.8

4

Chicago Cubs

Ricketts Family

773

6

258

23.4

5

New York Mets

Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz

747

-13

233

-6.2

6

Philadelphia Phillies

David Montgomery

609

13

239

8.9

7

San Francisco Giants

William Neukom

563

16

230

29.9

8

Texas Rangers

Ray Davis, Bob Simpson

561

25

206

22.6

9

LA Angels of Anaheim

Arturo Moreno

554

6

222

11.8

10

Chicago White Sox

Jerry Reinsdorf

526

13

210

27.6

LEAGUE AVERAGE

523

7

205

16.5

 

Source: Forbes


SPECIAL BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK REPORTS:
The Labor Battle in the NFL. See BizOfFootball.com for details

 

 

 


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Philadelphia Phillies Overtake Red Sox as Having Most Loyal Fans PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 22 March 2011 23:14

PhilliesAccording to an annual index, the Philadelphia Phillies have surpassed the Boston Red Sox as having the most loyal fans in all of Major League Baseball. The Red Sox moved out of first, where they had held the position since 2008, and slipped to third behind the New York Yankees. The World Series Champion San Francisco Giants moved into the top five for the first time in the past four years.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Pittsburgh Pirates held down the “least loyal” fans for the third consecutive year. The Mariners, after seeing a horribly disappointing season in 2010, is shown as 5th worst in MLB, with the Diamondbacks having the 4th worst.

The Brand Keys Sports Loyalty Engagement Index, conducted for the 19th consecutive year, was designed to help professional sports teams’ management identify precise fan loyalty rankings in hometown (and national) markets. “These insights allow league and team marketers to identify areas that need strategic brand coaching,” said Robert Passikoff, Brand Keys founder and president.

The Sports Loyalty Engagement Index provides a direct comparison of the intensity with which fans within the team’s SMSA support the home team versus corresponding values for fans of other teams in the market. “That’s important because fan loyalty correlates highly with broadcast viewership, merchandise purchase, and ticket revenue. And happier fans as well,” noted Passikoff. “Everybody loves a winner, but it’s important to note that win/loss ratios do not entirely govern fan loyalty. There are three other factors that have to be taken into account.”

According to Brand Keys, fan loyalty is driven in four ways:

Pure Entertainment: How well a team performs, but more importantly, how exciting is their play?

Authenticity: How well they play as a team (and in the case of MLB is it natural talent or steroid-enhanced performance?) New stadia can help propel this driver, and sometimes a new manager.

Fan Bonding: Are players respected and admired? See “Authenticity” for additional affects).

History and Tradition: Is the game, and the team, part of a fan’s and a community’s rituals, institutions and beliefs?

“And since overall league and team rankings do correlate with viewership and merchandise sales, and rankings can be influenced depending upon how loyalty drivers are managed, it’s critical that team marketers do accurate scouting regarding the strategic ball they intend to pitch to the fans,” said Passikoff.

Below are the rankings of the Top 5 and Bottom 5 MLB teams by fan loyalty dating back to 2008, according to Brand Keys

Top Five MLB teams in Brand Keys

Sports Loyalty Index

 

2008

2009

2010

2011

1

Red Sox

Red Sox

Red Sox

Phillies

2

Yankees

Phillies

Yankees

Yankees

3

Indians

Yankees

Phillies

Red Sox

4

Astros

Mets

Dodgers

Giants

5

Mets

Athletics

Angels

Dodgers

 

Bottom Five MLB teams in Brand Keys

Sports Loyalty Index

 

2008

2009

2010

2011

1

Orioles

Pirates

Pirates

Pirates

2

Pirates

Orioles

Orioles

Orioles

3

Royals

Royals

Royals

Royals

4

Rangers

Rangers

Nationals

D-backs

5

Marlins

Rockies

Diamondbacks

Mariners

© Brand Keys, Inc. 2011


SPECIAL BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK REPORTS:
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Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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John Thorn to Chair New "Baseball Origins Committee" For MLB PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 17 March 2011 07:42

John Thorn

John Thorn, the Official Historian of Major League Baseball, will serve as chairman of the “Baseball Origins Committee” as his first official task in his new capacity, Commissioner Selig announced on Weds.

(Read The Biz of Baseball interview with John Thorn)

Major League Baseball has established an accomplished panel of 12 experts and historians that will seek to determine the facts of baseball’s beginnings and its evolution. The Committee will compile and evaluate information that pertains to the game’s founding and its growth. Following the study period, the panel will seek to tell the story of baseball’s beginnings and explore not only the game’s broadest origins, but also its development in local communities. Thorn also will incorporate opportunities for public participation in the project, allowing the panel to hear the first baseball stories from individual fans and families. A special section of MLB.com will be dedicated to the project, serving as a hub of interactivity throughout the effort.

Thorn will lead the panel and also will serve as the representative to the public, and Commissioner Selig will be a formal member of the panel. The 10 members joining them will be:

DAVID BLOCK, an early baseball historian, author of Baseball Before We Knew It: A Search for the Roots of the Game, and a member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).

JAMES EDWARD BRUNSON III, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at Northern Illinois University and author of The Early Image of Black Baseball: Race and Representation in the Popular Press, 1871-1890.

ADRIAN BURGOS, JR., Associate Professor of History at the University of Illinois; author of Playing America’s Game: Baseball, Latinos, and the Color Line and Cuban Star: How One Negro League Owner Changed the Face of Baseball; a consultant to Ken Burns’s Baseball: The Tenth Inning; and a member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).

KEN BURNS, award-winning filmmaker of Ken Burns’s Baseball, Ken Burns’s Baseball: The Tenth Inning, The Civil War, Jazz, The War, and many other highly acclaimed documentaries.

LEN COLEMAN, the former President of the National League.

DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN, Presidential Historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II, Team of Rivals:
The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
, and Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir.

STEVE HIRDT, Executive Vice President of the Elias Sports Bureau, the official statistician of Major League Baseball, and a member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).  JANE LEAVY, Former staff writer of the Washington Post; author of Sandy Koufax: A Lefty’s Legacy and The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and The End of America’s Childhood; and a member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).

LARRY McCRAY, a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who, since 2005, has coordinated “Project Protoball,” a record of print references to baseball and parallel bat and ball games prior to 1860, and a member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).

GEORGE F. WILL, Pulitzer Prize-winning commentator, Washington Post and Newsweek columnist, ABC News analyst and author of Men At Work: The Craft of Baseball.

Commissioner Selig said: “I am thrilled that John Thorn and our decorated panel will take on this ambitious endeavor. In so many ways, our game is a reflection of American history, and I am glad that Major League Baseball can now contribute to the findings and celebrate our unparalleled tradition.”

Thorn added: “In no sport is the past as important to the present moment as it is in baseball. That’s why so much interest attaches to how our great game began – in America, in communities, and in our family histories.”

Thorn’s new book, Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game, published by Simon & Schuster, is now available. Commissioner Selig appointed Thorn as Official Historian
on March 1st
.

Source: Major League Baseball


SPECIAL BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK REPORTS:
The Labor Battle in the NFL. See BizOfFootball.com for details


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Chuck Greenberg Officially Resigns as CEO of Texas Rangers, Nolan Ryan to Assume Role PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 11 March 2011 12:12

Chuck GreenbergTHIS IS BREAKING NEWS...

The Texas Rangers today announced that Chuck Greenberg, Chief Executive Officer, is leaving the organization.

Team President Nolan Ryan will add the title of CEO and oversee all baseball and business operations for the organization, reporting directly to the team’s Board of Directors.

The Co-Chairmen of Rangers Baseball Express LLC, Ray Davis and Bob Simpson, issued the following statement:

“We greatly appreciate Chuck Greenberg’s hard work, professionalism and unwavering commitment to the team, our fans and the Dallas-Fort Worth communities. Chuck is a dynamic leader with superb strategic, operational and business development skills, and under his and Nolan Ryan’s direction, we have accomplished a great deal in a short time. We thank Chuck for his many contributions to the organization, and wish him well in his future endeavors. At the same time, we are very confident in the continued success and further development of the Texas Rangers under Nolan’s leadership.”

Further, the Co-Chairmen stated, “Chuck’s departure will have no effect on the team’s operation and we look forward to working with Nolan Ryan as this organization continues to grow and prosper. The baseball group has demonstrated its quest for excellence under the skillful leadership of Jon Daniels. On the business side, we also have a deep bench of experienced executives who always put our fans first and will ensure our ambitious plans for the 2011 season stay on track. We appreciate Chuck’s contributions and wish him all the best.”

Greenberg said, “I have great respect for the Texas Rangers franchise and am enormously proud of all we have accomplished together since August. Unfortunately, Nolan Ryan, the Co-Chairmen, and I have somewhat different styles. While I am disappointed we did not work through our differences, I remain wholeheartedly committed to doing what’s right for the franchise. Together we concluded it is best for all concerned for me to sell my interest back to Rangers Baseball Express and move on. I do so with a heavy heart, but with every confidence in the direction that the new management team is taking the Rangers and, with Nolan at the helm, I know this franchise will continue to thrive and reach even greater heights both on and off the field.”

“Chuck’s determination during an extremely long and complicated sales process was crucial in delivering a positive outcome for our ownership group last August,” commented Ryan, who originally joined the Rangers as President on February 6, 2008. “We owe him a great deal of thanks for those efforts and I wish him only the best.

Ryan added, “I am excited about the future of the Texas Rangers in so many ways. Our front office is comprised of talented and passionate people who come to work every day with the goal of making us the best organization in Major League Baseball, on and off the field.”

The club has scheduled a 3:30pm CT press conference with Bob Simpson, Ray Davis, and Nolan Ryan to address the media on Greenberg's departure.

Rangers Baseball Express LLC completed its purchase of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club and related assets from Texas Rangers Baseball Partners on August 12, 2010 and is the sixth owner in club history.

The auction purchase of the Rangers was the first since the Baltimore Orioles were auctioned off in 1993. The battle over the sale, which pitted Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Houston businessman Jim Crane against the group that included Greenberg, could have become one of the most difficult cases for MLB, should that group not have prevailed in the process as MLB had selected the Greenberg/Ryan group over all others, and the group of Cuban and Crane was not in good favor with MLB.

READ THE BIZ OF BASEBALL INTERVIEW WITH CHUCK GREENBERG

Source: The Texas Rangers, The Biz of Baseball


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Texas Rangers CEO Chuck Greenberg Resigning as Early as Friday PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 11 March 2011 08:55

Chuck GreenbergChuck Greenberg, who spearheaded the winning group to bid on the club, and won an auction to purchase them over a group that included Mark Cuban and Jim Crane, is reportedly resigning from the position, possibly as early as today.

Reports from the Dallas Morning-News and ESPNDallas.com did not specify why Greenberg, the CEO and managing partner of the club, was stepping down. Attempts to contact Greenberg early this morning have gone unanswered.

According to the Dallas Morning-News, Greenberg abruptly left the Rangers’ spring training facility in Arizona on Saturday during a time when there was considerable activity. He was to co-host a club party with Nolan Ryan on Sunday but was not in attendance.

The auction sale of the Texas Rangers after Tom Hicks defaulted on more than $500 million in debt was one of the most arduous events in MLB history. The sale process came on the heels of more than a year and a half of Greenberg and Ryan positioning themselves for the sale (see The Biz of Baseball interview with  Chuck Greenberg).

More news as it becomes available.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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MLB and Minor Leagues Reach Six-Year Professional Baseball Agreement PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 08 March 2011 15:07
MLB and MiLB

THIS IS BREAKING NEWS....

Major League Baseball and the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (NAPBL) have reached an agreement on a new six-year Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA), extending through the 2020 season, it was announced today.

The NAPBL leagues unanimously approved the agreement in January, followed by the unanimous approval of Major League Baseball owners.

“Major League Baseball is very happy to continue its partnership with Minor League Baseball,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “Nearly 115 million fans attended Major League and Minor League games last season, and the security of this agreement will allow us to build on the prosperity that our game has achieved.”

“Minor League Baseball is extremely proud of its relationship with Major League Baseball,” said Pat O’Conner, President of Minor League Baseball. “The extension of the Professional Baseball Agreement ensures the future of professional baseball through the end of the decade. I would like to thank Commissioner Selig for his leadership and support in ushering this agreement to fruition. The Major League owners have shown great confidence in our relationship by agreeing to this extension, and the cooperation, hard work and diligence of Jimmie Lee Solomon in spearheading the efforts of the Office of the Commissioner exemplifies the trust of our relationship.”

The agreement guarantees that Major League teams will field at least 160 National Association teams through the life of the extension by means of Player Development Contracts (PDC) and/or ownership of National Association teams.

According to both MLB and MiLB, the extension continues many aspects of the previous contact, which was reached in 2005 and extended through 2014. Both parties will remain committed to ongoing efforts to improve player development, fan experience and the business stability of Minor League Baseball.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Kim Ng, Others Join Joe Torre as Part of MLB's Baseball Operations PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 08 March 2011 11:29
Kim Ng
Kim Ng joins the front offices of MLB
after being Assist. GM to the Dodgers
for nine years

Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig today announced several appointments within the Baseball Operations Department.

Major League Baseball has hired Kim Ng and Peter Woodfork as Senior Vice Presidents for Baseball Operations. Ng and Woodfork will work under Joe Torre, Major League Baseball’s new Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations.

Commissioner Selig said: “We are very pleased to add talented executives in Kim and Peter, both of whom have extensive experience at the club and league levels. Kim and Peter have bright futures ahead of them, and we are very happy that they will be working with Joe.”

Torre added: “Kim and Peter will play key roles as we shape our Department and serve all the Clubs of Major League Baseball. I have known Kim for many years, and Peter is very familiar with much of the staff at MLB. I am looking forward to working with them.”

Ng joins Major League Baseball after working the last nine years as Vice President and Assistant General Manager of the Dodgers. In Los Angeles, Ng’s primary duties included assisting the general manager in all facets of Major League player acquisitions, overseeing the club’s arbitration efforts, and managing the daily responsibilities of the baseball operations department. Before joining the Dodgers, Ng served as Vice President and Assistant General Manager of the Yankees from 1998-2001, during which time the club won three World Series. Ng began her baseball career with the Chicago White Sox in 1991 before becoming the Director of Waivers and Records for the Office of the American League. Ng, a New Jersey native, graduated from the University of Chicago, where she played softball, with a degree in Public Policy. Ng had been one of only two active female executives in Major League Baseball, and one of three female executives ever, to hold an assistant general manager position with a club.

Woodfork rejoins Major League Baseball after five years with the Arizona Diamondbacks, most recently as Vice President and Assistant General Manager. With the D-backs, he focused on management of the club’s 40-man roster, contract negotiations, scouting and minor league development. Prior to joining the D-backs, Woodfork served as director of baseball operations and assistant director of player development with the Boston Red Sox from 2003-2005. Woodfork began his baseball career with the Office of the Commissioner, spending three years in MLB’s Labor Relations Department, including during the 2002 labor negotiations. The Massachusetts native is a 1999 graduate of Harvard University, where he was a starting infielder for the Crimson.

In addition, Commissioner Selig announced that several members of the Baseball Operations Department will take on new duties. Joe Garagiola, Jr., who had served as Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations since 2005, now will be MLB’s Senior Vice President of Standards and On-Field Operations. Among the areas to which Garagiola will tend are player discipline for on-field infractions, the pace of game program, uniform policy, stadium configurations and other on-field matters. Garagiola will report directly to Torre.

Within the Umpiring Department, Randy Marsh and Rich Rieker, both of whom had served among MLB’s group of Umpire Supervisors, have been promoted to Directors of Umpiring.

Marsh was a 28-year Major League Umpire, beginning as a National League Umpire in 1982, and has more than 40 years of professional umpiring experience overall. The Kentucky native worked five World Series as an umpire and was the crew chief for three of them. During his time as an active umpire, Marsh was a part of the first joint committee on umpire training, and was one of the collaborators on the first Major League Umpire Manual. Marsh, who served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1968-1974, was appointed a Supervisor for the 2010 season.

Rieker, a Major League Umpire from 1996-2001, has been an MLB liaison to the Major League Umpires since 2002. Rieker has been heavily involved in the Umpiring Department’s educational and outreach efforts. Since 2006, Rieker has coordinated the annual MLB Umpire Camps, a joint initiative of MLB, the World Umpires Association, the Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation, the Jim Evans Academy of Professional Umpiring and the Wendelstedt Umpire School. The St. Louis native has participated in many cooperative programs that have brought umpiring training to members of the United States Marine Corps. He also coordinated the training of the international umpires who have worked the first two editions of the World Baseball Classic. Like Marsh, Rieker was a longtime instructor at the Wendelstedt Umpire School.

Torre said: “Joe Garagiola, Jr. is an accomplished executive, and with his experience as a general manager and his relationships throughout the game, I believe he is well suited to address on-field issues. I am eager to work with Randy Marsh and Rich Rieker, both of whom have considerable on-field experience. I have a great deal of respect for our Umpires, and Randy, Rich and our Supervisors will be our eyes and ears with the staff.

“Collectively, our goals are to protect the integrity of the game and to make the game better for the Clubs, on-field personnel, and the fans of baseball.”

Source: Major League Baseball


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Rangers Sign GM Jon Daniels to a Four Year Extension PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joe Tetreault   
Friday, 04 March 2011 18:19

General Manager Jon Daniels normally signs the players. Today he just signed the deal. Texas had one more deal to strike. The dawn of spring training gave them the opportunity to do it.

After building the team that won the AL Pennant in 2010, speculation swirled that Daniels could exercise an out clause in his contract and bolt Texas for another ball club with deeper pockets and fewer payroll restrictions.

Daniels though chose to stay in Texas for the long haul, signing a four year contract extension that keeps him in Arlington through the 2015 season. That contract will conclude after his 10th season as the club's GM, after which time he will match Tom Greive for the longest tenure in Rangers history.

That stability is part of the Rangers efforts to maintain the group that brought the team out of bankruptcy under new ownership to the brink of the highest on-field accomplishment.

When he was given the job in October of 2005, he was the youngest GM in MLB history.

Ryan was forthright that this was a serious offseason priority. "This is the first steo in securing the baseball front office to long term contracts." But a busy offseason made working on front office contracts something that had to wait. "It was our goal to get this accomplished in spring training," said Ryan.

Daniels acknowledges that a lot of factors contributed to get him to the spot in his career he has reached today. "I've kinda been fortunate to be at the right place at the right time," he told reporters this afternoon. The Rangers hope his skill and good fortune contine to help build pennant winning ballclubs.

Click here to read the Rangers' press release

 

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Jamie McCourt Demands Financial Info Around Attempted FOX Deal with Dodgers PDF Print E-mail
Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 08:32

 

Frank and Jamie McCourt

When LA Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon ruled against Frank McCourt having sole ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers, you knew it was a matter of time before his former wife, Jamie, would be getting in on the action. The ruling stipulated that has part of California’s community property state laws that Jamie is considered to be half owner of the club.

With Frank floundering in debt, he attempted to stem the flow of red ink by trying to negotiate, as Jamie is claiming, a “secret deal” with FOX “that would have endangered” the value of the Dodgers. In that deal, Frank was reportedly looking to use the upfront money in the broadcast deal to help pay down his debt.

According to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:

Frank McCourt has committed "flagrant breaches" of his duty to protect the financial interests of his ex-wife Jamie, in part by negotiating a "secret deal" with Fox that "would have endangered" the value of the Dodgers' broadcast contracts, attorneys for Jamie McCourt charged in a court filing on Tuesday.

Her attorneys asked that Frank be ordered to provide to Jamie extensive financial information regarding the Dodgers' business operations, including documents related to negotiations with television outlets and efforts to obtain additional financing for the cash-strapped franchise.

The court set a hearing for April 11.

Frank probably should have done a bit of research before attempting such a move as he’s not the first MLB owner to attempt it. Former Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks tried to get an extension with FOX Sports to help pay down Hicks Sports Group debt, but was shot down by the league.

It should be noted that there’s a difference in brokering broadcast extensions for the want of increased revenues and using money to pay down debt. The aforementioned Rangers have recently brokered that extension that Hicks was seeking, but the difference was, new ownership under Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan have said they are using the money to go after free agent talent and make capital improvements to the Ballpark. What Frank McCourt and Tom Hicks tried to do was far, far different.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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