Ever wanted to look at the books of a Major League Baseball team? Specifically Pittsburgh's MLB team? Then today is your lucky day.
Deadspin.com has released the Pirates' 2007 and 2008 financial statements, the Pirates' 2009 quarterly financial statement, and financial statements for the Rays, Angels, and Marlins. From their site:
We'll have some analysis later, not to mention another set of statements. For now, take a look at the documents below, paying close attention to the teams' operating income, their revenue-sharing figures, the size of their TV deals, and the amortization of player contracts (a neat trick of accounting pioneered by Bill Veeck that allows an owner to turn his team into a lucrative tax shelter). If there is a thread running through all of these financial statements, it is the incredible ability of baseball teams — whether they're winners or losers, big market or small, "rich" or "poor" — to make their owners a fat pile of money.
On the heels of the AP article that the Pirates fretted so much that they headed it off at the pass, this looks like an incredible week for those who enjoy peeking behind the curtain at the bean-counting side of big-league ball. Conversely, it's probably going to be a very stressful week over at Pirate headquarters.
Mondesi's House: The Director's Cut (more links, commentary, etc): twitter.com/mondesishouse