Paul Beeston, then president of the Toronto Blue Jays, upon being
congratulated by the press on turning a profit of almost $2 million in
their innaugural year, said:
"The $2 million profit doesn't mean a thing. By using any other
leagally accepted accounting method I could turn that $2 million
profit into a $2 million loss."
(Note: The above is not an exact quote, it is a paraphrasation of the
statement made in "Baseball And Billions" by Andrew Zimbalist)
In 1994, Bud Selig claimed the Brewers had lost $1.9 million the
previous season. What he failed to reveal was that he had given
himself a $1.9 million raise...
The purpose of the owners' "we're losing money" lie is to:
1. intimidate the players into accepting lower salaries, and
2. convince cities with MLB teams that they must purchase new
stadiums for each team in the league, and
3. pay less federal and state taxes than would be otherwise due if
the team had turned a profit instead of turning a loss.
The Padres will not turn a profit until the city of San Diego builds
them a new, baseball only stadium.
The Mariners will not turn a profit until they can convince the city
of Seattle to pay the cost overruns on their new stadium.
If the teams want to convince me that they are really losing money,
they will make the entire contents of their books public and will
recalculate the P & L's using every possible legal accounting method,
with each calculation showing a loss.
That ain't gonna happen because they ain't losing money.
The only thing that's being lost is the truth. The media is in on the
lie because they have a lot to gain from the Big Lie (viewers/ratings)
and because significant portions of the media have financial interests
in some of the clubs (Fox owns the Dodgers, Tribune Company owns the
Cubs, Turner Broadcasting owns the Braves, etc.)