MLB Hunting Down Leak of Teams’ Private Financial Documents


Aug 24, 2010

The search continues for Major League Baseball as they try to find and ultimately punish the party or parties responsible for recent leaks of confidential financial documents to the Associated Press and

Baseball is progressing in their search for those who leaked the information the New York Times reported on Monday.

The documents in question were reported by the Associated Press on Sunday and Deadspin on Monday and they are essentially the finance reports for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Florida Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays. These documents are supposed to be seen only by the commissioner's office, baseball's banks and their accounting firms.

The most troubling information out of the reports is how profitable these three teams have been despite widespread ineffectiveness on the field, especially in the case of the Pirates.

For instance, the Pirates' organization, who receive revenue sharing and have the lowest payroll in baseball, earned just under $30 million in 2007 and 2008 while also taking in nearly $70 million in revenue sharing. 

Critics of revenue sharing are saying teams like Pittsburgh — a team with 18-straight losing season — are pocketing revenue sharing money instead of using it to put a better product on the field.

Of course while MLB and the teams whose information were leaked can't be happy, one consultant said things could be worse despite the financial information of those teams being made public.

"If I were Major League Baseball, I'd be much more concerned if the Yankees' numbers were released," Vince Gennaro, author of "Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball" told the Times. "It would present a dramatic disparity and you'd begin to wonder how you can retain an economic structure that allows teams to earn such disparate amounts of money."

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