Life’s Sweetest Reward

The season is extremely young, and we shouldn’t place too much faith into three weeks of stats, but have you noticed that the Padres are beating their Pythagorean? Yeah, they’ve scored 49 runs and allowed 57, which is more indicative of a 6-9 record than the Pads’ actual 8-7 mark.

Again, it’s early and we don’t want to read much (if anything) into this just yet. Something worth watching, though.

* * *

In retrospect, maybe leaving Cla Meredith out for a second inning of work wasn’t such a great idea. Wouldn’t that have been a good time for Heath Bell?

On the other hand, once the floodgates had opened, might as well get the obligatory Glendon Rusch appearance out of the way. Too bad he didn’t give up a few more runs; then Wil Ledezma could have gotten some work, too.

* * *

I was looking for evidence to support the notion that Meredith shouldn’t have started the ninth, but couldn’t find any splits along those lines. I did find something else interesting, though. Sean has added leverage splits over at Baseball-Reference. Here’s Meredith in 2007:

Cla Meredith’s Leverage Splits for 2007
Statistics are courtesy of Baseball-Reference.
Hi 98 .364 .408 .523
Med 81 .205 .225 .269
Lo 163 .303 .344 .368

Meredith got torched in high-leverage situations last year, which isn’t necessarily something you like to see out of your “seventh-inning guy” (you also don’t necessarily like to see someone anointed the “seventh-inning guy,” but that’s a different battle). For comparison, here’s what Bell’s numbers looked like in ’07:

Heath Bell’s Leverage Splits for 2007
Statistics are courtesy of Baseball-Reference.
Hi 164 .199 .263 .295
Med 92 .182 .308 .234
Lo 107 .167 .206 .186

We would expect Bell’s individual splits to be better than Meredith’s because, well, Bell had a much better year. Interestingly, both pitchers had similar numbers in medium-leverage situations.

Like love itself, these ways of breaking out stats are exciting and new. Also like love, we’re not quite sure what we’ve gotten ourselves into until we’ve had a chance to… um, play around a little? (This metaphor blows, like a…)

I’m stopping now. You know, before it floats back to me.

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67 Responses »

  1. Very interesting analysis Geoff. I’m surprised by Cla’s stats in high leverage situations. I’m with you, thought, it seems that he is at his worst in the 2nd inning of two inning appearances. Often, it seems that he gets out of the first inning so quickly that he should be fine with a second inning, but it doesn’t seem to work out that way.

  2. OT: But I really need something to lighten my mood this morning and the Onion has delivered:

    Yankees bury Bernie Williams under new stadium for good luck

  3. Geoff, this probably deserves its own blog post.

    I would be glad to beat all of the “cheap FO” whiners over the head with this. :)

  4. #3@The Fathers: Do we really want to go through this again?

  5. I’d be glad to. Forbes is an objective reporter, not affiliated with MLB in any way. There is no good reason for us to doubt their numbers, except when it comes to teams unlike the Padres that hide revenues in team-affiliated businesses. If anything, they are tougher on MLB than MLB is on themselves.

    The idiots who whine about the team being cheap really have no clue what they are talking about, and the Forbes numbers continuously and consistently prove it, provided you know how to interpret the numbers correctly. Cheap teams do not spend all the money they bring in; cheap teams do not have their owners make regular or substantial capital infusions.

    You want cheap? Go look at the Royals, Marlins, Pirates, Twins, Nationals and Devil Rays. At least some of these teams have an excuse – even if they spent more on their operating budget it wouldn’t make much of a competitive difference.

  6. #5@The Fathers: These are all issues that have been debated before and this years Forbes list is not all that different from years past so im not exactly sure how it will sway the argument one way or the other. It will just bring up the same points on both sides from years past and we will end in the same spot we started.

  7. This year, in their summary of the team, Forbes provides a better explanation as to how the Padres are financiallly limited. If the past weight of evidence, coupled with the new information, does not change the “cheap FO” whiners’ minds, they can not be swayed by logic and reason.

    I guess that shouldn’t be too surprising. Visceral disdain for and distrust of large business is a bias/stereotype hard to overcome, so you may have a point on things not changing much. :)

  8. #7@The Fathers: Right but you still have the argument of creative accounting and the padres not divulging all of their financial info which are issues that will never be rectified so it’s an argument that leads to a dead end for both sides.

  9. Leverage splits sound like fun! However, I also worry about sample size when it comes to relief pitchers. Just how much reliability/predictability is there in 98 PA’s (Meredith’s high leverage PA’s from last season)? Is it enough to say he’s poor in those types of situations? Is it enough to predict his future performance in those types of situations?

    Any stat oriented types out there have a good feel for how much data is needed for a pitcher? My take would probably be that 98 is just not enough of a sample to say anything more than he wasn’t very good in those 98 last year and nothing more. Basically what Geoff was saying about our Pythaorean record through 15 games; it’s intersting and bears watching, but isn’t indicative of anything yet.

  10. #3@The Fathers: Until a major league teams opens their books we have no idea what their income vs. expenses are. The fact that they keep them secret pretty much proves that they are hiding something, otherwise they would open them, correct?

    I don’t have a clue about their real financial system, neither do you or Forbes. You can trot out studies like that all you want to prove that the Padres (or John Moores) isn’t cheap but we don’t know if the numbers are correct. However, I can easily point out an actual fact that the Padres are cheap: the 2004 drafting of Matt Bush. I don’t think that anyone is arguing that Moores is a bad owner, just that it appears that he’s more concerned with the bottom line then anything else. At least he’s smart enough (for the most part) to let Towers run the team.

  11. So moving on… Anyone else think that its time to move Rusch to AAA or FA and call up Robles?

  12. #1@Marsh: The only split for Meredith I could find relating to innings was the one for pitch count:

    He’s really bad after pitch 25 in his career but it’s only over 25 of the 572 plate appearances in his career.

    Bud’s pitching decisions the past few games are starting to worry me. What is the point of carrying 7 relievers if you are going to let them pitch for two innings at a time? If it’s because you don’t trust certain relievers to pitch in close games then why in the world are they on the team? I don’t have any problem with letting relievers go more then an inning — in fact I think that’s the way to go. But if you are going to do that you can’t carry 7 relievers as you don’t have enough work to go around. Why play with a 24 man roster if the rules say you can have 25?

  13. #5@The Fathers: I read it as about $10M positive cash flow : 23.6 operating income – 13.8 in debt service . Am I reading it correctly?

  14. #10@Schlom: How about they’re privately owned businesses that are under no governmental regulations to make their numbers public? I mean honestly, by your assessment, any privately owned corporation is hiding something.

    If publicly held companies could forgo publication of their financial statements, they would do it in a heart beat. EVERYBODY is paranoid about what someone might find and everybody does the legal minimum required. There are a lot of sensitive and competitive information that can be derived from financial statements. Would you like to publish YOUR tax returns for us to scrutinize?

    Seriously, the argument that “Well, their books aren’t public” is the lamest argument someone can possibly make. There are THOUSANDS of companies in this country that do not publish this kind of information. There are MILLIONS of citizens in this country that do not publish this information. Are all of these companies and all of us people “hiding something”?

    As for the 2004 draft, this is well-trod territory. But then again, you could make a case that EVERY MLB team is cheap. For example:

    The Yankees did not raise Joba Chamberlain’s salary to $14 million even though he has rules named after him. What a bunch of cheap bastards!

  15. #3@The Fathers:

    I guess what I don’t understand and maybe you can help explain it a little to me is…

    If the Padres total revenue $167 mil, their operating costs are $23.6 mil and their player expenses were $80 mil then to me it would seem as though there is 63.4 million dollars left over.

    If you then count the 16 million debt they paid and then the 17 million between the Dominican Academy and the draft you then get about $30 mil left over.

    On the outside to a guy like me it looks as though Moores made about 30 mil off the team last year. What am I missing in the numbers here?

  16. #11@Steve C: Rusch? I suspect that he’s ahead of Ledezma in the bullpen pecking order. Why Oscar Robles? If you are going to carrying a light-hitting utility hitter you might as well carry Luis Rodriguez as it least he is a switch hitter.

  17. #7@The Fathers: The limitations described in that article are almost entirely self-inflicted. The team signed a loan that prevents them from paying it off early, even when revenues go through the roof. They’ve failed to attract non-baseball events. A near-total failure on the amateur side for several years forced them to jump their budget a couple million dollars. A complete failure in Latin America forced them to build their Dominican facility (no word that I could find in that report on the tax benefits of capital investments).

    It’s like saying “I can’t run as fast as I want to because I broke my big toe.” Yeah, you’re slow now, but you broke your big toe by dropping a brick on it. You weren’t born with a broken toe. Nobody else dropped the brick.

    I don’t mind the Padres (or specifically, John Moores) deciding that he’ll spend X on the team. I do mind him acting like the limiting factors are (and were) beyond his control.

  18. #15@KRS1: The $23.6 mil is their Operating Income wich is:

    Operating Income = Operating Revenue – Operating Expenses

    Which includes the stadium debt but excludes interest and income tax expenses.

    So its $167 mil (revenue) – $80 mil (Players) – 63.4 (other expenses management, maintenance, equipment ect…) which leaves a total of $23.6 Mil in potential profit.

  19. #14@Phantom: I’m not talking about other businesses or myself here, I’m only talking about the Padres. It’s certainly possible that Moores is losing money on the Padres or at least breaking even but then again, isn’t it in his best interests to claim financial hardship? Major league baseball teams have claimed that they are losing money for years yet it’s never been independently verified. All we have is their word for it. I could care less if the Pirates or Marlins are cheap but since I do live in the city of San Diego and our tax money is helping subsidize Moores’ business, I would hope that he’s not being cheap. However, we simply don’t know. People can cite any study they want but they are just estimations of the situation.

    What does Joba Chamberlain have to do with anything? You do realize that the Yankees gave him a huge bonus to sign with them, right?

  20. #16@Schlom: Rusch/Ledezma Potato/Patato. I also said Robles because he can play short but I would be fine with Rodriguez as well.

  21. #13@Field39: We can’t really make any assumptions about their cash flows or their net income from the year.

    A typical Cash Flow Statement has three main components: Cash from Operations, Cash from Investing, and Cash from Financing.

    The positive cash flow you’ve quoted is just one aspect of the threee. Typically, most companies see negative totals in their cash from investing and cash from financing as they reflect the purchase of capital assets, repayment of long term debt, and payment of dividends (which isn’t applicable with a private corporation – unless this is paid out as private stock or cash disbursements relative to ownership).

    Thus, while the Padres might have a positive $10 million for Operations, we can assume that the Padres are also paying a portion of the $173 million they have financed for Petco Park.

    Additionally, it’s important to realize that the $23.6 operating income is simply revenue from operations minus cost of operations (wages, cost of goods sold, etc.). This $23.6 million is NOT Net Income, as Net Income is Operating Income minus additional expenses (such as Interest, which I assume is quite high since the Padres have financed $173 million). Depreciation expense, amortization expense, tax expense, and dividends (again, probably not applicable in this case) are also factored in before Net Income is calculated.

    So, Forbes is basically telling us that stricly from operations (revenues from attendance and licensing minus cost of paying the players and the staff of the Padres) is $23.6 million. As we do not know how much the Padres pay in Interest, Amortization, Depcreiation, and others, we really cannot make any assumptions about whether or not they are turning a yearly profit.

    I will admit that I am less familiar with the machinations of the debt/value percentage and what additional information that tells us. Regardless, I don’t think we can assume that the Padres are turning a profit. the $23.6 million from operations is pretty small, and there are likely tons of other costs that either make Net Income a loss, or a marginal positive at best.

  22. Ahhh, it’s Forbes time again. What fun.

    I think that one thing we tend to lose sight of is the relative strengths or weaknesses of the free agent markets in the off-season when looking at some of these arguments. There really wasn’t a bumper crop of talent or anyone out there who really made sense for us. I mean, did anyone want to overpay for Andruw Jones?

    About Last Night: As a Colorado resident, I have the double pleasure of really only getting to see Padres games when they’re playing the Rockies, and having to listen to the ridiculous Rockies announcers. Makes for a maddening experience. At any rate, I think it’s time we come back down to earth with our expectations of Meredith. There has clearly been some adjustment to his delivery, and, for much of last season and what I’ve seen this season, his stuff looks flatter than in the past. What I’m curious about is, in a one run game, he goes back out for a second inning at all? Nevemind any splits or anything like that. Why send him out for a second inning at all? Don’t see the logic of that in a close game, unless we’re concerned about the relative strength of their bullpen vs. ours. Which I wouldn’t be, unless it’s a strict Corpas to Hoffman comparison.

    Also, was it me, or we’re we a bit listless at the plate? A few guys hit the ball pretty hard, but it seemed, especially in later innings, that we helped them quite a bit by being impatient.

  23. #18@Steve C:


    This just reminds me why I hate math so much. Why can’t they just make it easy? :)

  24. Here’s another reason fielding metrics are hard to trust, these from BP:

    “It was thought that Edmonds, at the age of 38 this season and in the midst of a steep decline phase, was no longer even an average glove in center due to aging and the toll of multiple injuries, but so far he too has out-performed expectations, with a FRAA Rate of +111 (11 runs better than average per 100 games)”

    IMO, There is NO way that Edmonds could even be average in his outfield performance this year. I think this metric must use BABIP, and he must be getting helped by weak easy outs because I’ve seen him make several poor plays and I can’t remember him making a catch that Hairston wouldn’t have been able to catch.

  25. #24@Brett: I think FRAA has been largely discredited as a fielding metric, and even if it hasn’t, the sample size (that’s my theme today :-) ) is too small for it to be relevant at this point in the season.

    Regarding Forbes, etc. Homer says, “Boooooring.” :-)

  26. Wait, so are you saying we should be happy that the Padres are outperforming the pythagorean prediction because it means we’re leveraging our ‘pen well? I hope it doesn’t just mean that we’ve gotten lucky by winning the close ones. I guess it’s just two sides of the same coin, though, with no definite way to know which from such a small sample size.

  27. Man, I had just written a great post explaining how Forbes’ numbers fit into an overall sample Income Statement, and it got eaten by the Intertubes. Damn you Intertubes, damn you all!

    Regardless, if anyone has any questions about the accounting stuff, I’ll do my best to better explain things. One thing that I left out was profit sharing from MLB. That would be a Gain that would be added to Operating Income before the other expenses I cited in 21 are assessed. Profit sharing shouldn’t (not 100% positive on this) be inlcuded with Forbes’ stated Revenue of $167 M as it’s a non-regular gain that is not directly related to the Padres’ main line of business. Still, even with profit sharing, I’m willing to make an educated guess that the Padres’ Net Income for 2007 was under $5 M, and probably actually a loss.

  28. #24@Brett: Yeah, I can’t see how Edmonds has even been average so far, let alone 11 runs (not outs) better than a normal CF. BP’s work on fielding still leaves a lot to be desired.


  29. #28@Tom Waits: There’s no way he’s been above average. He has an RZR of .850 Only Nate McLouth, Vernon Wells and Torii Hunter have a lower RZR.

  30. Yet BP still trusts it?

  31. 29: He has made a good amount of out of zone plays, though (relative to his in zone opps) … might look into the THT CF rankings tonight or this weekend just for the fun of it … not because they mean much at this point. The BP ones, they are probably okay for historical stuff, but not being pbp really hurts them in terms of analyzing players over short (2-3 years) periods of time.

    Dan Fox was working on a play by play metric that he pretty much had completed, I believe. But he’s workin’ for the Pirates now : (

  32. #2@Jeremy: Classic, THANKS! :-)

    OT … Geoff B(l)um has a classic day … 0-for-4 with 3 Ks at the plate + 2 Es in the field …

    … see, Houston, we told you so!

    re: Forbes … I like the comments on this topic … in general, I’m in favor of companies earning profits and owners making all the decisions about how their businesses are run … but I admit that a business such as the Padres are right at the private/public boundary and hence deserve our scrutiny …

  33. #32@LynchMob: I certainly agree that the team deserves our scrutiny. I just think it’s important for that scrutiny to be grounded in the proper context and be done in an equitable manner. I think that suggesting the Padres are somehow hiding something because they do not open their books is unfair since there are thousands of companies that do not open their books to the public.

    I assume, by the way, that this closed-book MO is not baseball-specific? Have the Chargers ever shown their books?

  34. #33@Phantom: No sports teams open their books for obvious reasons — how else would they extort (in some cases) money from public sources if the people knew they were making huge profits?

    I’m not one of those people who complained about Moores taking public money to build the stadium, I voted for it in 1998 (the city government is going to waste money anyway so why not on something I’d use?) but I do draw the line at people (or the Padres) claiming they are losing money or can’t compete with other teams (I’ve heard both of these before). Until we see actual proof it’s just rhetoric.

    What really hurts is that Moores’ (or possibly Towers) cheapness has really cost the team in the amateur draft. In 2004 and 2007 the Padres had the chance to get the best overall player and a top 2 pitcher and both times passed to take lesser players in an effort to save money. But they didn’t save money, they cost themselves millions (you would think after 2004 someone would have learned their lesson but I guess not). It makes me wonder if they drafted Stauffer in 2003 knowing that he was injured to save a bunch on his bonus money. That would fit a pattern of 3 straight years (2002-2004) of taking players that would take substantially less bonus money.

  35. #33@Phantom: The difference with baseball, as compared to many companies and other sports leagues, is that throughout history they’ve falsely claimed to be losing money hand over fist. Go back 40 years, to when baseball had a lock on the money spent by fans and a lot more control over salaries, and you’ll still see owners claiming to be just scraping by. When a group, as a whole, has been bald-faced lying to the public about their finances for decades, it makes some people suspicious. I don’t recall the NFL ever going before Congress and testifying that they lost $519 million the previous year (which Selig did in 2002).

    In a less historical vein, if those thousands of companies had a $300 million investment from the public, yeah, they’d be under more scrutiny too.

  36. #34@Schlom: I guess I’m overly naive then, as I trust that Forbes wouldn’t risk their reputation on numbers that they didn’t trust to a certain degree of confidence. Given my breakdown and understanding of the numbers Forbes presents, the Padres do not appear to be making bundles of money. It certainly appears that they are likely losing money.

    #35@Tom Waits: Can we empirically prove they they have lied when they made claims about losing money? If owners didn’t take risks that an average person couldn’t, we wouldn’t have baseball. It took a belief in the game and a ton of cash to get baseball off the ground. Sure, baseball teams might be making money, but are they recouping that initial investment? Do you think they have a right to?

    Re: Private companies receiving public investments – This happens everyday, but indirectly. Anytime a government agency awards a contract to a private firm, this is happening. Sure, there’s a lot of well-deserved ire when it comes to governmental contracts and subsidies. But I would imagine that a signifcant percentage of the privately owned corporations in this country have received some indirect form of public investment. Are we really THAT critical of each and every one of these companies? Do we clamor continually for open access to their books? It would seem to me that we only agitate about this access when rampant corruption becomes apparent.

    I’m OK with skepticism and cynicism. I don’t think the media is nearly suspicious enough of things that people say or do and have largely abdicated their responsibilities to become stenographers. But I also think that you have to draw a line and choose your battles. I don’t know nearly enough about baseball history to determine whether or not your suspicions are valid. In the 12+ years that I’ve been aware enough of the world, I’ve typically not been too upset with the game. I tend to trust Moores when it comes to finances, especially now, because I see the latent differences between cities like San Diego and Los Angeles.

    So I guess in the long-term, your level of suspicion is bound to be different from mine. As I said earlier, I tend to believe that a company like Forbes wouldn’t publish numbers that they did not have a reasonable degree of confidence in. If you choose to believe otherwise, that’s certainly your perogative. But I don’t think we can dismiss these numbers outright and I don’t think we should make conclusions about what they tell us without understanding the greater financial context.

  37. #30@Stephen: I think it’s more that it’s there proprietary method and they haven’t, for whatever reason, felt the need to invest in a better one. Just my .02.

  38. #28@Tom Waits: I can’t get to this at work, but I’ll check it out later. Thanks.

  39. #36@Phantom the Padres OI is $23.6 M this year I dont think they will be losing money.

  40. #39@Steve C: Steve, please see my comments in #21. Operating Income IS NOT Net Income. There are several other factors that must be considered before Net Income is determined. We do not have those factors. Regardless, there are several expenses such as taxes, interest, depreciation, and amortization that MUST BE assessed before Net Income is generated.

    Given that we know the Padres are financing a signifcant amount of money (over $100 M), we can readily assume that the yearly interest expense on this amount is significant. They also pay significant amounts in taxes (probably around $10 M). When you add in Appreciation expense and Amortization expense (which we do not know, but can reasonably estimate), it is highly likely that the Padres’ Net Income (which determines whether or not they’re making a profit) is probably a Net Loss.

    Here’s Wikipedia’s explanation of Operating Income:

    Here’s Wikipedia’s explanation of Net Income:

    I’m not trying to sound like a pompous dick here, but it’s important to realize the difference between Operating Income and Net Income when looking at these numbers. Obviously we do not have all of the pieces to this puzzle. But again, we can reasonably assume, given the numbers we do have and our understanding of the Padres’ long-term debt and Capital and Intellectual Assets (which affect depreciation and amortization), that the Padres earned very small, if any, positive income for 2007.

  41. #40@Phantom: That should be Depreciation, not Appreciation in the second paragraph.

  42. #36@Phantom: That Forbes article says that every team in baseball made money last season yet in 2002 (as Tom Waits says) Selig claimed that MLB lost $519m. There’s certainly some disconnect between the two numbers. For all we know, they both might technically be correct as I have a friend that’s an accountant and he says that he can use general accounting principles (the accepted rules) and make any business show a loss (he worked in movies and said they all did this). For all I know it actually benefit Moores’ to show a loss for the Padres.

    There’s no question that the Padres have been great the past 5 seasons under Moores, just like there’s no question that his cheapness has hurt the team over the same time period. But he is one of the cheaper owners, there really isn’t any disputing that. Even the no hope Royals had a higher payroll then the Padres last season. I’m no fan of signing free agents to big deals in most cases (usually they are older so you are paying for what they’ve done, not what they are going to do) but the Padres have also gone cheap in the amateur draft which the best and cheapest way to procure good, young talent. Their goal seems to be to get players that are good, but not too good as they would cost too much money. What is the point of that?

  43. #42@Schlom: All of my assumptions and understandings are based on GAAP. If you’re distrustful of that, then there’s really no point in debating as it’s the same standards every publically-traded company must follow.

    There’s a difference between cheap and greedy. If he doesn’t enjoy sinking millions of dollars into the team every year, I can certainly understand. If he’s making exorbinant profits every year (which the Forbes numbers from this year DO NOT seem to suggest), then he’s greedy.

    I guess I’d rather have a cheap owner than a greedy one.

  44. #40@Phantom: I understand what OI is but there is no way that the interest and income tax expenses will be more than $23.6 Mil.

  45. #40@Phantom: It goes back to what is more advantageous for the Padres, show a profit or show a loss? I’d argue that it makes more sense for them to say they are operating at a loss, that way they can raise prices and attempt to squeeze more concessions out of the local government. And since they can probably do that on paper (and not show how they did it and knowing that it’s too complicated for 99% of the population to know how they did it) why wouldn’t they?

    It’s similar to the Miguel Tejada situation (and for most of the players not born in the US) — if it’s fairly easy to misrepresent your age and claim you are younger then you really are, why wouldn’t you?

  46. #20@Steve C: last time I checked Ledezma was out of options and has more upside than Rusch because he’s younger, etc… right?

    also… um… can someone please explain leverage to me… I think I get the drift, but can high/med/low leverage be explained quantitatively?

  47. #46@Johnny Utah: It probably varies from site to site, but it is probably explained on the BR site. Sean does a pretty good job of including explanations for all of the stats he uses in glossaries. hth.

  48. #46@Johnny Utah: Meh I think Ledezma would have shown his upside by now if he had any, its not like he never got a chance to show his stuff to the world.

  49. #43@Phantom: In the Forbes article they say that the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays are the only teams that posted a loss. Yet the article also says: But even those losses are misleading. For the owners of the Yankees and Red Sox, the huge dividends they get from their unconsolidated cable networks more than make up for the teams’ losses. Meanwhile Rogers Communications…..derives huge benefits from owning the Blue Jays not reflected on its team’s P&L statement.

    I’m not being distrustful of GAAP, I just know there are ways to show a loss when the opposite is true (and probably vice-versa). Why are those three teams showing a loss when they are making money? Can you explain why they are showing a loss? I assume there is some reason to do that and that it’s in their interests to do so. Might the Padres and John Moores being doing the same thing? You obviously have some knowledge of finance and accounting, I think most of us have no clue.

  50. #44@Steve C: I’ve got to run, and won’t be able to post on this anymore (I’m heading to Phoenix tonite to cheer on our boys in person!), but I heartily disagree. The team is assessed taxes on its revenues. Revenues of $160 M is bound to generate almost $10 M alone in taxes. I wouldn’t be surprised if their Interest expense is similar. Again, there’s also appreciation and amortization to consider.

    I don’t think it’s a stretch whatsover to think they posted a loss for 2007. We don’t have all of the information to be sure, but I think it’s reasonable to conclude that their Net Income was either $5 M or lower (if even positive).

    Anywho, enjoy the Great Debate rev. 2 everyone! Here’s hoping for an offensive explosion this weekend in Phoenix!