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01-31

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BP Announcements: Phillies Seek Baseball Operations Interns
by
Joe Hamrahi

01-18

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1

BP Announcements: Texas Rangers Seek Programmer Analyst, Baseball Operations
by
Joe Hamrahi

04-29

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23

Bizball: Baseball's Marketing Problem Isn't Easy to Fix
by
Maury Brown

02-27

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9

BP Announcements: Cleveland Indians Seek Executive Development Fellow, Baseball Analytics
by
Joe Hamrahi

11-18

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1

BP Announcements: Kansas City Royals Job Posting - Systems Architect
by
Joe Hamrahi

07-13

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33

BP Announcements: Special Events Announcement *Updated July 13*
by
Joe Hamrahi

04-16

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20

Overthinking It: Man in the Box
by
Ben Lindbergh

01-02

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80

Baseball Prospectus News: Introducing the BP Advisory Board
by
Joe Hamrahi

12-20

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15

Overthinking It: Keeping Up with the Friedmans
by
Ben Lindbergh

11-15

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9

BP Unfiltered: Want to Work in Baseball?
by
Stephani Bee

07-29

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10

On the Beat: The Next General Managers
by
John Perrotto

07-13

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11

One-Hoppers: Bluster and Luster: George Steinbrenner (1930-2010)
by
Jay Jaffe

06-28

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12

Top 10 Week: General Manager Candidates
by
Will Carroll

05-24

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3

Prospectus Q&A: Andrew Friedman
by
David Laurila

02-08

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2

Prospectus Q&A: Gary Mayse
by
David Laurila

02-16

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Prospectus Q&A: Andy Andres
by
David Laurila

01-29

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The Ledger Domain: Q&A with Branch Rickey III
by
Maury Brown

10-07

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Prospectus Notebook: Pirates, Rangers
by
Baseball Prospectus

06-15

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Lies, Damned Lies: Forecasting the Future: Microculture
by
Nate Silver

05-11

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Prospectus Q&A: Mark Johnson
by
Thomas Gorman

04-05

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Prospectus Q&A: Juan Marichal
by
Carlos J. Lugo

08-01

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The Evil Empire Strikes Back
by
Neil deMause

04-20

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He Yam What He Yam
by
Andrew Baharlias

04-05

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You Could Look It Up: Backlash
by
Steven Goldman

02-09

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Prospectus Q&A: Theo Epstein, Part I
by
Nathan Fox

03-13

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Prospectus Feature: The Numbers (Part Seven): Interest-ing
by
Doug Pappas

11-26

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Ending Baseball's Antitrust Exemption
by
Alex Belth

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Theo Epstein became the youngest general manager in major league history when he was hired, at age 28, as GM of the Boston Red Sox. Epstein, who turned 30 one month ago, now has 14 months under his belt as GM and 11 years in professional baseball. He also has three decades of experience with the Red Sox; Epstein grew up in Brookline, Mass., within walking distance of Fenway Park. As GM, he still walks to the ballpark every day. (Hours after this interview, the Red Sox re-acquired veteran designated hitter Ellis Burks. Burks, when he came up as a rookie with the Red Sox in 1987, was patrolling center field in front of his 13-year-old future GM.) Baseball Prospectus spoke with Epstein at his office inside a snow-covered Fenway Park.

Baseball Prospectus: Your Major League Baseball career started as an intern (at age 18) in Baltimore's PR department. What were you studying at Yale, and how did you get your foot in the door with the Orioles?

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As noted in my last column, operating losses account for only $232 million of the $519 million Major League Baseball claims to have lost in 2001. Another $112,491,000 represents net interest expenses. Here's how the interest was distributed.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six

As noted in my last column, operating losses account for only $232 million of the $519 million Major League Baseball claims to have lost in 2001. Another $112,491,000 represents net interest expenses. Here's how the interest was distributed:

Team Interest Chicago Cubs $4,665,000 Chicago White Sox $2,263,000 New York Mets $2,152,000 Kansas City Royals $1,611,000 Atlanta Braves $1,139,000 Toronto Blue Jays $593,000 Boston Red Sox $51,000 Philadelphia Phillies ($239,000) Seattle Mariners ($682,000) St. Louis Cardinals ($962,000) Florida Marlins ($1,640,000) Colorado Rockies ($2,078,000) Cincinnati Reds ($2,633,000) San Diego Padres ($2,815,000) Montreal Expos ($2,835,000) Cleveland Indians ($2,869,000) Houston Astros ($3,056,000) Oakland Athletics ($3,939,000) Minnesota Twins ($4,327,000) Pittsburgh Pirates ($4,677,000) Anaheim Angels ($4,978,000) New York Yankees ($6,089,000) Texas Rangers ($6,815,000) Milwaukee Brewers ($7,128,000) Tampa Bay Devil Rays ($7,421,000) Arizona Diamondbacks ($7,774,000) Baltimore Orioles ($8,385,000) San Francisco Giants ($12,831,000) Los Angeles Dodgers ($14,437,000) Detroit Tigers ($16,354,000) TOTAL: ($112,491,000)

The positive figures are no surprise. Every club--well, every one but the Expos--starts the season with an eight-figure bank balance, thanks to advance sales of luxury boxes, season tickets, and single-game seats. By the time the players start to collect their salaries, this money has been earning interest for months.

Thus, to estimate the interest actually paid by the other clubs, their reported interest expenses must be adjusted to reflect the offsetting interest income. This presupposes, of course, that interest earned on season tickets and luxury boxes is actually reported on the team's balance sheet... which doesn't appear to be the case for the Boston Red Sox. It's hard to imagine how the Red Sox, a club with no long-term debt, could have netted just $51,000 interest on local revenues of more than $150 million.

Since the two Chicago teams reported the most interest income, I'll use the average of their effective interest rates to estimate the total interest received by all 30 clubs. The Cubs earned 3.59% interest ($4,665,000 on total operating revenues of $129,774,000); the White Sox 2.03% ($2,263,000 on $111,682,000), for an average of 2.81%. Multiplying this rate by MLB's gross revenues of $3,547,876,000 yields an estimate of almost exactly $100 million in interest revenue--$99,695,000, to be precise. Since MLB reported net interest expense of $112,491,000, the 30 clubs paid more than $210 million in interest during 2001.






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After the 1975 Andy Messersmith arbitration ruling in which the reserve clause was deemed to cover one, and only one, season, Major League Baseball and the Players Association eventually agreed on a structure for free agency, but the antitrust exemption remained. The Supreme Court has made it clear that it would not overturn the exemption, insisting that only Congress could do so.

Baseball is the only major sport that has an exemption from antitrust law. Whenever Major League Baseball is involved in a major controversy, Congress starts talking about revoking the exemption. This talk reached a fever pitch during the 1994-95 players' strike, but nothing happened. After that labor war, MLB and the Players Association agreed to lobby Congress for a limited repeal of the exemption where labor matters are concerned.

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