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Thread: Smizik on the Bucs... Nutting - Open the Books!

      
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    Default Smizik on the Bucs... Nutting - Open the Books!

    Bob, Bob, Bob...

    Kipper said it best in that other thread about the top draft picks ... we lost because of things like that.

    We basically have to STOP with this whole payroll, Nutting cheap, etc mantra.

    We sucked for 17 years not just from not paying... but from basically REALLLLLY bad decisions with players.

    Nov 25 2009
    Open your books, Mr. Nutting!

    By Bob Smizik | Wednesday, 1 a.m.

    In a startling bit of reporting, the widely respected Jason Stark of ESPN.com wrote last week that many small-market MLB teams are far wealthier than anyone ever expected.

    According to Stark, teams like the Pirates receive about $80 million in revenue before they sell a ticket.

    Thatís a figure that had not previously been reported and it's one that has to make any Pirates fan wonder where all the money is going because itís certainly not going toward payroll.

    Are the long-held suspicions that principal owner Bob Nutting is pocketing a handsome profit while foisting a third-rate team on the Pittsburgh fans true? Is Nutting the villain many fans and former fans portray him to be?

    Based on Starkís reporting, there is reason to be at least suspicious.

    Stark reported that all MLB teams receive $30 million from the Central Fund, which includes revenue from Bob Nuttingnational television, radio, Internet, licensing, merchandising, marketing and MLB International.

    Additionally, every team but one (not believed to be the Pirates) makes at least $15 million from local radio and television revenue.

    Finally, the teams that have the lowest revenue (the Pirates are in that group) receive about $35 million in revenue sharing.

    Thatís $30 million from the Central Fund, $15 million from local media and $35 million for revenue sharing. That comes to $80 million.

    What about it, Mr. Nutting?

    Nutting wasnít talking but team president Frank Coonelly spoke to Ken Rosenthal of Fox. Rosenthal, working with a different figure, wrote: ``He [Coonelly] said his club received substantially less than $40 million in revenue sharing last year, but declined to say what the specific numbers were.íí

    Maybe that number was the $35 million, as reported by Stark, which is substantially less than the $40 million Coonelly was asked about. In effect, Coonelly could have been confirming Starkís figure.

    Rob Manfred, MLBís chief of labor relations, told Rosenthal, ``There is no one club getting $80 or $90 million in combination from revenue sharing and Central Baseball. Not one.íí

    Thatís not what Stark wrote. He said teams were getting that much money from revenue sharing, the Central Fund and local radio and TV.

    Manfred was denying nothing.

    So what is the real story?

    No one is saying and Pirates fans, who never trusted Nutting, now have less reason to do so.

    Is he financing Seven Springs with Pirates money? Is he bailing out his small-town newspaper empire with baseball profits? Or is he just putting it in his pocket?

    People are suggesting as much and as long as Nutting remains quiet, he only stokes the speculation.

    Thereís one way to end the talk.

    Open your books, Mr. Nutting.

    Let the public know how much profit youíre making and where that profit is going.

    Of course, you donít have to do that. The Pirates are a private company. But they are public institution playing in a beautiful baseball stadium that was largely financed by tax dollars.

    Your team relies heavily on public goodwill and through your actions you are destroying that goodwill. I have followed the Pirates as a fan for more than 60 years and as a journalist for more than 40 and Iíve never seen the team and the organization held in such a low regard.

    Itís not just the losing. Itís the way you go about your business. You arouse suspicion by your actions and the actions of your subordinates.

    If a public opening of the books isnít to your liking, at least allow a government-appointed commission study your finances and report back.

    If you have nothing to hide, this should not be a problem. If you do, of course, youíll reject any attempt to let the public know how you run your business.

    To use a term from another sport, the ball is in your court, Mr. Nutting.

    You can surprise us all by being open and honest about your financial situation. Or you can continue to arouse suspicion and drive away customers by conducting business as usual.

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    Default Re: Smizik on the Bucs... Nutting - Open the Books!







    This is what I would like to know...

    That’s $30 million from the Central Fund, $15 million from local media and $35 million for revenue sharing. That comes to $80 million.
    What exactly is "revenue" sharing and where is it coming from? Just about every report I've ever read has said that revenue sharing and the central fund were basically the exact same thing, in which case a total of $35 million sounds about accurate and has been a noted figure. Where would an additional $35 million be coming from? Large market teams? If so, is MLB taking money from their ticket revenue? Local cable deals? It's not from payroll exceeding a specific amount since that's the Luxury Tax and that goes into an MLB fund for other ****, not to any teams.

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    Default Re: Smizik on the Bucs... Nutting - Open the Books!

    Here's the other thing of interest as well....

    I'll direct this towards bob Smizik for the hell of it but mainly cause he's a ******bag

    WHY should the Pirates have to open up their books to confirm something that was never justified with any disclosed concrete proof int he first place? What "proof" did Stark lay out there other than him repeating what Scott Boras said? We've never come across anything that justifies what Boras/Stark are suggesting. All we have from them are "undisclosed sources".

    Personally, I believe that if you are going to go out publicly and through the National media and make claims and suggestions such as these, that you better have more proof than "undisclosed sources". If the basis for this isn't going to be more than "undisclosed sources" then the other side really shouldn't have to defend itself since they have nothing to defend itself against except what are possibly bogus figures. If they aren't bogus figures then why hide the facts like Boras/Stark are?

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    Default Re: Smizik on the Bucs... Nutting - Open the Books!

    The bottom line:

    1) What the **** business is it of yours, Bob?
    2) What the **** does it matter?
    3) Who the **** cares?
    4) Go **** yourself, Bob.

    Free your *** and your mind will follow.
    Hidden Content Hidden Content

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    Default Re: Smizik on the Bucs... Nutting - Open the Books!

    I feel as if I've been ripped off by Bob Smizik over the years. Since the early 1990's he has continuously eaten up money provided to him by tax payers who purchase(d) the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and fund him. I'd like to know where that money was going. I hope it wasn't into Bob Smizik's pockets. He shouldn't be allowed to profit when he's not been able to deliver at least an average product in the past 17 years. The money that he's been given should've been used to help better his product like perhaps more schooling, psychiatric help, I.Q. increasing methods, various medical testing etc... With providing such a bad product over a decade and a half, I feel that it is time for Bob Smizik to come clean with where mine and others money is going since it's obviously not gone back into enhancing and providing a better product from Bob Smizik. good chance it went in to gas and rubber cement to inhale, paste and lead based paint chips to eat

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    Default Re: Smizik on the Bucs... Nutting - Open the Books!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    What exactly is "revenue" sharing and where is it coming from? Just about every report I've ever read has said that revenue sharing and the central fund were basically the exact same thing, in which case a total of $35 million sounds about accurate and has been a noted figure. Where would an additional $35 million be coming from? Large market teams? If so, is MLB taking money from their ticket revenue? Local cable deals? It's not from payroll exceeding a specific amount since that's the Luxury Tax and that goes into an MLB fund for other ****, not to any teams.
    It is accurate that there is central fund money and revenue sharing money coming to the Pirates, the question is just how much revenue sharing money. Central fund money is money MLB gets from the national TV deals, internet revenue, merchandise sales, etc. and it goes out evenly to all 30 teams. The revenue sharing money is the money that is redistributed from large revenue teams to low revenue teams. Reports of the amount vary wildly. Dejan Kovacevic reported it as an estimated $27 million at one point this season, then later jumped on board with another reporter who threw out something like $40 million. No idea where the different numbers were coming from, and no one really knows for sure since they don't disclose it.

    I like that one idea behind the article is that Nutting is making these huge profits, then the other idea is that he's driving fans away by not opening the books. If he's making all this money without those fans what would the incentive be to open the books. The entire thinking behind the article doesn't really make much sense.

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    Default Re: Smizik on the Bucs... Nutting - Open the Books!

    There is absolutely no new information uncovered by Stark and parroted by Smizik. The Pirates make about 80 million from various sources prior to ticket sales. We knew that already ! If the team draws 1.5-1.75 million then you generate 30-35 million therefore operating revenues run around 110-120 million. Now you subtract all expenses including ML payroll, minor league operations, Latin American scouting and international scouting, debt repayment and you'll probably end up at least $100 million. Therefore 15-20 million in profits. That's a figure repeated for several years now. Show me something new and interesting !

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    Default Re: Smizik on the Bucs... Nutting - Open the Books!

    Found this...

    http://www.bnet.com/2403-13502_23-210897.html

    After hashing out their competing interests, large-market owners, small-market owners, and the players’ union initially struck a major revenue sharing deal during collective bargaining in 2002. Under the latest version, in effect through 2011, all teams pay in 31 percent of their local revenues and that pot is split evenly among all 30 teams. In addition, a chunk of MLB’s Central Fund — made up of revenues from sources like national broadcast contracts — is disproportionately allocated to teams based on their relative revenues, so lower-revenue teams get a bigger piece of the pie.
    Indeed, for low-revenue teams, there was previously a disincentive to fielding a better team and raising revenue — under the 2002–2006 revenue-sharing plan, more money coming in from tickets meant less money coming in from the shared pool of MLB revenues. Lower-revenue teams paid a marginal rate of 48 percent of local revenues into the shared pool, while high-revenue teams paid 40 percent. The current deal seeks to fix that disincentive, with all teams contributing 31 percent. Lower-revenue teams will keep more of the money they’ll make if they field a stronger team.
    So basically... nobody really knows how either the revenue is split nor how much local revenue is really earned by teams. We know that 31% of every team's locally generated revenue goes into a revenue sharing pool (local cable, radio, gate, concessions etc...)... but then you have some people suggest that teams recieve X-amount of revenue sharing money before a single ticket is shared, so it's not really all local generated revenue since ticket/gate revenue would be part of that.

    So for example if gate revenues are included in local "revenue", the Pirates would be paying out no less than $14 million towards revenue sharing. I say "no less" cause I only have estimates on their gates, local tv and radio. If so, would what they are making via revenue sharing for exaple we'll see $27 million, include making up what the Pirates put in or not? The Pirates "could" with what they are paying out, only make $13 million. It is also possible that the $40 million figure is the total the Pirates recieve, but not subtracting what they put into revenue sharing. when you figure out the difference, then you end up with something closer to $27 million.

    In which case, if they are receiving at most $30 million from the central fund, $27 million through revenue sharing and have about $28 million remaining, that is $85 million. IF they are receiving $30 million from the Central fund, $14 million through revenue sharing (if the Pirates share isn't deducted from say $27 million), then they are making $73 million?

    I'm going crosseyed figuring this out. It's a ***** to do so since nobody really has a good handle on how it's done, how much is dispersed, exactly what is shared, how much is shared, what money goes towards other means and what those means and costs are etc...

    For instance, you have taxes, whatever the hell those might be. The Pirates payment share on PNC Park and most liklely the interest on top of that, the draft, international draft. Do the Pirates pay for all of the players in the system? What do the Pirates put back towards minor league affiliates? Front office salaries and scout salaries, coaches etc...

    Just a lot of "blank" areas

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    Default Re: Smizik on the Bucs... Nutting - Open the Books!

    wow this was a whole lot of reading to get to the end. My interpretation from all that is Bob is a frickin penis, and apparently the media thinks that fielding a team and running stadiums and minor league teams and paying FO people and support staff, and scouts and draft money, and transportation and equipment, and all that other stuff is abso-****ing-lutely free. So apparently the pirates receive 80 mil spend roughly 35 on payroll and nutting takes home 45 mil and stuffs it in mattresses. Then he takes ticket sale money and has it rolled into toilet paper for his personal bathroom.

    Give me a break. Nutting isnt running off with boat loads of cash. The only thing he is guilty of is following bad advice from horrible GMs.

    I dont even think the commish's office would let low income teams just pocket ****loads of cash by putting **** teams on the field. For one they would crucify selig from his parity statements. 2 the embarrassment if people finding out that low income teams are basically just mailing it in for a paycheck. it would be way worse that the steroids scandal. It would kill baseball, and no commissioner would want that legacy on them.

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    Default Re: Smizik on the Bucs... Nutting - Open the Books!

    The Pirates, of course, are not going to "open the books'" but they have never denied that they have taken in more money than they have spent. They never call it profit because they claim that it all goes back into the organization. They also claim the reveune is a helluva lot less than industry analysts claim. We are left believing that the Pirates are using their $$$ to turn the franchise around. They certainly have spent a good amount on the last two drafts, and have invested in a Dominican Baseball Academy. Coonlely says that the development and scouting side of the organization have been beefed up under Huntington. In any case, after all these losing seasons, it's just hard to believe anything said by these owners, who, although fronted by someone new, are still the same people who have been the least successful in all of American pro sports...

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    Default Re: Smizik on the Bucs... Nutting - Open the Books!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaker100 View Post
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    There is absolutely no new information uncovered by Stark and parroted by Smizik. The Pirates make about 80 million from various sources prior to ticket sales. We knew that already ! If the team draws 1.5-1.75 million then you generate 30-35 million therefore operating revenues run around 110-120 million. Now you subtract all expenses including ML payroll, minor league operations, Latin American scouting and international scouting, debt repayment and you'll probably end up at least $100 million. Therefore 15-20 million in profits. That's a figure repeated for several years now. Show me something new and interesting !
    Thing is too - even if he took ALL the profits and put back into the team... how much more does that help the team?

    So, if he made $15m on a $50m payroll, put the profits back in, that takes it up to $65m. Wow... bring on the World Series!!

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    Default Re: Smizik on the Bucs... Nutting - Open the Books!

    Quote Originally Posted by buccoman View Post
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    The Pirates, of course, are not going to "open the books'" but they have never denied that they have taken in more money than they have spent. They never call it profit because they claim that it all goes back into the organization. They also claim the reveune is a helluva lot less than industry analysts claim. We are left believing that the Pirates are using their $$$ to turn the franchise around. They certainly have spent a good amount on the last two drafts, and have invested in a Dominican Baseball Academy. Coonlely says that the development and scouting side of the organization have been beefed up under Huntington. In any case, after all these losing seasons, it's just hard to believe anything said by these owners, who, although fronted by someone new, are still the same people who have been the least successful in all of American pro sports...
    I agree that it is hard to believe anything when you've been losing for so long... however... when the other side who is pushing "undisclosed" sources as "facts" is Scott Boras, you are sort of stuck right in the middle when it comes to any sort of "trust" issue. Boras is the ultimate weasel trying to find an angle with something for his advantage.

    That said, like I was saying, there's so many gray areas that none of us, none of the "analysts" even know. I mean, that non of these "expert analysis" even do anything that comes close to breaking down these ghuge numbers, personally loses some credibility with me. When you are trying to prove something, you make the most convincing argument you can, you don't throw out a huge number and staple Scott Boras' name to it

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    Default Re: Smizik on the Bucs... Nutting - Open the Books!

    To me, it doesn't make any difference. It just means CC Sabathia would make $43 million a year instead of $23 and the Pirates STILL wouldn't sign anybody of worth. Sometimes I think you guys work for the government. Spend, Spend, Spend!!!

    Until there is some form of cost control, ie A ****ING SALARY CAP, that keeps some sanity to what these players earn, nothing is going to change the fundamental system of the haves and the have-nots. You can bemoan the Nuttings of the world all you want. The system is broke. Fix it.

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    Default Re: Smizik on the Bucs... Nutting - Open the Books!

    Why any of you would argue against Bob Nutting or any other pro sports team that sticks their hand out for tax dollars to fund a stadium is beyond me.

    I am all for having Bob come forward with a little transparency. Would do a lot of positive for his company if everything is on the up and up and he is making near what he says.

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    Kipper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Smizik on the Bucs... Nutting - Open the Books!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Pittsburgh View Post
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    Why any of you would argue against Bob Nutting or any other pro sports team that sticks their hand out for tax dollars to fund a stadium is beyond me.

    I am all for having Bob come forward with a little transparency. Would do a lot of positive for his company if everything is on the up and up and he is making near what he says.
    That's not really the point entirely with this topic, at least not from the way I'm viewing it. This is the way I'm taking it.

    If it were Bob Nutting or Frank Coonlley or Neal Huntington coming out publicly and stating that they aren't receiving enough to compete fairly and so forth, then yesm, I would be demanding them to open up their books and also state how much they are recieving etc... Basically provide some proof to back up those comments.

    However, this isn't what happened here.

    What happened was Kyle Stark based on a conversation he had (with all people) Scott Boras came out and said that every MLB is starting out with $120 million to spend on payroll every year before a single ticket is sold. Then you have Bozo the retard - Bob Smizik parroting them cause, you know, Bob Smizik couldn't create an original piece if his life depended on it.

    The issue here is that it is the "other" side making claims about how much these teams have before a single ticket is sold BUT they are not providing any proof to back this up. the only "proof" they are using is the word of Scott Boras. IMO, it should be Kyle Stark and Scott Boras that provide the evidence for the claims they are making, not someone like Bob Nutting who they are accusing.

    I mean, if you went to trial and someone accused you of something, all you have to say is "not true", it isn't, until the accuser provides facts to back up their claims. Until they do , they are just pointing fingers to be *****es. If you can't back up your claims with facts and proof, then the accused doesn't have to say or do anything. In this case, Bob Nutting opening up his books to prove a factless claim by Scott Boras

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