Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Hey, Would You Look At That!

The Nats are near the top of the league, once again, in one of the most important baseball statistics!

Well done, Lerner family!  Well done!

16 Comments:

  • I can't hear you. I have dollar bills in my ear.

    By Anonymous fake Mark Lerner, at 4/08/2010 12:07 AM  

  • "I told you that group ticket sales plan was boffo, Dad. Now, will you let me count the money in my mattress?"

    By Anonymous Markie_Mark_Lerner_Never_Worked_a_Day_In_His_Life, at 4/08/2010 1:14 AM  

  • As the Lerners and Elmer Fudd prove, you don't have to gross much if you don't spend any money. And, those $8 beers and $5 scoops of ice cream add up. Not paying the rent helps too.

    By Anonymous phil dunn, at 4/08/2010 9:58 AM  

  • Get over your obsession with Operating Income. Get over your obsession with Ted Lerner's multi-billion net worth, since a major portion of that consists of non-liquid real estate holdings. (Which is not to say that he isn't a very rich man, just that he's not sitting on top of a massive pile of money like, say, the late Jack Kent Cooke was.) Then look at another number in the Forbes list, percentage of debt to value - which includes stadium debt of which the Lerners have none. The Nationals at 65% debt/value rank only behind the Rangers at 105% (!!), the Yankees at 89%, the Mets at 81% and the Cubs at 80%. I know you like to carp on them using profits for debt service, but the fact is that debts do need to be serviced if you are highly leveraged and hope to remain viable for the long term. (Gee, I wonder why the sale of the Rangers is proving so tough? Not to mention the recent sale of the Cubs?)

    It's a nice fantasy to think that an owner with considerable funds will just keep plowing them into his team year after year until he's stone cold broke purely out of his duty to safeguard a public trust, but in real life that never happens. Sports franchises need to sink or swim on their own. So step back from your next helping of snark and explain to me how things would be any different now if one of the other ownership groups had gotten the team. You'd need to spin more than Kasten ever has in order to come up with a plausible argument.

    (And how appropriate that my word verification for this comment is 'crepi'. Cause you kinda are.)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/08/2010 10:38 AM  

  • Bad owners don't have to be cheap--Danny Snyder proves that every day and Abe Pollin proved it over many years. The Twins ownership is "frugal" but they spend their money wisely and they usually field competitive teams. Bad owners, cheap or not, tend to exercise poor judgement by hiring lousy people and spending money foolishly, when they do spend it. The Lerners, whether they are rich or poor, cheap or not, are bad owners. This franchise will never flourish under their stewardship.

    By Anonymous phil dunn, at 4/08/2010 11:22 AM  

  • "I know you like to carp on them using profits for debt service, but the fact is that debts do need to be serviced if you are highly leveraged and hope to remain viable for the long term."

    You make it sound like the Lerners had no choice about whether to use debt to finance their purchase of the team, and that the extent of the leverage was somehow dictated to them. But the fact that they chose to purchase the team on the cheap by not putting much of their capital into the deal was their choice, no one else's.

    Look at some of the other ratios of teams that have been purchased recently:

    Angels (2003): 7%
    Reds (2006): 12%
    Padres (2009): 49%

    The fact that the Lerners are using team income to finance their investment into the Nationals that they obtained with little skin in the game is on them. It's not an excuse for their cheapness, or for their decision to plow the team's income into financing their family's purchase (done on the cheap with debt) of their investment, instead of using it to make the team better.

    By Blogger CoverageisLacking, at 4/08/2010 11:23 AM  

  • "You make it sound like the Lerners had no choice about whether to use debt to finance their purchase of the team, and that the extent of the leverage was somehow dictated to them. But the fact that they chose to purchase the team on the cheap by not putting much of their capital into the deal was their choice, no one else's."

    As I pointed out, much of Lerner's net worth is likely not liquid. His choice likely boiled down to either selling some other asset to raise the cash to buy the team, or leveraging the purchase as much as possible. Given that he didn't know for certain that he'd need to spend the cash until he was selected by Selig, if he'd decided to purchase the team with cash from sale of other assets he would have needed to sell those assets well ahead of time, possibly for less than optimum value. Real estate transactions - especially large ones - don't turn on a dime. Lines of credit OTOH can be established well in advance of ever needing to use them.

    But that has nothing to do with my point anyway. Which of the other potential ownership groups could have purchased the team with a lower debt ratio? And if one of them could have done it, wouldn't it have been a case of one barely majority owner and a lot of others with minority stakes? A 51% percent owner is basically an owner with 49% debt when it comes to spending huge chunks of money that might lower the value of the minority partners' investment. Such an owner would have less of an opportunity to make bold moves than a highly leveraged sole owner would.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/08/2010 11:52 AM  

  • "As I pointed out, much of Lerner's net worth is likely not liquid. His choice likely boiled down to either selling some other asset to raise the cash to buy the team, or leveraging the purchase as much as possible. Given that he didn't know for certain that he'd need to spend the cash until he was selected by Selig, if he'd decided to purchase the team with cash from sale of other assets he would have needed to sell those assets well ahead of time, possibly for less than optimum value. Real estate transactions - especially large ones - don't turn on a dime."

    OK, fine. And they could pay down the debt by selling some of their other assets--real estate or otherwise--over time and using that money to finance their purchase. Nothing dictates that they need to pay it down by diverting the team's income and then crying poor.

    By Blogger CoverageisLacking, at 4/08/2010 12:06 PM  

  • I see you still have no counter to the assertion that anything would be different if another ownership group had been selected. Why is that? Because nothing would be different.

    By Anonymous Fake Reiss, at 4/08/2010 12:36 PM  

  • "Fake Name" > "Anyonymous" for carrying on a discussion.

    By Blogger Sam, at 4/08/2010 12:40 PM  

  • "I see you still have no counter to the assertion that anything would be different if another ownership group had been selected. Why is that? Because nothing would be different."

    The debt ratios of other recently-acquired teams that I listed addresses that. Unless you're actually Fred Malek hiding behind all the pseudonyms that you use when you comment, everything else is just arguing about unknowable hypothetical scenarios.

    By Blogger CoverageisLacking, at 4/08/2010 1:33 PM  

  • None of the ownership groups that bought those teams you listed were bidding for the Nationals, so I fail to see how what they did has any bearing at all on what Malek, Zients, Collins et al might have been able to do. Which of those potential ownership groups was sitting on a pile of cash as big as or bigger than the Lerners, such that they could have paid cash instead of leveraging the purchase like the Lerners did? You know so much about the Lerner finances, you should easily be able to uncover the financial pictures of the rejected ownership groups and report back. Have at it, or just get your jollies posting to your Fake Nats320 twitter feed instead. Your choice.

    By Anonymous Fake Reiss, at 4/08/2010 1:54 PM  

  • Since you are nonsensically demanding that I prove a negative hypothetical ("prove that others would not have done the same thing if they got the team!"), at this point I think the substance of this discussion has run its course.

    But as to your other point, JK, and to be clear, you are the only one around here using fake accounts and pretending to be someone you are not. I have nothing to do with any of those fake accounts. I need to post under a pseudonym for professional reasons, but I always use the same one.

    By Blogger CoverageisLacking, at 4/08/2010 2:15 PM  

  • How is declaring a positive hypothetical to be absolutely true any different than proving a negative hypothetical to be false, CiL? Obviously the profession you're protecting has nothing to do with logic. Let's hope so, anyway.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/08/2010 2:35 PM  

  • Ronnie Belliard a single away from a cycle! But he ain't getting another AB unless things go seriously off the rails for the Dodgers in Pittsburgh.

    By Blogger Sam, at 4/08/2010 3:37 PM  

  • Ronnie Belly-yard is merely making up for his less-than-stellar fielding performance today, that's all.

    By Blogger Bote Man, at 4/08/2010 4:32 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home