M’s report a profit
I’m not sure why I still read the Times. Today’s Times and P-I each have a story about the M’s reporting an $8.5 million profit in 2004, according to documents they’re required to file with the Public Facilities District. Go read Angelo Bruscas’ article on the subject. Than go read Finnigan’s take.
Bruscas’ column comes across like a Dragnet report. Just the facts, ma’am. He says the M’s made a profit, talks about the debt service and how the team is about halfway to paying off their initial cost of Safeco, and attributes a comment to spokeswoman Rebecca Hale about the team’s profit coming largely in part due to Kazuhiro Sasaki’s retirement.
Finnigan’s article, by comparison, looks like someone desperately trying to spin a story they were hoping never became public. The second sentence sets the tone:
They did have an excess of $8.749 million, which is listed as profit.
Okay, so they made money, but its not profit, its excess, which is apparently different because it wasn’t revenue, it was money not spent. Seriously, they didn’t really make a profit, they just had an excess! Ignore the man behind the curtain!
Then there’s this gem:
Beyond the profits created by those player movements, the Mariners would have lost money, except that Seattle fans set a record. With a large number of tickets bought in advance, attendance was 2.9 million last year, best ever for a team that lost 99 times.
Attendance was down 10 percent from 2003, thanks to the miserable on field performance of the club. So, apparently, the M’s would have lost money if attendance was down 30 percent, or maybe 40 percent. But that just doesn’t happen. When the Florida Marlins stripped apart their 1997 World Championship team and essentially lost on purpose, their attendance only dropped 26 percent.
Finnigan also mentions that the team expects to operate at a loss this year because they’re projecting attendance of 2.5 million this year, a 14 percent decrease from last year and a 22 percent decrease from 2003. That just isn’t going to happen. But, of course, if they were projecting 2.8 million in attendance, they couldn’t claim they were going to operate at a loss, so, 2.5 million is what they tell Finnigan.
The entire article keeps with Finnigan’s long time premise of being a puppet for management. Its not profit, its excess. And they only had that excess because Sasaki retired. And even at that, it was only possible because the fans were amazing and came to the park in record numbers.
Its all lies. Its a shame that the Times is willing to be the Mariners personal PR machine. As for me, I think I’ll just stop reading Finnigan. He’s bad for my health.