Mains: MLB’s presentation to MLBPA impugns trust

From SABR member Rob Mains at Baseball Prospectus on May 18, 2020:

Over the weekend—hey, nobody does anything on Saturday nights anymore anyway—the Associated Press reported that MLB, in a presentation to the Players’ Association, claimed that paying player prorated salaries, as was agreed in late March, would “contribute to an average loss of $640,000 for each game over an 82-game season.”

The league prepared a 12-page document entitled “Economics of Playing Without Fans in Attendance,” dated last Tuesday. AP reported on the document, which I haven’t seen. So I’m going on the AP report. The reporter. Ronald Blum, is a good one, so I have confidence that he got it right.

I’m going to list a lot of problems with the MLB analysis, so let me get this out of the way. Some of you are going to accuse me of being anti-capitalist. I had a career on Wall Street recommending the stocks of for-profit healthcare companies to mutual funds, hedge funds, and pension funds. I’m as capitalist as they come. But one of the things I learned on my job was that you should never, ever, take anything management says at face value. I’m going to analyze this as I would any company document.

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Originally published: May 20, 2020. Last Updated: May 20, 2020.