Tampa Bay Rays (19 days until pitchers and catchers report)
Just links today on Bob Eucker’s birthday, the 10th anniversary of “I did not have sexual relations with that woman“, Australia Day, and National Peanut Brittle Day. We will celebrate by cooking some peanut brittle with our grandmother, and then hooking up with an overweight girl at an Outback Steakhouse while sitting in the front row.


  • Matthew Silverman claims the Rays are losing money. This is despite a report in Forbes that claims the opposite. We always take a team’s assertion with a very large grain of salt. Just about every owner in every sport claims they are losing money and yet people that are very smart when it comes to money keep buying them. Many times, making money or losing money is often a matter of perspective. For example, teams that own their own stadium, often list “rent” as an expense since the stadium is usually listed as a separate business. So even though the money is just going out of one pocket and into the other, the team still lists the rent as an expense for the team. This doesn’t work in the case of the Rays, but we have to wonder if they are considering the $30+ million in revenue sharing that the team received last year. We do not know what the Rays exact take was in revenue sharing for 2007, but the team was given more that $30 million in 2006. With a 2007 opening day payroll of approximately $28 million, it is fair to say the Rays took in more Revenue Sharing then they spent on payroll. We are not accountants, but it seems to us that it would require some pretty fuzzy math to show how the Devil Rays lost money in 2007. [365 Days of Dough, Rays and Me]
  • We participated with several other Rays’ bloggers in a “round table” discussion at Rays Anatomy in which we tackled the question “Who is the one player that is MOST important to the Rays future success?” [Rays Anatomy]
  • The Heater got their hands on Baseball America’s complete list of the Rays top 30 prospects. We were treated to the Top 10 about two weeks ago, so this list just adds 20 players of which one or two will ever wear a Tampa Bay Rays uniform. [TampaBay.com]
  • Kevin Gengler continues his rundown of his own list of the Rays Top 30 prospects. He is up to #18 and #17, Justin Ruggiano and Josh Butler. If you looked up AAAA-player in the dictionary of baseball you will see a picture of Justin Ruggiano holding his hands out saying “but I am above-average at a lot of things”. And that will keep him from selling cars for a few more years. He could be serviceable as a fourth outfielder on a lot of teams, but he does not have the skill-set to be an everyday major leaguer. Butler on the other hand we feel is flying a bit under the radar. He was the second-round pick the year the Rays selected Evan Longoria. He was solid last season, if not spectacular, in his first full season split between Columbus and Vero Beach. We will get a better idea of what he is this year once he makes his AA debut. [DRays Bay]
  • Jim Callis took the top ranked prospect from each organization and ranked those 30 players. Evan Longoria comes in at #4. [Baseball America]
  • Bill Chastain tries to rankle our feathers by devoting an entire column to the Rays’ attempt to keep the young talent in place. Luckily for Chastain, he waited until after the Rays signed James Shields and he includes speculation that the Rays will attempt similar deals with Scott Kazmir and BJ Upton. Nice try Bill. I’m not biting on this one. In fact if somebody was going to write an article on this topic, this is the way it needed to be done. [DevilRays.com]
  • Derek Feldkamp tries to rebound from a poor 2007. Interestingly, Feldkamp feels more comfortable in the bullpen even though the team continues to utilize him as a starter. Used primarily as a relief pitcher at the University of Michigan, Feldkamp saved 15 games in his pro debut at Hudson Valley in 2005. Since then, the Rays have used him primarily as a starter. [The Daily-Telegram]


  1. AZ says:

    I'm a cpa by background.

    Forbes uses ebitda for its calculation of earnings. (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, depreciation and amortization). EBITDA is used to value companies (generally companies are based on a multiple of EBITDA less debt)and is used as a proxy for operating cash flows for the organization.

    Generically EBITDA is simply Revenues less cash expenses.

    It doesn't include financing expenses, interest for instance, if the Stu crew used or assumed debt to purchase the Rays or any amortization of goodwill (you can deduct, over the life of the asset goodwill (simply what stu crew paid for the organization over its tangible asset value). you deduct interest, depreciation, amortization and taxes from EBITDA to get to net income. It's quite common for companies to make plenty of EBITDA and lose money from a net income perspective. ITs all semantics really. apples vs. oranges from one conversation to the next.

    Also, I poised this question once to Matt and he stated that the way forbes does the calculation it doesn't include deferred salaries ( i believe vaughn and alverez were still drawing checks through 2005 or so when i spoke to him re: this issue.(i just happened to be seated next to him at a business professionals meeting at the time) I don;t know what the current deferred situation is, but it can impact vs. forbes.

    Additionally, I don't know how signing bonuses are expensed or when the cash goes out to the high draft picks (Price, Longoria, Nieman,etc.)maybe you have some better insight on those economics, but that could effect the actual vs. assumed numbers as well.

    finally, we don't know what matt means when he says losing money. They could be coming out of pocket to fund field upgrades, etc, but we don't really know what the story is, what their metrics are and we'll probably never really know.


  2. Cory Alexander says:

    It's very sad to see the TRO succumbing to this tactic almost all owners use. I honestly don't think the ownership is losing money, but giving another excuse for people to come to the games so they can't get more money in their pocket.

  3. Robert Rittner says:

    Congratulations, Professor, on joining mlbtraderumors.com. It is a terrific site and you will be a great addition.

  4. The Professor says:

    thanks Robert

  5. Marc says:

    Thanks for the blog reference, guys.


  6. Jacquelyn says:

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