Baseball objects to Forbes report

Published: Saturday, April 22 2006 12:10 a.m. MDT

NEW YORK — Major League Baseball objected to Forbes magazine's financial analysis of the industry, which said 25 of the 30 teams had operating profits last year.

"Forbes has never had access to financial information from major league baseball or the individual clubs," Rob Manfred, baseball's executive vice president of labor relations, said in a statement Friday. "The estimates published in the current issue of the magazine materially misstate the financial performance of the industry as a whole and of the individual clubs."

In its May 8 issue, which was released Thursday, Forbes said the only teams with estimated operating losses in 2005 were the New York Yankees ($50 million), Boston Red Sox ($18.5 million), New York Mets ($16.1 million), Florida Marlins ($11.9 million) and Los Angeles Angels ($2.6 million). Forbes also estimated each team's revenue and debt, and gave its figures for estimated franchise values.

"They make these numbers up," Manfred said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "However close and lucky they may get in aggregate, there are individual instances that materially misstate the situations. From our perspective, we just think it's important that people understand and realize these are not in real in any sense of the word."

Forbes spokeswoman Megan Womack responded: "We stand by the list."

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