Just like the divorce case in Los Angeles, the bankruptcy case in Texas has given us the rare opportunity to take a look inside the usually secretive world of team finances. A pretty full financial disclosure was released by the Rangers yesterday. Maury has the documents here.
The sad news: no V-energy peddling gurus, diamond cars with platinum wheels, panda steaks or six-week stays in gilded palaces like we saw in the McCourt divorce documents. Mostly it’s just the pedestrian business of a baseball team that, sale drama notwithstanding, rarely sticks out in the crazy department.
Owner Tom Hicks pays himself $183K a year. He may or may not be worth that, but I’m willing to wager that he’s on the low end of owners who pay themselves. Nolan Ryan makes $1.5 million, and given all of the goodwill and ass-kickings he provides, I think he’s probably worth it. I love that there is a line item for Rusty Greer. I love that the Rangers not only paid an entity called “Team Beans, L.L.C.,” but that something called “Team Beans” feels it needs to limit its liability (what, exactly are they doing?!). The Rangers have paid out oodles in legal fees as a result of the sale and bankruptcy in recent months, which just goes to show you that buying things “prepackaged” is rarely a bargain. Go organic, dudes.
The most interesting item relates to a blog, actually. Seems that Jamey Newberg of the notable Rangers blog “The Newberg Report” has taken over $27K from the team this year, plus had his and his family’s trip to spring training paid for by the Rangers, according to the Dallas Morning News.
I’m not an expert on the Rangers’ blogosphere — the only thing I really know for sure is that commenters therein like to add obscenities to the end of “Calca-” when talking about my Rangers posts — but my understanding was that Newberg portrayed himself as an independent blog with no official connection to the team. He tells the Morning News that “the payments
likely were for books he sold to the club.” Seems he’d know that for sure. Also seems like he should at least disclose to his readers that he does business with the Rangers.
In other news, all you team-specific bloggers who aren’t selling tens of thousands of dollars of books and getting free trips from the teams you cover are suckers.
UPDATE: Newberg responds.