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Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman are already seeking new investors in the Marlins


Jon Heyman of FanRag sports has obtained an “investment teaser” sent out by the Miami Marlins new ownership group in order to attract new investors for the team. Heyman reports that owners Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter are seeking $250 million in new investment. This for a team they just bought for over a billion dollars and which they’re on record saying is a money-losing venture as currently constructed.

Some teams like the Mets have sought minority investment in the past, but that has usually come in the wake of financial setbacks. We’re just a couple of months out from this deal closing — the new bosses haven’t presided over a single Marlins baseball game as owners —  and they’re already looking into fresh investment. Heyman speculates as to the prudence of the investment solicitation, noting that it just may be a means of raising needed cash and making life more comfortable for the owners. He also notes its irregularity, and suggests that perhaps the new owners are too stretched right out of the gate. As noted, the team is allegedly losing money and a solid third of that billion dollar sale price was financed with debt.

I don’t know. I find it hard to understand how most teams are worth what they’re supposed to be worth given where revenues are. The game is healthy — and I suspect the Marlins claims of losing money are based on a lot of creative bookkeeping — but not “30, individual billion dollar entities” healthy. New owners like Jeter and Sherman seem to be buying into a bubble built on cable television revenues or, in some cases, the mere possibility of them in the future, and for a lot of reasons that’s not sustainable.

Where does that leave us? With an ownership group that has to pay off a billion investment with heavy debt service and, even if they get an influx of investor cash, a need to pay off the new investors, because they aren’t likely to do it for season tickets alone. Cash flow is tight enough to where the club needs to sell off its stars like Giancarlo Stanton and, probably, stars who make way less than him.

All of it might make a lot of sense as some sophisticated investment vehicle I never could quite understand, but I question how it makes sense as a dang baseball team.

Tony Clark: Universal DH ‘gaining momentum’ among players


Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark met the press late this morning and covered a wide array of topics.

One of them: free agency, which he referred to as being “under attack” based on the slow market for free agents last offseason.

“What the players saw last offseason was that their free-agent rights were under attack on what has been the bedrock of our system,” Clark said. He added that they “have some very difficult decisions to make.” Presumably in the form of grievances and, down the road, a negotiating strategy that seeks to claw back some of the many concessions the union has given owners in the past few Collective Bargaining Agreements. CBAs, it’s worth noting, that Clark negotiated. We’ve covered that territory in detail in the past.

Of more immediate interest was Clark’s comment that the idea of a universal designated hitter is, among players, “gaining momentum.” Clark says “players are talking about it more than they have in the past.” We’ve talked a lot about that as well.

Given that hating or loving the DH is the closest thing baseball has to a religion, no one’s mind is going to be changed by any of this, but I think, practically speaking, it’s inevitable that the National League will have the DH and I think it happens relatively soon. Perhaps in the next five years. The opposition to it at this point is solely subjective and based on tradition. People like pitchers batting and they like double switches and they like the leagues being different because they, well, like it. If the system were being set up today, however, they’d never have it this way and I think even the DH-haters know that well. That doesn’t mean that you can’t dislike a universal DH, but it does mean that you can’t expect the people who run the game to cater to that preference when it makes little sense for them to do it for their own purposes.

Anyway, enjoy convincing each other in the comments about how the side of that argument you dislike is wrong.