I was given some sites to take a look at in an effort to try to explain how all these teams could possibly have this much money. It's gotten to where if you stood outside the door at the Winter Meetings, you'd get as far as, "I'm a left-handed relief pitch-" before finding a contract in one hand and a check in the other that would be enough to pay off your house and any house that you can see from the front door of your house.
It's been a year now since these articles were written, but it's an interesting thing to check out. If your clicky finger doesn't work, then the gist of it is that when the MLB decided to get into new media back in 2000, all of the owners were asked to contribute $1 million dollars for up to 4 years. In 2002, MLB.com became profitable with approximately $70-75 million invested. The investment now is worth approximately $2 to $2.5 billion, which was based on an estimated IPO that didn't happen.
The owners all had the same investment so it's equally owned, and every team gets a chunk of the money.
Here then, in wonderful bullet point form, is a set of articles that will either make sense of this crazy offseason, or make you wish that you had learned HTML in the late 90s.
- Hardball times from almost exactly a year ago. The first to point out the disgusting hugeness of money.
- CNN's take on the same subject. I smell rich people.
Sports Media Watch's take.
MLBAM is MLB's equivalent to the NFL Network, except much better, more primed for the future, and already profitable. Whether intentionally or no, MLB has stumbled upon the creation of a wholly-owned subsidiary media empire, primed for the diversified viewing window world in which we increasingly find ourselves.
- USA Today points out MLBAM's foray into music as it stands now. We had pointed this out earlier this year, but the Gaslamp Ball take was that this would lead to custom entrance music. Oh how naive we were in those lovely spring days. Little did we know that rich men were preparing to take over the world.
- Relevant content from Gaslamp Ball!(?) Stuff that we learned earlier this year from the men behind the money at the Padres. They made direct reference to MLBAM back then. We should've put the dots together because apparently, they connect to form a dollar sign the size of East County, only without that weird smell in the air at around one in the morning.
- I think the reason we didn't notice was perhaps MLB.com thought the "best records" included Scott Stapp from Creed who sucks hole. I mean, seriously? Scott Stapp? From Creed? That guy was on the ground floor of a multi-billion dollar company? The dude from Creed?
- Finally, here's a breakdown of the Soriano deal. That last one's just for kicks.