Max Scherzer took umbrage late Wednesday night with recent claims by a few owners that their teams, and baseball as a whole, are not net profitable.
“Some owners have mentioned owning a team isn’t very NET profitable.. You know what other company isn’t very NET profitable? Amazon [sic]” Scherzer said from his rarely-used Twitter account at 11:14 p.m.
St. Louis Cardinals owner Bill Dewitt Jr. lamented baseball’s profitability earlier in the week. He’s the second owner in a week to suggest cash-flow problems among teams.
"The industry isn't very profitable, to be honest," DeWitt said on 590TheFan in St. Louis on Tuesday. "And I think they [the players] understand that. They think owners are hiding profits. There's been a bit of distrust there. It's a bit of a zero-sum game. They have by far the best deal of any players in any sport."
DeWitt’s comments followed those of Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, who last week said to ESPN: “The league itself does not make a lot of cash.”
Scherzer does not agree. And his jab is at the semantics being used by owners, while also being rooted in the general mistrust players have of owners’ financial claims.
Net profit is the actual profit after working expenses not included in the calculation of gross profit have been paid. Many companies operate at a slightly negative, even or modest net profit. However, the valuation of the company can remain exceptionally high. For instance, the St. Louis Cardinals are valued at $2.2 billion by Forbes.
Scherzer was not the only player to take a swipe at owners on social media Wednesday. Yankees catcher Chris Iannetta, who, like Scherzer, is also a member of the union’s eight-player executive subcommittee, quote-tweeted a story about Arizona owner Ken Kendrick calling for a hard salary cap and revenue sharing, then took a swing.
“Translation: We as owners are using a global pandemic and social injustice to try and overpower players and institute a salary cap so we can further increase profits and our franchise values.”
The union and league are yet to come to an agreement on how to restart the season. However, commissioner Rob Manfred guaranteed a season in some form this year when making appearances on ESPN and MLB Network on Wednesday.
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