Says The Athletic’s Matt Gelb:
It’s difficult to ever know the true financial health of the ballclub. It is even harder during a pandemic, when revenue streams are disrupted. The league’s full financial picture is not available; this is a sticking point within the players’ union. The Phillies are a private corporation and comprehensive information about their operation is not accessible.
“The salary reduction plan does not come close to eliminating our 2020 losses,” Middleton wrote in the letter. He said the Middleton and Buck families will invest an additional $100 million into the Phillies over the next year to “ensure the continued stability of the club.” The families will do that rather than incur more debt, which is how many teams might weather the pandemic.
Still, that required $100 million commitment raises questions about the future.
No team official has done an on-the-record interview with reporters since April 2. Middleton’s most recent letter was the closest thing to a statement the Phillies had issued for two months before 2:01 p.m. Tuesday, when the team tweeted about the nation’s civil unrest. Middleton, in beginning his letter, acknowledged that “this critical moment in our city’s and country’s history” is one that “rightfully transforms matters like baseball to lesser importance.” He announced he would no longer draw a salary this year as CEO.