As of writing, the Houston Astros sit in dead last in all of Major League Baseball with a wholly underwhelming record of 43-86. By every conceivable metric, this club has bottomed out. It has done so in a manner the city, which enjoyed so many years of success with Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio on the diamond, has not seen for quite some time.
However, a Forbes report released early Monday morning states that the franchise is on pace to rake in roughly $99 million this year. Such a boon would actually be nearly as much as the estimated operating income of the previous six World Series championship teams — combined. Perhaps at that point someone at Forbes could have run a fact-checking operation?
Nope, the article ran no problem, and the franchise has received major backlash. After all, only one player on the entire team (pitcher Erik Bedard at $1.15 million) is making more than $1 million as the franchise undergoes a serious rebuilding effort.
The Astros bookkeepers, however, were never consulted by Forbes with any numbers or questioned by the site regarding any finances.
When the franchise did finally respond, however, they went straight to the public – calling Forbes out for reporting blatantly falsified material.
We are very disappointed that, earlier today, Forbes released an article that includes significant inaccuracies relating to the Astros’ finances. The Astros do not disclose financial information. However, as MLB will confirm, the information reported in the Forbes article relating to the Astros’ revenues, the Astros media rights fee from CSN Houston, and CSN Houston’s per subscriber rate are all significantly inaccurate. As a result, the conclusion about the Astros operational profit is significantly inaccurate.
The Astros will continue to operate the team in a fiscally responsible manner that will make the City of Houston proud. We are very excited about our accomplishments and we remain steadfast in our commitment to this rebuilding process. We have established a basis of young talent on our MLB roster that will continue to improve. And our minor league system is now one of the best in MLB. As our young prospects develop, we will move them up to the Major League roster and increase our payroll to a level that will allow the Astros to compete for World Championships. The success of CSN Houston is a vital piece of that process and we continue to work toward establishing full distribution.
Forbes is typically one of the more well-respected publishing platforms out there, but in this case it seems that they failed to do their homework.