The very fact that a Major League Baseball owner can be fined half a million dollars should tell you all you need to know about the profitability of owning a top level professional baseball franchise. So, there’s a little bit of irony to be found when the reasoning for said fine is for criticizing the system that leads to that kind of profitability.
After recent derogatory comments from the Steinbrenner brother who talks too much about revenue sharing, Red Sox owner John Henry revealed on a Boston sports radio show yesterday that he was fined $500,000 by MLB after referring to the money that “seven chronically uncompetitive teams, five of whom have had baseball’s highest operating profits,” had received through revenue sharing.
There’s not much I can say, because the last time I made a comment, I was fined $500,000. The large markets aren’t allowed to give their opinions. Did you know I was fined $500,000? I made statements which turned out to be true, or at least there were various documents that were leaked after that. But anyway, the large clubs are not allowed to talk about it.
Of course, MLB’s problem isn’t the system itself, but rather ownership groups that take advantage of the system by pocketing the money that’s gained through revenue sharing instead of reinvesting it into the team.
All of this means that when the current collective bargaining agreement expires in December, there may be more battling done between owners of small and large market teams than between owners and players.
There are two arguments to be made here, and both have their merits. On one side, large market teams need small market teams for, if nothing else, having another team to play in order to bring in their own revenue. Since the small market teams are contributing to providing the content that fans and advertisers pay for, shouldn’t they get a cut of the profit? And why should anyone tell them what to do with that cut of that profit? On the other side of the fence, there’s no mistaking that the purpose of revenue sharing is to create a more level playing field, to increase competition. And as long as owners are able to pocket the money that’s ultimately earned by teams like the Yankees and Red Sox, those small market owners are exploiting the rules to take advantage of larger market teams.
But the real question in all of this is whether or not John Henry will be fined again for saying he was fined. God help him if he tells us about that fine too.
And The Rest
The only thing prosecutors will be proving when they take Barry Bonds to trial is that they care far more about embarrassing Bonds than figuring out if he committed any crimes. How ridiculous is it that tax payers are paying for such a meaningless pursuit?
Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos has claimed that general manager Andy MacPhail isn’t going anywhere, and it was surprisingly not in reference to the team’s position in the AL East.
Garret Anderson calls it a career. I wonder if people would wrongly assume a player is retiring if they overheard him saying, “it’s a career” in reference to something else.
Could the year of the pitcher possibly be repeated? Can columnists not come up with anything better to write about?
Jeremy Bonderman will more than likely sit the coming year out. His body would like to thank him.
The New York Mets will not be borrowing any more money from Major League Baseball. Perhaps someone should tell the Wilpons about Money Mart’s payday loan system.
Does Neftali Feliz make a better starter than reliever?
Fausto Carmona will get the ball rolling on the Indians’ bound to be awful season.
The Toronto Blue Jays can afford to take their time with Zach Stewart.
Nick Johnson has signed a Minor League deal with the Tribe. Their insurance provider is not impressed.
Charlie Manuel and the Phillies are working on a contract extension.
Buster Olney suggests they might want to make sure they can beat the Braves first.
After yesterday’s injury scare, Dave Cameron asks if Chris Carpenter has been overworked.
The delusions of Scott Olsen are taking control.
Milton Bradley is 100% focused on baseball. And if you don’t believe him, he’ll spend every minute of every day thinking about it. That’s just how focused he is.
Finally, Babe Ruth vs. Albert Pujols.