I usually cringe every time Randy Levine opens his mouth. Most of the time I wish he would fade away from the media spotlight, much like Hank Steinbrenner has done the past couple of seasons.
I am, though, loving Levine's calling out of Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio.
Levine believes Attanasio should stop publicly lamenting the Brewers' troubles in signing first baseman Prince Fielder while pointing out how much the Yankees spend on salaries.
"I'm sorry that my friend Mark continues to whine about his running the Brewers," Levine told ESPNNewYork.com in a phone interview Tuesday morning. "We play by all the rules and there doesn't seem to be any complaints when teams such as the Brewers receive hundreds of millions of dollars that they get from us in revenue sharing the last few years. Take some of that money that you get from us and use that to sign your players.
"The question that should be asked is: Where has the hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue sharing gone?"
I hate revenue sharing, always have and always will. Does Wal-Mart give part of its profits to Save-A-Lot? Does Home Depot share proceeds with True Value? Of course not. I hate the Yankees being asked to subsidize other franchises. And I would love to see an accounting of exactly what teams do with the money they get from the Yankees and other teams paying out revenue-sharing dollars.
Attanasio, for his part, snapped back at Levine.
I didn't think I was whining," Attanasio said on Tuesday evening, about an hour before the Brewers played the Rockies at Miller Park. "I was just stating a simple fact."
"We do get a piece of revenue sharing. We appreciate it, and we need it, and we use it. We use pretty much all of our revenue-sharing dollars every year within our budget to put our team on the field. Our payroll is in the high 80 [million-dollar range].
"If you had access to the records, you would see that this organization spends its revenue-sharing dollars."
At the very least, it's fun to watch rich guys argue about money.
Now let's talk about a few on-the-field items.
- Had to absolutely love the way Joba Chamberlain looked last night. Pitching out of an 8th-inning jam he was aggressive, his stuff was great and he was emotional. The Yankees noticed.
"Joba was great man, I mean his slider was nasty tonight," catcher Jorge Posada said. "It was biting, it was hard, and he kept it down tonight. To me, he was very similar to the way he was in '07."
Apparently, the Yankees should send John Smoltz a thank-you card.
According to Joba, a pregame meeting with John Smoltz, a visitor in the Yankees clubhouse and one of Chamberlain's boyhood idols, helped him do what three years of Yankee tinkering failed to accomplish -- remember his true calling and how he got here in the first place.
"[Smoltz] told me, 'Just always trust your stuff, and create a game for yourself out there that you can succeed in. Know what works for you and what doesn't, and have fun,'" Chamberlain said. "He made me understand it's a one-inning game."
- What I did not love about the 8th inning was Joe Girardi's over-managing. C'mon, Joe. If you are going to bring in Damaso Marte for David Ortiz -- which made sense -- why not just leave Alfredo Aceves in the game for one more hitter instead of burning David Robertson? To me, that's over-thinking.
- Speaking of Ortiz, Big Papi was not in a good mood following the game.
Ortiz snapped at a Boston columnist and went on a brief, expletive-laced tirade following last night's 6-4 loss to the Yankees, angered by a question that everyone in Red Sox Nation is asking themselves after he failed to get a hit for the second straight game.
The question was couched and asked as fairly as possible: Are you afraid people will start to worry that you're off to a slow start like last year?
"I'm not talking," Ortiz said as he put on his shoes, pausing a few moments before adding, "You guys just wait for --- to happen, then you talk ---. Two --- games already, there are 160 left, ain't that a ---."
Poor Papi. Not. Maybe if he actually ran all the way to first base and stopped skulking around like a lost dog he wouldn't be such a target. No sympathy from here, big fella.
- Johnny Damon is predicting stardom for ex-Yankee farmhand Austin Jackson.