In baseball we always hear about the rich vs. poor, salary cap/revenue sharing/luxury tax argument. We know that the small-market teams are always crying, always wanting more from the big guys -- meaning, bluntly, our New York Yankees.
Well, in an organizational report about the Yankees, The Biz of Baseball has hit on the thing that always ticks me off about that argument. Check this out.
The Yankees remain the most valuable team in all of baseball. In the past nine years, the Yankees value as an organization has more than tripled from $491 million in 1999, to $1 billion 306 million in 2008. Let us compare that to, say the 30th rank team in baseball, the Florida Marlins. If you break down the numbers, the Marlins are a team that profits with less, a case of cutting their margins. In most cases, you have to spend money to make money, but with Florida, they post the largest operating income by slashing player salaries. The Marlins who have a payroll hovering around $20 million made a profit of approximately $35 million, largely due to revenue sharing. On the other hand, “The Evil Empire” posted an operating loss of $47.3 million, largely due to their player payroll and $100 million paid out in revenue sharing.
The key part of that, to me, is what I highlighted. The Marlins pocketed $35 million due to revenue sharing while paying their players only $20 million. Whether you truly believe the Yankees lost money in 2008 -- and I don't -- that is the problem with the whole revenue sharing system.
I understand that the values of the two franchises are completely different. The Yankees, though, earned that money, and the Marlins aren't using it to improve their franchise. They are just using it to fatten their bank account. That, simply, is not right.