I hate revenue sharing in baseball. Always have, always will. I expressed my feelings on that topic here last spring.
That is why I was gratified to see the report in the Miami Herald Tuesday that Major League Baseball has cracked down on the Florida Marlins, telling them they must spend more revenue-sharing money on payroll.
In a carefully worded statement co-authored by Major League Baseball and the players' union, the Marlins on Tuesday agreed to increase payroll in line with the money it receives each year from revenue sharing.
Translation: The Marlins will spend more on its roster next season. How much is uncertain.
But even though the Marlins denied any wrongdoing, the message was clear in what is an unprecedented agreement involving a team, the league and the union. The league and union demanded that the Marlins comply with the Basic Agreement and spend a larger portion of the revenue sharing money it receives each year on its players.
``In response to our concerns that revenue sharing proceeds have not been used as required, the Marlins have assured the union and the commissioner's office that they plan to use such proceeds to increase player payroll annually as they move toward the opening of their new ballpark,'' Michael Weiner, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, said in a prepared statement.
It's about time baseball did something like this. In fact, it's long past time.
The Biz of Baseball estimated that the Marlins made about $35 million in profit in 2008 thanks to revenue sharing, while The Herald reported the Florida payroll at $21.8 million. The Herald lists the Marlins' 2009 payroll at $36.8 million, the lowest in baseball. The paper says the team made $90 million in profit between revenue-sharing and other income.
So, tell me again why teams like the Yankees, Red Sox and any other team paying revenue sharing money should be subsidizing the bank accounts of these 'allegedly' poor teams? Simply put, it's a bunch of nonsense.
I really hate to agree with Red Sox owner John Henry, but in this case I have to. Here is Henry's take on revenue sharing.
``Change is needed and that is reflected by the fact that over a billion dollars has been paid to seven chronically uncompetitive teams, five of whom have had baseball's highest operating profits,'' the Globe quoted Henry as saying. ``Who, except these teams, can think this is a good idea?''
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