Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Levine to Brewers: What have you done with the revenue sharing money we gave you? *Update with revenue sharing data

  • Update 4/11/10 with Biz of Baseball data follows the Randy Levine article.

BOSTON -- "New York Yankees president Randy Levine fired an executive-level brushback pitch at Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio.

  • Levine's message: Stop whining.

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?"...

  • Levine made his comments in reaction to an Attanasio quote in a USA Today story about the average salaries of this year's players. Attanasio -- as he has done before -- made sure to mention the discrepancy in how much the Yankees spend on players in comparison to other teams.

"We're struggling to sign [Fielder] and the Yankees infield is making more than our team," Attanasio told the paper....

  • In the initial seven years of the luxury tax, the Yankees have paid teams nearly $175 million (***see below for correction) in revenue sharing, according to the BizofBaseball.com. That is 92 percent of the total revenue sharing that has been doled out."

from ESPNNewYork.com by Andrew Marchand, 4/6/10, "Levine calls out Brewers owner"


Following from Biz of Baseball corrects ESPN statement about Yankee luxury tax, 4/11/10:

TRUE – Erik should have stopped here as he would be, in fact, correct. The Yankees have paid $174,183,419 in penalties since 2003 for breaking MLB’s soft cap, paying $25,689,173 last season alone.

Total revenue sharing figures for each of the clubs have not been published for some time, but BizofBaseball.com does have the last figures that were available (2002-03, 2005) and the Yankees, in just those three years, shelled out
  • $52,650,000 in 2003,
  • $26,640,289 in 2002, and
  • $76,000,000 in 2005,
for a total of $155,290,289 in 3 out of the 7 years of revenue-sharing.
  • So, in fact, the Yankees, while paying $175 million in Luxury Tax money, have paid considerably more in revenue-sharing, if you consider the growth rate of revenue-sharing each year since 2005.
For 2009, $433 million in revenue went from haves to have nots in MLB.
  • … "that’s 92 percent of the total revenue-sharing…
  • FALSEThis is perpetuating the falsehood from the Luxury Tax figures. It is true that the Yankees have paid 92 percent of the total Luxury Tax money, but then that simply says that the Yankees are willing to ignore the system and pay the price by not being fiscally restrictive. The Yankees want to win, and have been willing to pay extra each year (because they can) than other clubs, minus the Red Sox (2004-07), Angels (2004), and Tigers (2008). ...
Remember… The revenue-sharing that Levine and Attanasio are discussing is based on net local revenues from sources such as ticket sales, local broadcast deals, concessions, parking, etc.
  • We’re not going to go into matters further. But, as you can imagine, when Kuselias continues to use the total Luxury Tax figures as revenue-sharing (for the record, the majority of LT money actually goes to the players in the form of benefits)** the amounts going to each club completely falls apart (as mentioned, see the figures from 2002-03 and 2005 to get an idea of how much flows from haves to have-nots).
Finally, Erik, if you’re reading, we don’t lay this out to make you or ESPN look bad. MLB’s revenue-sharing system is widely misunderstood (for more see my Baseball America article Revenue Sharing Is Making An Impact). We want to lay the above out so that the media can go forward in the future with better numbers to use in the discussion."... **I appreciate Mr. Brown's detailed work on this topic, but to state that MLB gives luxury tax funds to players-as opposed to keeping them for themselves--would only be believable if MLB's books were open. MLB has gone to extreme lengths to keep its finances secret. It believes they are none of our business. The same people running MLB today were found guilty of criminal collusion. There is no reason to take them at their word about anything. Unless one is hoping to get on board the gravy train oneself. ed.


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