FanDuel - WFBC

February 21, 2011

Hank Steinbrenner Hammers Revenue Sharing: After contributing about $130 million to baseball's revenue sharing and the luxury tax this year, New York Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner said something has to be done. "At some point if you don't want to worry about teams in minor markets, don't put teams in minor markets or don't leave teams in minor markets," he said. "Socialism, communism is never the answer."

posted by rcade to baseball at 07:05 PM - 22 comments

Sure. Spend less money to not go over the luxury tax.

posted by jmd82 at 07:48 PM on February 21

Those damn Kansas City Communists.

posted by dviking at 09:20 PM on February 21

I have no doubt the current system is broken. I have no doubt that the Royals are happy taking in money without winning. I also have zero doubt that Hank Steinbrenner isn't the best man to articulate the 'whys' and 'hows'.

Of course, when you're paying a below average short stop 17 million in 2013, you might want to look in the mirror when it comes to financial problems.

posted by justgary at 09:31 PM on February 21

Who cares what he thinks? It's not revenue sharing itself that's the problem, it's income disparity and teams lacking an incentive to be payroll competitive. If revenue sharing worked such that the net income was pooled, minus a base cost and a franchise profit margin, and the amount distributed equally to each team to either spend or return to MLB, then it would both level the playing field and insure each team was forced to be competitive (and not just pocket the revenue sharing dollars). I'd argue it would have the side effect of normalizing player salaries and increasing player tenure with a team, as increasingly the 'worth' of players would effectively be computed outside of the context of team and thus for example a St. Louis wouldn't have salary arguments with Pujols: he isn't likely to get more or less anywhere else.

A part of me agrees with him: if the Royals can't field a successful team, perhaps it's time to move. HOWEVER: so long as MLB (et al) are going to extort municipalities for taxpayer built stadiums- as the Yankees did- then they'll have to live with the consequences of underperforming teams. They are stuck with these cities because they decided to fleece the taxpayers. And since they are stuck there, revenue sharing has to exist for the entertainment value of the game.

posted by hincandenza at 10:02 PM on February 21

Stay under the salary cap. Period. No more 18 mil a year players.

posted by scuubie at 10:21 PM on February 21

Stay under the salary cap. Period. No more 18 mil a year players.

Yeah, that'll work great. Good luck.

posted by justgary at 10:24 PM on February 21

I don't understand the point of revenue sharing if teams aren't required to spend that money on payroll.

posted by bperk at 10:30 PM on February 21

Obviously we're very much allied with the Red Sox, and Mets and Dodgers and Cubs, in that area.

That would be a fun league to watch. He realizes that in 09 the Yankees had revenue of over $140,000,000 than the Cubs? Another major market team? That his player expenses of almost $100,000,000 more than the Cubs was 90% paid for just from the $90,000,000 more in gate receipts alone, when compared to the Cubs?

He talks like he's in the same boat as the other major market clubs he mentioned. He's in a friggin' super yacht compared to them so what other markets does he suggest? Beijing? Tokyo?

My point is he seems to not want to be bothered by basically every other team in MLB. Does he realize that his franchise is codependent on his fellow franchisees existence? Revenue sharing is bullshit, I agree with the sentiment but he can't be Mr. MLB New York without Mr. MLB Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Toronto, Seattle, Atlanta, etc.

posted by tselson at 11:40 PM on February 21

"Socialism, communism is never the answer."

Tell that to the NFL.

posted by cjets at 12:20 AM on February 22

Tell that to the NFL.

Most specifically, to the community owned Superbowl Champion Packers.

posted by Joey Michaels at 02:18 AM on February 22

(and, for the record, the NFL owners have discovered what the central party of the ol' USSR knew, that those what control the system can still make a pile of money off of the system no matter what you call it)

posted by Joey Michaels at 02:19 AM on February 22

"At some point if you don't want to worry about teams in minor markets, don't put teams in minor markets or don't leave teams in minor markets," he said.

MLB should call his bluff and put more teams in New York.

posted by drezdn at 09:03 AM on February 22

He complains about the luxury tax, but wasn't the luxury tax the collective bargaining alternative to a salary cap. Certain the players would not want an actual salary cap, and certain that Steinbrenner would not either.

posted by graymatters at 12:34 PM on February 22

MLB should call his bluff and put more teams in New York.

This.

If you want to see the Yankees throw a hissy-fit, mention this idea to them again.

posted by grum@work at 02:05 PM on February 22

I believe Red Sox owner John Henry is on record as desiring changes to the so-called luxury tax. His opinion is that too many owners of small market teams merely put the money into their pockets, rather than using it to improve their teams as was the intent of the tax. I agree with the tax, but feel there should be a requirement that the money should be used for team improvements, and if owners fail at least to demonstrate a desire to upgrade their teams, they should be bought out at a price to be determined by MLB and replaced by someone willing to invest the resources needed to change things.

posted by Howard_T at 02:27 PM on February 22

I think the Red Sox and Yankees should join forces for one year to create a super team with a payroll over 400 million. Chances are some other team would get hot in the playoffs and in a short series sweep the super team, and everyone would point to that as proof team salaries don't matter.

Then we could stop all this revenue sharing as we realize the Pirates have just as much chance of winning the WS as the Yankees, no matter that the Yankees 5th option in the bullpen is being paid more than the Pirate infield.

Everyone's happy.

posted by justgary at 04:10 PM on February 22

One thing we can absolutely say for sure is this same argument will continue each time a post contains the words "revenue," "salary," "Yankees," and/or "Red Sox."

Small market or not, I don't hear about owners of ANY major league team paying for groceries with food stamps. If they weren't making money in some way with their teams, they wouldn't own them anymore. The problem for many of the fans of poor performing teams is they blindly believe their respective owners are actually spending the money they should spend on making their team better.

The biggest fans of the small market teams are the relatives of the owners who stand to inherit all this money in the future.

posted by dyams at 06:04 PM on February 22

I don't hear about owners of ANY major league team paying for groceries with food stamps. If they weren't making money in some way with their teams, they wouldn't own them anymore.

At least since the Rangers were bought out of bankruptcy.

posted by graymatters at 07:50 PM on February 22

Bankruptcy filings for them means an entirely different thing than it would for schmucks like us filing for bankruptcy.

posted by dyams at 09:02 PM on February 22

These documents posted by Deadspin last year show that losing and raking in the revenue sharing money is more profitable than winning.

MLB is broken, and no one wants to fix it.

posted by reenum at 10:53 PM on February 22

If he doesn't want to pay for a team in Kansas City, perhaps he won't mind another team in New York?

posted by AaronGNP at 11:28 AM on February 23

"Socialism, communism?" Hank sounds like he wants the support of the Tea Party. The fact he uses both terms shows he doesn't know what in the hell he's talking about.

posted by jjzucal at 02:13 PM on February 23

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