Nov 19, 2009, 10:11 AM EDT
Not that you didn’t know that already (remember how Oliver Perez was the next Sandy Koufax?). But now MLB brass is coming right out and saying it:
Major League Baseball executive vice president Rob Manfred responded strongly to revenue sharing figures thrown out by Scott Boras at last week’s general managers’ meetings indicating that Boras’s numbers “have no basis in reality” and that Boras is living in “fantasy land.”
Here Manfred is referring to Boras’ comments last week that there are Major League teams who receive $80 million from a baseball central fund and just pocket it rather than put it into payroll to make the teams better.
Given his penchant for exaggeration, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Boras’ actual numbers are off. But the thing is, he’s not wrong about the dynamic. Teams do take revenue sharing money and stash it or use it to pay down debt from their initial purchase of the team. There really is a strategy among some owners to maximize franchise value — which is where their money comes from — as opposed to maximizing wins and season-to-season revenue. Running a losing team with low gate is still a great deal as long as the team is low on debt, there’s a nice, owner-friendly stadium deal in place, and as long as MLB central will never let a franchise truly crater.
So maybe Boras’ $80 million figure is “fantasy land.” But even if were, say, $40 million, it doesn’t make him wrong.
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