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The Marlins are on double secret probation over their payroll

Jan 12, 2010, 4:00 PM EDT

We know that Scott Boras has complained about teams like the Marlins pocketing revenue sharing money instead of using it on players. We know that John Henry has complained too.  Now, with the release of separate statements from the league, the Marlins and the Players’ Association, that the Marlins are on double secret probation. Her’s the union’s statement, which is the most explanatory of the three:

“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. Today’s agreement, which covers the period 2010 through 2012,
calls for ongoing communication among the Marlins, the Commissioner’s
Office and the Union as the Marlins proceed with that plan. It also
permits, after consultation among all parties, adjustments in the
Marlins’ plan to respond to unforeseen developments, and calls for
arbitral intervention if disagreements arise. We greatly appreciate the
willingness of the Commissioner’s Office and the Marlins to engage with
us and ensure that all terms of the Basic Agreement are met.”

The Marlins, for their part, say they’ve always acted in good faith, but that they’re “happy to work cooperatively with the Union and the Commissioner’s Office on this matter.”  The league says it’s all secret and that they can’t talk about it.  Apparently they haven’t read the union’s statement.  Alas.

For what it’s worth, the Marlins (and some other teams) like to blame the system and revenue imbalances for all of their problems, but they collect more
money via shared revenue than they spend on salaries.  I’m happy to see that there’s some pressure being brought to bear on them by the league to stop being do damn obvious about it.

  1. EVIL EMPIRE 2010 - Jan 12, 2010 at 4:10 PM

    The Yankee fans know what the Marlins, Pirates and Royals and many others do, we just don’t run around crying with bibs and bottles like they do when we KICK THEIR A-S-S.

  2. Alex K - Jan 12, 2010 at 4:44 PM

    To be fair…player payroll isn’t the only thing that a team can use the money on to advance their on field product. They could be using the money for scouting, other baseball operations payroll, or advancement of their Latin American operations. Do I think this is what the Marlins are doing? Possibly. Low payroll or not, the team is generally competitive.

  3. Moses Green - Jan 12, 2010 at 4:45 PM


  4. YNKH8R - Jan 12, 2010 at 5:04 PM

    Actually, King George has complained about this several times in the past. Pretty much every time anybody complains about how much the Yankees spend, George tells them to shut-up since he pays his Luxury Tax and teams like the Marlins just pocket his money instead of spending on their franchise.
    I may hate the Yankees for all their success, but there’s no denying King George was dead on about this one. Glad to see others finally coming to their senses.

  5. RichardInDallas - Jan 12, 2010 at 5:07 PM

    Funny that a Yankee fan should be the first to comment. I was going to say that it’s great what the union is doing, making everyone share the wealth with the players. I would also suggest that the OTHER END of that spectrum be addressed, and that some sort of spending limitation be put in place at the top, so that the Marlins’ spending might actually result in some sort of a competitive run. Forcing the bottom dwellers to spend 20 25% of what the top spending team(s) does accomplishes not a lot. A hard cap such as the NFL has is not the answer, or even a good thing, but something needs to be done to make the outcome of the season be somewhat of a surprise.

  6. john pileggi - Jan 12, 2010 at 5:22 PM

    The Marlins, in spite of the constant payroll dump, manage to stay competitive, so they are doing something correct with respect to player evaluation and scouting. They are in a difficult market and have had stadium difficulties. So, they seem to be putting a competitive product out is spite of the limitations. Which raises an interesting issue for the Players’ Union; if they were to win their division, or even the World Series, does the issue about spending the Revenue Sharing really apply? Presumably one would not say, “hey, spend more money on some guys you don’t need!”. Or would they?

  7. Joey B - Jan 12, 2010 at 8:16 PM

    Yes, but before I start stocking up on champagne and cavier, I’m going to check the market. The Marlins have been competitive for a long time, with 2 WSCs. How many people show up? So do they really need to buy the champagne and caviar? Alls I’m saying is that it might be nice if some real fans start showing up before you start upgrading your product.

  8. smokehouse - Jan 12, 2010 at 8:29 PM

    Hey RichardinDallas, how many surprises do you want? The Phillies played in the last 2 world series and won one. That the PHILLIES! Now that is a surprise I can believe in.

  9. Old Gator - Jan 12, 2010 at 9:12 PM

    I must apologize to my legions of fans for having a real life that occasionally intervenes in my guerrilla baseball blogging. I was up in Jacksonville today on business matters (actually conferring on a legal malpractice case, Craig – pay attention), but I immediately met my faux responsibilities to the matrix as soon as I got home tonight, fed my dogs, watched two episodes of Shimmy on FitTV, and swabbed betadine on the feet of the Borneo river turtle (Callagur bornensis) who lives in my pond because the Amazon red-ears have been nipping at her now that it’s their mating season. Nothing you haven’t seen on Cinemax After Dark, of course.
    Anyway, Joey, can you name me another product that you would advise people to purchase before it’s high quality? Are the Feesh baseball’s answer to K-Mart? Look, it’s not our responsibilities as customers to purchase something, it’s the manufacturer’s problem to sell it to us. Thet that is how the free market works, you know? Aside from which, Loria (and Huzinga before him) had no patience. Building a fan base takes time. Huizinga blew up the Feesh the offseason immediately following their 1997 championship while Bud Light, predictably, sat with his thumbs up his cloaca and did absolutely zippo (Zeppo? in Bud’s case that might work better) about it. Then Pineapple Face del Norte unloaded the Triple-A team that was left on John Henry, who was totally clueless about dealing with the Magic Realists who run things down here in Macondo and in a hissyfit of frustration over getting nowhere with his prayer that our politicians relieve him of the pledge he had idiotically made to build the stadium himself if necessary, summarily dumped the team on the guy who destroyed the Expos a couple of years later, and I’m sure you can imagine how that stoked fan enthusiasm. Loria promised at the Bayfront Bandshell at the end of the 2003 downtown victory parade – and I quote – “There will be no dismantling,” taking special care to enunciate “no,” then waited one year from the 2003 championship and blew it up again. He let the Chihuahua run out without his tags and collar again to call this debacle a “market correction,” so if Mark McGwire got Ari Fleischer, it sounds like Loria brought in Ron Zeigler. I’m surprised the Chihuahua didn’t describe Loria’s pledge of the year before that he wouldn’t dismantle the team “inoperative.”
    I think Jeffrey Loria must be running to the plastic surgeon to have his nose shortened in the aftermath of issuing that statement today. After that press release, he probably has to wear a red pennant on it when he drives down the turnpike and it’s equally possible that he had to get one of those struts mounted on the hood so it wouldn’t drag on the pavement. I hope he wasn’t facing his secretary when he issued it or she could have lost an eye. Meanwhile, his Chihuahua has a Borzoi snout alla sudden.
    And it just cracks me the hell up to see the Union in the role of Jiminy Cricket.
    I see, by the way, that the Dolfeens have taken down that atrocious yellow tarp they had wrapped around the back of the Joeprodolshark Stadium scoreboard. That removes one of the biggest eyesores in Miami this side of the 40-story statue of Jorge Mas Canosa straddling the entrance to the cruise port. If the Feesh contributed any of their festering sumpfull of revenue sharing funds to taking down that thing, well, we can start bitching about their payroll again in the morning. I think they get a night off for their share of a public service of such magnitude.

  10. Moses Green - Jan 12, 2010 at 9:23 PM

    Litigation is for losers, ask Craig. I’m glad you decided to see to your true responsibilities.

  11. Kevin - Jan 13, 2010 at 8:26 AM

    Nothing will come of this. It is in the news today, and it will out of the news tomorrow, and MLB nor the players union will follow up. This is all lip service, unfortunately… or so it strongly appears. They will continue to sell off players and go with the rookies, as they always have. In a way, what they are doing is good… they obviously have good baseball people running the show to still be competitive in such an environment…. just think how good they would be if they actually spent some money and retained a few of their core players !!
    Most of the fault lies with the owners’ committees and MLB itself. Their vetting system is obviously non-existent or they would not have such owners. After all, there are only 30 whom they have to monitor….. 30…. not 3,000… or 300….. only 30.
    Loria ran the Expos into the ground and had to be bailed out by MLB. They took the Expos away from him at the same time they gave him another franchise that had poor ownership… the Marlins. And they expected him to do better ?
    All I expect from him is to pocket the money and sit there smiling like a little thief.
    Oh, well……. until they put me in a position of authority, my opinions are worthless… and are worthless while not in any such position !!!
    But it feels good to vet… I mean… vent !

  12. Jonny5 - Jan 13, 2010 at 9:16 AM

    I somehow have a strange Pheeling that Old Gator was actually locked in his kitchen trying to perfect the “Philly cheesesteak”. Where he seems to go wrong is he constantly trying to use horsemeat in these sandwiches, i guess to make it more lean…… Gator you have to have succulent ribeye sliced very thinly….. With some provolone or American cheese add a couple hot peppers and, BAM!!! Deeeelish!!! Geeeesh, the only food that’s cooked well down in retirementville is those Cubans… MMMM mmm. We won’t even get into why that is… Later Gator..

  13. Old Gator - Jan 13, 2010 at 1:29 PM

    I am considerably closer to finding an even integer of Pi or solving a unified field equation than I could ever be to “perfecting” a Feelie horsemeat and velveeta sandwich. I’m just as far away from a reliable system for debriding plaque from my arteries in such a way that it doesn’t wedge itself in a cerebral capillary. But much like unified field theory or that elusive even integer of Pi, I suspect that both the making appetizing of the sandwich and guaranteeing the security of the vascular network will be a lot like opening the lost ark. How many avenging angels do you want to let out of hell at the same time?

  14. Jonny5 - Jan 13, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    There is no need to worry about your vascular network, all you have to do is flush them with a good dose of beer at least 3 times a week, 4 during the superbowl week. And the upside is we already have the technology gator, so put down that “retirementville” martini and pick up a 12 pack of some tasty German brew. Doctor Jonny says take 4, 3 times a week until superbowl weekend, although it will bump the triglycerides it will dump the cholesteral level right into your toilet, which at your age, i’m sure you visit it quite frequently……;>P

  15. Old Gator - Jan 13, 2010 at 5:12 PM

    At my age, I carry the toilet with me.

  16. Vaughn Dreuitt - Jan 17, 2010 at 6:15 AM

    I can see that you are an expert at your field! I am launching a website soon, and your information will be very useful for me.. Thanks for all your help and wishing you all the success in your business.

  17. NBA headlines - Feb 3, 2010 at 3:58 PM

    A thoughtful insight and ideas I will use on my blog. You’ve obviously spent some time on this. Well done!

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