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Brewers owner, Yankees president having a delicious little spat

Apr 6, 2010, 4:15 PM EDT

In that USA Today salary piece I linked yesterday, Brewers’ owner Mark Attanasio complained thusly:

“We’re struggling to sign (first baseman Prince Fielder) and the Yankees infield is making
more than our team.”

Yankees’ President Randy Levine fired back today:

“I’m sorry that my friend Mark continues to whine about his running
the Brewers. 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?”

Seems like a rather prickly and, well, downright mean comment from Levine, doesn’t it? I mean, Attansio may have been a bit whiney, sure, but he was merely describing a reality in payroll disparity, not indicting the Yankees. At least from what I can tell.

And to be fair: the Brewers do take revenue sharing money — reportedly about $30 million this past year — but they also have an $85 million payroll, so it’s not like they’re pocketing the money, which is the implication of Levine’s comment. The Brewers also play in a market with a population less than one-tenth the size the Yankees do, and a decent chunk of that is lousy with Cubs fans.  I think the Brewers do a pretty good job all things considered. Seems like it would call for a more politic response from Levine than the rebop he gave.

In other news, what happened to the idea of Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman doing all the talking for the Yankees and the rest of the royal court keeping the heck out of things? That has seemed to work pretty well these past couple of years.

  1. d - Apr 6, 2010 at 4:23 PM

    I like it when the Yankees brass get’s all crazy-speak. It’s fun!
    madelyn unlife

  2. phillymike - Apr 6, 2010 at 4:24 PM

    And we wonder where this idea of entitlement comes from in Yanks fans.

  3. lar @ wezen-ball - Apr 6, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    Brewers are getting $30 million in luxury tax this year? The article says that the Yankees have given out $175 million in luxury tax over 7 years, and that that total is 92% of all tax doled out. That would mean that $190 million has been doled out over 7 years. That doesn’t seem to jive with the $30 mil the Brewers are supposedly getting this year.
    .
    Hmm, might have to ask Maury Brown to explain this…

  4. Craig Calcaterra - Apr 6, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    lar — revenue sharing and luxury tax is not the same thing. The former is much greater.

  5. Old Gator - Apr 6, 2010 at 4:27 PM

    Randy Levine, meet Jeffrey Loria.
    .
    Please.

  6. YankeesfanLen - Apr 6, 2010 at 4:28 PM

    C’mon, you don’t really want Hank to respond do you? Hal and Brian didn’t want to bother and Randy had a snootful after the loss to Sawx.
    Captcha: he dimly- lit into another owner without usual Universe constraint.

  7. lar @ wezen-ball - Apr 6, 2010 at 4:30 PM

    Gonna go out on a limb here and say that the ESPNNY.com article has a mistake in there…

  8. YX - Apr 6, 2010 at 4:35 PM

    Randy Levine is a notorious prick
    He seems to have one of those outburst every Spring

  9. lar @ wezen-ball - Apr 6, 2010 at 4:46 PM

    Yes, that makes sense, Craig. Thanks.
    .
    Of course, the quote that confused me in the article said “In the initial seven years of the luxury tax, the Yankees have paid teams nearly $175 million in revenue sharing, according to the BizofBaseball.com. That is 92 percent of the total revenue sharing that has been doled out.”, so they seem to have confused the two too. Thanks for clearing it up, Craig.

  10. Bob in MN - Apr 6, 2010 at 4:53 PM

    The real problem is with the unbalanced schedule which allows MLB to maximize industry revenues via the Yankees and Redsox. You wouldn’t expect anything else from a used car salesman, I mean owner, I mean commissioner would you?
    All Selig cares about it maximizing revenues for MLB and his fellow owners. He doesn’t care about the integrity of the game or a league in which all teams have an equal fair chance to compete for and keep talent. Its all about maximizing revenue’s and the only way he can do that is to allow the Mega-Market teams to run amuck. Its really for the better of the league, as long as that league is really a David and Goliath system.

  11. Matt G. - Apr 6, 2010 at 4:53 PM

    I guess they’re all playing by the same rules in the sense that MLB would never allow another team to move to Milwaukee or New York. Of course without MLB’s anti-competitive rules, teams would flock to the New York area, which could probably support at least five or six teams hoping to make at least as much money as the Brewers make.

  12. Jason @ IIATMS - Apr 6, 2010 at 4:54 PM

    Randy Levine is a bully, thug, thief, villian… all wrapped up in a $3k suit and bad hair.
    He was part of Guiliani’s admin and came over to the Yanks seemingly expressly to get the New Stadium built, able to maneuver through the political jungle/swamp/cesspool that is NYC politics and construction planning/permits.
    And he’s a scumbag who will try to verbally throw down with anyone, so I hear. So you read.
    Captchya: impression warrants

  13. Ryan - Apr 6, 2010 at 5:00 PM

    You know, it’s fun when these pompous pricks with their heads so far in the clouds use the massive advantages they hold over their competition, the same advantage that allows them to compete at levels multiple that of their competitors, yet they refuse to accept that is the reason for their success and talk down to those who would question their reign.

    The only retribution comes when the Rays kick these fatcats’ asses.

    Is there any chance of the island of Manhattan floating away anytime soon?

  14. Steve Flack - Apr 6, 2010 at 5:04 PM

    “The Brewers also play in a market with a population less than one-tenth the size the Yankees do, and a decent chuck of that is lousy with Cubs fans.”
    The proper answer to the problem: Contraction.

  15. d - Apr 6, 2010 at 5:07 PM

    and he’s got a CHB/Shank/Dan shaughnessy haircut (who by the way looked like he has hit the media room spread way to much over the winter)
    mccullom hormones

  16. cvasq - Apr 6, 2010 at 5:18 PM

    *^*&*& your politiacaly correct awsner craig c.
    so send your paycheck to them then they might sigh you up

  17. Yossarian - Apr 6, 2010 at 5:25 PM

    Until MLB goes to revenue-sharing NFL style, we’re just wasting time listening to Attansio and Levine.

  18. Perry - Apr 6, 2010 at 5:26 PM

    Speaking as a Yankee fan I don’t blame Mr. Lavine for speaking his mind. If all these team owners in “small” markets don’t like their situation let them relocate to a larger market. Im sure there are a few larger markets then Milwaukee that don’t currently have a baseball team that would love to have one. All these teams that complain about the Yankees I don’t see them turning away the extra money the Yankees bring in when they come to their ballparks to play. I read all the time about how everyone hates the Yankees, one thing I can say for sure is I would rather be a hated winner then a loved loser.

  19. Ryan - Apr 6, 2010 at 5:42 PM

    Perfect example of a pompous Yankee fan. Yes, let me just pick up and move my franchise. What an excellent idea – which market exactly do you think the Brewers should move to?

  20. JudyJ - Apr 6, 2010 at 5:47 PM

    Back attcha phillymike. Your team didn’t seem to be on austerity this year. I think the Yankee brass/ownership should be outraged when the Brewers take millions each year from revenue sharing. How do the Phillies fans feel when the second finishing NL team takes home a share of the World Series pie like the Red Sox did in the AL? Doesn’t your team have a luxury tax to pay? No? Well, guess what, they are paying for the cheap crap, dead wood teams from your gate revenue rather than having those owners put money back into their teams. Entitlement – no such thing – the Yankees pay for what they get and, believe it or not, so do the Phillies. Your fans aren’t quite at the entitlement phase yet – just at the obnoxious, discourteous stage.

  21. JudyJ - Apr 6, 2010 at 5:49 PM

    how about, hmmmm, Nicaragua – what they pay their team they could have golden glovers galore

  22. Wendall - Apr 6, 2010 at 5:50 PM

    Sounds like another disgruntled red sux fan .

  23. adam7271 - Apr 6, 2010 at 5:52 PM

    Perry, you are a wiener. Where should the Brewers relocate to?
    The worst part about yankee fans like yourself? You actually think your team wins championships in any kind of honorable or equitable way. The current system gives your team an obscene advantage, and your fans treat it like a birthright. There’s nothing good about how the yankees win championships.

  24. Perry - Apr 6, 2010 at 5:54 PM

    Ryan, I never really thought of myself a “pompous”. Just an enthusiastic Yankee fan. As far as the team moving you do realize the Milwaukee Brewers were originally the Seattle Pilots in 1969. So relocating is in their history.

  25. Eli - Apr 6, 2010 at 5:59 PM

    How about relocating the Brewers to New York, then? The area is certainly large enough to host a third team (or second since the Mets barely count at this point). Then Levine wouldn’t have to complain since the Yankees wouldn’t be bringing in quite as much revenue and wouldn’t have to fund the rest of the teams in the league through revenue sharing. Sounds like a win-win to me. I’m sure the Yankees (and you) wouldn’t have any objection to that and would appreciate the competition.

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