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Yankees President Randy Levine blasts Rangers Owner Chuck Greenberg

Jan 28, 2011, 4:02 PM EDT

Randy Levine

Remember earlier this week when Chuck Greenberg said that he thinks the Rangers’ visit to Cliff Lee’s home in Arkansas contributed to Lee signing with Philly instead of the Yankees?  Yeah, Yankees President Randy Levine didn’t much care for that:

“If he really wants to impress us then he can get the Rangers off of welfare and show how they can be revenue-sharing payors, rather than recipients for three years in row, without financing from Major League Baseball. That would really be something … I think Chuck is delusional.  He’s been in the game a few minutes but it seems to be that he thinks he knows what everybody else is thinking. He should really let Cliff Lee speak for himself.”

I’m struggling to think why Greenberg’s comments — however silly they might have been — would have upset Levine so much.  They weren’t directed at the Yankees. They were just musings. All I can guess is that Levine in no way wants anyone to suggest that the Yankees had a real shot at Lee. That the Phillies’ signing of him was occasioned by fate as opposed to the intervention of the Rangers or the failures of the Yankees. Maybe he struck a nerve.

And what’s with the stuff about revenue sharing?  I can’t help but think that Levine is going to get a call from Selig over that.  Levine may not like it, but revenue sharing is part of baseball’s architecture. It is designed to aid teams that were not, like Levine’s Yankees, blessed with a monopoly over the largest media market in the country. An effort, however insufficient it is in practice, to help teams not as fortunate as the Yankees to compete on something approximating an equal footing.

And really: given how tied up Randy Levine was in securing over a billion dollars in tax exempt bonds for the construction of Yankee Stadium — and how defensive he was about it when people called the Yankees out on that — he’s the last dude who should be complaining about welfare.

I don’t think Major League Baseball will appreciate revenue sharing being referred to as “welfare.”  And even if they don’t mind that term, I don’t think Selig will take kindly to Levine blasting revenue sharing recipients any more than we would take to some rich guy who inherited family money blasting a poor person for accepting welfare when they need it.

  1. Old Gator - Jan 28, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    Rich guys with family money blast poor guys on welfare all the time. They’re called “conservatives” when they do it from home and Faux News pundits when they do it from the studio.

    • jh0088 - Jan 28, 2011 at 4:11 PM


    • shaggylocks - Jan 28, 2011 at 4:27 PM


    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jan 28, 2011 at 4:48 PM

      Seriously, this comment should be bronzed and hung up somewhere for all to see.

    • billybeaneismyhero - Jan 28, 2011 at 5:25 PM

      I’m not saying you’re wrong, but… The only real difference I’ve found between liberals and conservatives is guilt.

      Also, to be fair, MSNBC is the Fox News from the left. I’m in no way defending the chotchbags over at Fox, but the least we can all do as commenters is be fair and balanced…which is of course where Fox and MSNBC fail.

      • Mike Luna - Jan 28, 2011 at 6:17 PM

        Well said, Billy.

      • Old Gator - Jan 29, 2011 at 2:13 PM

        I agree, but this particular thread wasn’t about poor guys with no money blasting rich guys with family money; it was about rich guys with family money blasting poor…well…er….less rich guys on MLB welfare. And anyway, you don’t have Keith Olbermann to kick around anymore, but you do have Glenn Beck, Sarah Whatsername, Bill O’Reilly and the rest of the knuckledragging hoard. Be thankful for what bounties we are vouchsafed; it’s a world of deprivation out there.

    • ta192 - Jan 28, 2011 at 10:36 PM

      Well said, OG!

    • indaburg - Jan 29, 2011 at 7:54 AM


  2. BC - Jan 28, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    Randy Levine and Chuck Greenberg are both chipwiches.
    Hey, my first double-chipwich comment. Cool.
    Drat. Now I’m hungry.

  3. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 28, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    Is that D-list celebrity boxing show still on? I think we can settle this like grown-ups…CAGE MATCH!!!!!

  4. royalintx - Jan 28, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    Hey Gator…go take another bong hit and shutup.

    If you are too stupid to realize how ridiculous your comment is and how out of place it is here, please crawl in a gutter and don’t come out.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jan 28, 2011 at 4:26 PM

      Not that OG needs me to say anything, but any comments that aren’t abusive or bigoted are permitted and, indeed, encouraged here. What is not tolerated is people calling other commenters stupid.

      • mtner77 - Jan 29, 2011 at 4:03 AM

        “Not that OG needs me to say anything, but any comments that aren’t abusive or bigoted are permitted and, indeed, encouraged here.”

        Especially if said comments veer far to the left, right Craig?

        I wonder if in this “tolerant” world you are creating here, would Luke Scott’s comments be welcome, since they are neither abusive nor bigoted?? Your hard left stance on EVERYTHING is very annoying to some. (Then we remember you are paid by NBC). Gee, I thought this was a baseball site? Why must you inject leftist politics into everything? Did it ever occur to you that you may have some readers who are NOT hardcore left wing fanatics?? Baseball is universal. When I come here, I want the latest MLB news, NOT the latest update on a fight between FNC and MSNBC. (Again, far too much to ask, NBC and all).

        If you want to be the next pundit on MSNBC (sproating the company line of course), I think that there is an opening, right in front of Meadows. You should apply.

        In the mean time, give the rest of us a break!

        P.S: In Advance….. Same to ya!

      • Old Gator - Jan 29, 2011 at 2:15 PM

        Craig – thanks, but I don’t need royalintx to encourage me to take a bong hit either.

      • Old Gator - Jan 29, 2011 at 2:18 PM

        mntner77: what’s a “sproat”?

    • clydeserra - Jan 28, 2011 at 4:28 PM

      out of place, maybe. Ridiculous, no.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jan 28, 2011 at 4:52 PM

      Take a bong hit and chill brah.

      • Gobias Industries - Jan 28, 2011 at 4:53 PM

        Craig, please tell Heyward that we’re not allowed to call other commenters “brah” either.

    • indaburg - Jan 29, 2011 at 7:59 AM

      Methinks you could use a couple of bong hits yourself, royalintx. Relax…

      • indaburg - Jan 29, 2011 at 8:02 AM

        Oops, didn’t see El Bravo’s comment.

  5. shaggylocks - Jan 28, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    I’m glad you mentioned the new Yankee Stadium. That’s the first thing I thought of when I read Levine’s comments.

  6. clydeserra - Jan 28, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    Glass houses (skyscrapers?) and all.

  7. Gobias Industries - Jan 28, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    Egad. That’s not exactly a proportional response to Greenberg’s comments by Levine. It’s like kicking some guy in the nuts when they give you a wet willy.

    • Kevin S. - Jan 28, 2011 at 7:01 PM

      The last guy who gave me a wet willy would have gotten off easy if all I’d done was kick him in the nuts.

  8. yankeesfanlen - Jan 28, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    Uh-oh. Randy’s been hanging out with Hank too much.

    Monopoly over the largest media market in the country? A little bit over-stated, Craig.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jan 28, 2011 at 4:57 PM

      Sure, the Mets are there too. But the Yankees do have the largest media market in the country and no other team apart from the Mets are allowed to compete with them there. Even splitting NY with the Mets, the Yankees revenues, both potential and actual, dwarf that of the Rangers.

      Not that the Rangers are even the issue here. Levine said much the same thing about the Brewers last year, and they occupy the smallest media market in the country.

      Levine is just being an ass here, and his habit of slamming anyone who dares criticize him with “well, you don’t make as much money as the Yankees do” is just poor.

      • yankeesfanlen - Jan 28, 2011 at 5:26 PM

        The entire episode tells how territorial Randy is with the Yankees. At the very end of the Daily News article, it recaps Greenberg’s “Yankees fans are terrible” fiasco from the ALCS. With this hair across his ass, he will probably blast the Rangers til
        kingdom come.

        NYC, rightly or wrongly, was complicit in the building of New Yankee Stadium. Not unprecedented for either MLB or the City. In my opinion, that’s better than Robert Moses running them out of town (very mixed historical metaphor).

        Randy says and does things that are sometimes nonsensical, there’s a given. Sometimes these things, like this, are asinine. But sometimes not (Soriano signing). My point about not being a monopoly (mono=one) still stands, particularly since there are seven other pro or semi-pro non-baseball outlets for New York sports fans. (Who are pretty irrational on their own)

      • uyf1950 - Jan 28, 2011 at 5:29 PM

        Craig – Greenburg has found the need to make subtle and not so subtle digs at the Yankees and NY fans ever since he assumed the helm of the Rangers. It’s not that long ago that he issued an apology to the Yankees for comments he made. I don’t blame the Yankees ownership for being upset with him I think his comments are very calculated.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Jan 28, 2011 at 5:31 PM

        But calculated to do what in this instance? I think Greenberg was being silly with that “we made Cliff Lee sign with the Phillies” stuff, but I really don’t see how anyone could see that as a shot at the Yankees. What am I missing here?

      • uyf1950 - Jan 28, 2011 at 5:43 PM

        Craig – Didn’t Greenberg say at one point that it was because “they” (the Rangers brain trust and money man) made the trip to see Lee that prior to that trip he believed Lee was going to sign with the Yankees and that after that trip they opened the door for the Phillies to sign him. It seems to me and I may be wrong but that was a clear dig at the Yankees. That’s just my opinion.

      • bigharold - Jan 28, 2011 at 7:19 PM

        “I think Greenberg was being silly with that “we made Cliff Lee sign with the Phillies” stuff, but I really don’t see how anyone could see that as a shot at the Yankees. What am I missing here?”

        I think it was in fact a pretty weak dig at the Yankees, .. as if we beat the Yankees in the playoffs and we’re the reason that you didn’t get your prized FA target too. Perhaps my Bronx roots are showing?? It didn’t seemed that veiled either. Nor did it seem potent either. All Greenberg did was show himself for the jackass that he is, .. sort of like Randy’s response did for him.

        But, .. the Yankees will get the last laugh. By virtue of defeating the Yankees in the playoffs all the Ranger players will want that much more money in their next contracts. So take that Chuckie!

  9. billybeaneismyhero - Jan 28, 2011 at 5:26 PM

    Levine’s become such a hot head lately. It’s almost as if he’s trying to pick up the slack for the Yankees now that Big Stein is dead.

    • Old Gator - Jan 29, 2011 at 7:02 PM

      That’s nothing. You should see his heap spin around 180 degrees and watch him spit up green slime. I think maybe there’s something more than picking up slack going on here.

  10. ceadderman - Jan 28, 2011 at 8:56 PM

    The Yankees can buy every player that is looking for the big payday, but no matter what they still have to play the games and Win to make the World Series. I don’t care if they want to spend more than everyone else. It just makes me laugh harder when they fall on their faces and then do it again the next year.

    “But we have more trophies than anyone” Yeah, so? You should given the annual payroster they have. Hell you SHOULD have them all. But ya don’t.

    And I agree that when you dip into the citizens pockets to build a new Stadium(w/o cutting payroll no less) then you cannot open your yap and whine about someone being a beneficiary of revenue sharing.

    I don’t hate the Yankees. But I sure as heck don’t envy them either. xD

  11. angrycorgi - Jan 29, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    Stay classy, Yankee shit-bag…

  12. Jonny 5 - Jan 30, 2011 at 10:13 AM

    Well, it’s becoming more and more apparent to me now why Lee did sign with Philadelphia. He wanted to work for someone who wasn’t run by a bunch of sh!tbags. Had Amaro lost out on Lee, I picture a totally different type of reaction from him on the matter.These other two teams are arguing back and forth over Cliff Lee, really? It’s time to turn the page guys, mmmmkay…

  13. deathtoallpoets - Jan 30, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    Agreed. Get over it, you both lost out on Lee.

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