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Bud Selig tells the Yankees to stop their complaining about revenue sharing

Feb 22, 2011, 4:39 PM EDT

New York Yankees general partner Steinbrenner talks with reporters at the team's spring training camp in Tampa

Ken Davidoff has what is hopefully the last we’ll hear of Hank Steinbrenner’s little tantrum yesterday.  Guess what: when Hank Steinbrenner said that guys were “too busy building mansions” he didn’t mean anyone specifically. He meant it as a figure of speech.  You know, like people have been saying since olden times.

I know that sounds crazy, but I can almost picture Liam Neeson saying — in a period drama — “Aye, he’s too busy buildin’ mansions to know bettur,” and having it make perfect sense.

More interesting to me is this bit:

Meanwhile, Bud Selig already has reached out to Hal Steinbrenner and president Randy Levine to remind them – to remind Hank – that there are to be no management comments about revenue sharing. There’s an MLB-wide gag order as we approach negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement.

That’s the part of Hank’s rant that stuck in my craw the most yesterday.  And stuck in my craw previously when Yankees President Randy Levine slammed revenue sharing to take a swipe at the Rangers.  I predicted at the time that Selig was going to say something to the Yankees about it, and I’m glad he did.

Like it or not, revenue sharing is a part of the game’s structure at present.  If a player were spouting off to the media about how the arbitration system is unfair or about how a team controlling them for six years or more was akin to indentured servitude, you can bet your bottom dollar that the league would freak.  Levine and Steinbrenner calling revenue sharing communism is no different and they need to put a sock in it.  Don’t like it? Negotiate a better deal next time.

  1. mightymike1250 - Feb 22, 2011 at 4:52 PM

    I think the problem that the Steinbrenners have (and this was certainly true of George) is that the recipients of revenue sharing often do not put those revenues back into their teams, but into the pockets of the owners. George Steinbrenner always maintained that if the more affluent teams like the Yankees are going to share revenues, then those revenues should be used to help teams go after better players and, therefore, bring about more competitiveness in the league, rather than paying for some owner’s yacht while his team lanquishes in last place. I happen to agree with the Steinbrenners on this.

  2. xmatt0926x - Feb 22, 2011 at 5:30 PM

    Agree totally. Why is it such a hard thing to put in place that if one team gives up some of its own revenue to a team that did nothing to earn it themselves that they be forced to spend it on the team or give it back?

    • pwf207 - Feb 23, 2011 at 9:08 AM

      for one thing it’s rather disingenuous for Hank to complain about this, he did nothing to earn the luxury and finery that he has experienced his entire life, and he does nothing to generate the revenue that he then complains is being redistributed. so basically he’s a spoiled brat with a tremendous sense of entitlement but he has no claim on the money besides the fact that his father made a shrewd investment that he had nothing to do with. literally that is all his claim is based on, he does no value adding work whatsoever, his is merely the rentier’s claim.

      secondly, the yankee’s massive revenue streams are due in large part to the anti trust exemptions that baseball enjoys, specifically the barriers to entry for new companies. these barriers are allowed legally to exist because baseball is considered a single entity whose teams are not truly in competition with each other from a business point of view. baseball under it’s anti-trust exemption is considered a single entity/organization, not a collection of truly competing franchises. therefore, any movement of funds among franchises is merely a decision about capital investment made by the officers of essentially one corporation, MLB, with the officers being the team owners. They have decided that it is in the best financial interests of Baseball, Inc. to allocate revenues to units within the corporate structure via the mechanisms of the luxury tax and revenue sharing. it’s not socialism as it is not the distribution of wealth among competing and separate entities.

      revenue sharing is the price Hank pays to maintain market exclusivity (fine i guess the Mets are there too but come on (sarcasm))

  3. yankeesfanlen - Feb 22, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    Can’t think of a reason to not let the Universe comment on this. As far as I’m concerned, they can make their profit and through revenue sharing keep other teams alive to draw more players into MLB> And, it’s like paying taxes, many complain but the system has to be maintained, complain away it’s a cost of doing business.
    This is gonna be a little too “trickle down” for Gator, sorry.

    • Old Gator - Feb 22, 2011 at 6:05 PM

      Hey, none of this trickles down to me. I’ve never received a revenue sharing check, electronic deposit or postal money order in my life.

      Now, if you want to discuss this with my old Shoes-for-Industry compadre Scrooge McLoria, whaddya wanna bet that he’s all for squeezing the Borg, the Beanbags, the Feelies and the Rangers until it trickles down to his money vault?

  4. marshmallowsnake - Feb 22, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    Bud shanked Hank! He must have seen my earlier post!

  5. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 22, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    Like it or not, revenue sharing is a part of the game’s structure at present

    Wait what? Is this really your justification for them to be quiet, that it’s the status quo? We can make a lot of absurd comparisons if that’s your reasoning. And from what I remember, King George did vote against the revenue sharing/luxury tax but it doesn’t need to be unanimous for the CBA to be approved.

    • spindervish - Feb 23, 2011 at 9:36 AM

      Word. Freedom of speech yo. If a player thinks the arbitration system is unfair, let him say it. Who gives a shit. Selig censoring players or owners or anybody is absurd.

  6. Utley's Hair - Feb 22, 2011 at 11:02 PM

    You refer to Hank’s “tantrum.” I see it more like a hissy fit.

    • spindervish - Feb 23, 2011 at 9:58 AM

      I see no important or useful distinction between the two.

    • angrycorgi - Feb 23, 2011 at 10:18 AM

      “Tantrum” suggests a childish outrage…Hank is a spoiled child…makes PERFECT sense to me. George Steinbrenner clearly never bothered teaching his kids anything…they’ve turned into nothing better than self-absorbed little sh**s…

  7. Professor Longnose - Feb 23, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    Wow. Steinbrenner has managed to get you to defend Bud Selig and oppose freedom of speech. I wouldn’t have thought it possible. Maybe he’s more of a force than I thought.

    • pwf207 - Feb 23, 2011 at 11:33 AM

      freedom of speech permits one to say what one wants within certain limits (like no shouting fire in a crowded theater), it does not grant immunity from criticism or forbid others from exercising their right to tell you shut up. also within the framework of CBA negotiation, leadership can tell represented entities not to speak on negotiated issues, as such commentary can detrimental. i am fairly certain that Bud does not have legal authority to compel Hank to comply but is acting in his capacity as Commissioner and nominal head of the owners.

      • Professor Longnose - Feb 23, 2011 at 3:03 PM

        That article said Selig is “reminding” Steinbrenner that there is to be no commentary. That doesn’t sound like someone with a pro-free-speech attitude trying to discuss the situation. It sounds like someone doing some threatening. And Craig’s defense sure doesn’t sound like, “Gee, I think he’s wrong; let’s get a dialogue going to so that we can expose his incorrect analysis.” Both of them are telling Steinbrenner to shut up, even though he’s expressing a common opinion about something that affects him quite a bit.

        This isn’t anything like shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater.

        Craq said that if a player spouted off against the 6-year reserve clause, MLB would freak. Maybe. But certainly Craig would freak out if anyone suggested the player should be quiet. It sure sounds like he’s only against Steinbrenner speaking out because he happens to disagree with him, not because he really feels that Steinbrenner doesn’t have the right to speak.

  8. simplicitymadecomplex - Feb 23, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    Hey fellow baseball fans if I may be sooooooo bold as to mention “my, my is it not simply amazin’ [ahh 1969 I remember it oh so well as it forced Earl Weaver to start gardening tomatoes while MANAGING] just how much POLITICS is intertwined with and within any known entity, especially any of the “bread & circus” industries. Waitasec politics is the very essence/the essential compontent of any and all “bread & circus” performances and these performances exist only to obscure any and all political interests and to manipulate the goal sought by our betters [which is of course me, mE, ME].

    Oh yes anyone who wishes to extend this analogy, to write, Madison WI and how much it reflects the recent Middle East quest for freedom, health for all u.s. owned insurance corporations, jobs or not for industry, planned parenthood, KKK-themed plates for rednecks, taxes for healthier communities, adequate schooling for every “member” of one’s society, yada, yada, yada.

    So yes, let us bury our collective heads [thus darkening our minds], sing la-la-la…, hope [hope being the word that defines “having no plan(s)”] for the best, smell more flowers, grasp at every fantasy and most of all let’s get into the 2011 baseball season in which we HOPE our team(s) win it all [and of course this means at all costs].

    Humans are the bestest at measuring, comparing, differentiating, rationalizing however for some reason we truly fuck it all up when “cost” is part of the equation.

    And like politics cost is ALWAYS a part of the equation.

    Once we are able to wrap our collective thinking around the industrial revolution [yea that one way back in the mid-1840’s on] then we may be able to get a better grip on all the equations floating through our realities [I mention realities given that MY standard for/of reality is that each human owns their own reality based primarily on the simple fact that each human approaches all those aforementioned equations differently – ahhh here comes our old friend Mr/Miss/Ms. Complex].

    Now doesn’t this help put a whole new meaning to our world of baseball ?

    James Hall..

    P.S. Just in case any of our fan base is under the opinion that I dislike baseball forget it. Baseball, the game itself, is the best PERIOD. No I thoroughly enjoy the game. It is humanity that saddens me, saddens me to my very core and unfortunately this includes the universe of baseball.

    Yep everything is connected, non ?

    • pwf207 - Feb 24, 2011 at 2:17 PM


  9. pwf207 - Feb 24, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    @Professor Longnose: i never suggested that Hank’s comments were equatable to yelling fire, i said that free speech has limits imposed on it, some legally like the prohibition against speech that is intended to cause harm, some suggestions to shut up for your own good or for the good of a group of which you are a member, as is the case with Hank and the other owners. it is is in the best interests of the owners as a group, of which Bud is the nominal head, to not have Hank spout off as he did. as such, it is not in the least anti free speech to suggest that Hank not speak as he did. free speech means that all legal forms of speech are tolerated, not that all forms are encouraged. this is an important distinction.

    Craig doesn’t like it when spoiled rich brats who provide nothing of any social value spout off about how they want to be richer than they already are. He is allowed to do so. Bud does not want to have a publicly divided group of owners with regards to CBA and his not violating anyone’s rights in telling Hank so.

    Again, free speech means that all legal forms of speech are tolerated, not that all forms must be encouraged and criticism is not a form of inhibiting free speech. in no way has Hank’s right to make legal forms of speech been inhibited, to so inhibit would be anti free speech.

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