Yanks President Levine Rips Brewers Owner Over Revenue Sharing Comments
Yankees president Randy Levine didn't take kindly to those comments, and he publicly ripped Attanasio Tuesday morning in comments made to ESPN New York saying that his team "plays by the rules" and that teams like the Brewers have received "hundreds of millions of dollars" from his club over the past few seasons.
The response from Milwaukee was equally swift. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tom Haudricort points out that the Brewers' $85.3 million payroll this year is the highest in team history, and that's nearly $60 million higher than it was when Attanasio took over in 2005 (the team's 2004 salary was in the $27-28 million neighborhood. Attanasio responded this afternoon to say that he wasn't whining but rather stating a fact.
Levine is hardly the first big-market owner to complain about how small market clubs spend their revenue sharing money, and Attanasio isn't the first small-market owner to complain about the uneven playing field that exists in baseball. Baseball's revenue sharing system, which only penalizes big-market clubs by taxing them without capping salary, but doesn't actually require small-market clubs to spend the money they take out of revenue sharing on things like payroll, means that both of them have points.
The Brewers probably aren't the best target for Levine, though, because of all the reasons mentioned above, but that doesn't mean other teams don't do what he's accused the Brewers of doing. It's a long season, so there's plenty of time for name-calling and finger-pointing for everyone.