Yesterday a story broke that the Florida Marlins have been reprimanded by both Major League Baseball and the Players' Association for not spending the money they received through revenue sharing on baseball operations.
Since their inception, the Marlins have had a pretty predictable modus operandi - build a winner, then dismantle it by selling it off, piece by piece. It has brought the Franchise not one, but two World Series titles in their short history, but it has also made them the poster child for what is wrong with the revenue sharing process. They haven't won a title in six years, and typically we would all be waiting for the rising of the Marlins in 2010. To the contrary, their have been reports of them trying to trade slugging second baseman Dan Uggla this offseason, and even whispers about Josh Johnson, their staff ace, being available.
People can bitch and complain about the Yankees' spending habits, but I find this absolutely fucking repugnant. This is exactly what Hank Steinbrenner meant when he told the Associated press that the Yankees are "basically baseball's stimulus package" last February. Teams like the Marlins have been hoarding the money that has been given to them with the sole purpose of making them more competitive, and they should be retracted for it.
Because of the Yankees (and let's not discount the low-budget Red Sox), there is a lot of screaming and yelling demanding a salary cap, but I am not so sure that the high end of the spending spectrum is the real problem here. What may be more prudent would be a salary floor, forcing teams to spend a percentage of their revenue+revenue share on players and baseball operations, as opposed to pocketing proceeds. You can't tell me that the Florida Marlins don't have enough money to lock up Josh Johnson - that's horseshit. This is a team that just got a new ballpark approved, and they aren't paying for it (thanks Florida taxpayers!). Meanwhile, the Yankees go into hock up to their asshole, and still spend on the product that they are putting on the field. Am I saying that the Marlins need to be spending $200 million on payroll every year? Of course not. But would it be exhorbitant to set an annual number at, say, $50-60 million? No way.
If teams like the Marlins can't afford to put a quality product out there and take advantage of the large Miami market, one of two things needs to happen: 1, the league could demand that the team be put up for sale, and allow an owner like Mark Cuban to give a shit about the team's results or 2, the team could be contracted. I, for one, would be much happier watching 25 teams that compete year in and year out than having another 5 teams whose seasons are over in April **coughPiratescough**. For now, I commend the MLB and the MLBPA for at laest speaking up on the issue - but it is far from resolved.