SBD/February 22, 2011/Franchises

MLB Franchise Notes: Hank Steinbrenner Calls For Revenue-Sharing Changes

Steinbrenner revealed Yankees paid $130M in revenue-sharing in '10
Yankees co-Chair & General Partner Hank Steinbrenner yesterday "called for a change in baseball’s revenue-sharing policy after divulging that his team contributed about $130 million, which includes a luxury-tax hit." Steinbrenner said that the '10 revenue-sharing figure was "an all-time high for the Yankees." He said, "We’ve got to do a little something about that. And I know (commissioner Bud Selig) wants to correct it a little, some way. Obviously, we’re very much allies with the Red Sox, the Mets, the Dodgers, Cubs, whoever, in that area." Steinbrenner added, "Don’t put teams in minor markets. Or don’t keep teams in minor markets. ... Communism, socialism, whatever you want to call it, is never the answer" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 2/22).

PIECE OF THE PIE? MLBPA Exec Dir Michael Weiner yesterday during the first stop on his Spring Training tour said that the "concept of a player gaining equity in the franchise for which he plays enjoys union support and is in keeping" with the CBA. Sources have indicated that "such a possibility was broached" during contract talks between the Cardinals and 1B Albert Pujols. Speaking at Cardinals camp, Weiner said, "Have we thought about it a little bit? Yes. Have we thought about it a lot? No. There are other circumstances in organized labor where you have a union (that) ends up with a piece of the business or members of the union end up with a piece of the business. There are ways to deal with it. If that were to happen we would deal with it." He added, "There are not going to be a lot of player and clubs who would be interested in talking about that kind of (equity) arrangement" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 2/22).

REELING THEM IN: In Miami, Barry Jackson reported the Marlins "sold 45,131 tickets on the first day individual game tickets went on sale" Saturday, the "most in team history." Also at FanFest weekend at Sun Life Stadium, team President David Samson said that the Marlins "hope to offer tours of the new ballpark beginning in late summer or early fall." In November, the team "will unveil its new uniforms and logo and officially change its name to the Miami Marlins." Jackson noted only "two of the new stadium’s 379 Diamond Club seats behind home plate remain unsold" for the debut '12 season. Samson added that "1,000 of the stadium’s 37,000 seats will be standing-room only" (MIAMI HERALD, 2/20).

THE A'S HAVE IT: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area’s Ray Ratto noted A's DH Hideki Matsui arrived at Spring Training with a "huge Japanese media contingent as expected,” but there also were a “lot of just regular fans who came out, which is fairly unusual for the A's, at least in the last eight to 10 years.” Ratto estimated about 80 fans were watching the team’s first workout yesterday, which is “awfully high for them.” Ratto: “Maybe the expectations that people are whispering about are starting to get down to the grassroots here" ("Chronicle Live," Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, 2/21).
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