Word came down this week that MLB will be putting it's foot down when it comes to teams, specifically the Marlins, not spending their income from revenue sharing by forcing the Florida team to agree to spending ANY money earned through the system on player acquisition and development. It's a rare and welcome instance of the league confronting one of their most coddled crook owners, and as the Times article points out, an even rarer bit of proaction to avoid a labor grievance and lawsuit.
This problem has been endemic in the lower quarter of MLB payrolls since the current sharing system was instituted in 2002, as evidenced by the fact that the names on the bottom of that list rarely change. People have accused the Royals of hoarding like a fat cat lady and I've given the business to the Rays and former owner Vince Naimoli. Just the aesthetics of spending less than (or just about equal) to what you receive from other teams are bad. I've read arguments this week that say the Marlins have been "competitve" so let them stay the way they are and just cut their revenue sharing check. And this misses the point entirely.
Jeffrey Loria and the Marlins begged a new stadium out of the people fo South Florida and they owe it to the ones that are fans to put an entertaining team that can attract big name players and retain some of great young talent that they've had over the years. And one that can win a pennant instead of just finish over .500. That takes money. Reciting front office platitudes like "going out and winning ballgames," and "putting the best team on the field" which, like every other team in professtional sports, the Marlins do, is a joke when it is plainly obvious that the goal is simply to make a profit and hover around the 80 win mark.
I lived in South Florida for 3 baseball seasons and attended more Marlins games than I can count. Their admittedly small fanbase is filled with good baseball people and I always enjoyed watching games with them. But find it impossible to fathom how they can root for a team run by such an obvious shyster. Good for baseball for turning the screws on him. If anyone uses the term "free market" in the comments of this post I will come to your house and smash your computer.