Not that you didn’t know that already (remember how Oliver Perez was the next Sandy Koufax?). But now MLB brass is coming right out and saying it:
Major League Baseball executive vice president Rob Manfred responded strongly to revenue sharing figures thrown out by Scott Boras at last week’s general managers’ meetings indicating that Boras’s numbers “have no basis in reality” and that Boras is living in “fantasy land.”
Here Manfred is referring to Boras’ comments last week that there are Major League teams who receive $80 million from a baseball central fund and just pocket it rather than put it into payroll to make the teams better.
Given his penchant for exaggeration, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Boras’ actual numbers are off. But the thing is, he’s not wrong about the dynamic. Teams do take revenue sharing money and stash it or use it to pay down debt from their initial purchase of the team. There really is a strategy among some owners to maximize franchise value — which is where their money comes from — as opposed to maximizing wins and season-to-season revenue. Running a losing team with low gate is still a great deal as long as the team is low on debt, there’s a nice, owner-friendly stadium deal in place, and as long as MLB central will never let a franchise truly crater.
So maybe Boras’ $80 million figure is “fantasy land.” But even if were, say, $40 million, it doesn’t make him wrong.
Not long after the new ownership group bought the Miami Marlins, face of the franchise Derek Jeter made it clear that he wanted the home runs sculpture beyond the outfield fence gone. He simply doesn’t like it aesthetically and many think that, among Jeter’s goals, he’d like to erase any trace of Jeff Loria’s legacy, which includes the sculpture.
The problem: the sculpture is not Jeter’s to remove. The sculpture is public property, purchased as part of the Art in Public Places program, which requires art to be installed for the public in county-owned buildings, which includes Marlins Park. Miami-Dade officials have said that moving it was not possible as the sculpture was “not moveable” and was “permanently installed: as it was designed specifically for Marlins Park. And that’s before you get into how logistically complicated it would be to move it. It’s seven stories tall and is connected to a hydraulic system, plumbing and there’s electricity.
What Jeter wants, however, Jeter eventually gets. From the Miami Herald:
The Miami Marlins won county permission on Tuesday to move its home-run sculpture out of Marlins Park to the plaza outside . . . In its new location outside, “Homer” will still turn on for home runs, as well as at the end of every home win and every day at 3:05 p.m., an homage to Miami’s original area code.
It may or may not be moved before Opening Day, but once it is moved there will be a new seating and standing room only area for spectators where the sculpture currently sits.