Major League Baseball owners have no decency, no shame, and lots of money.
Commissioner Bud Selig is trumpeting the fact that baseball’s revenues climbed to a record $6.075 billion this year.
“As I told the clubs, we’re on a great high here,” Selig said at the recent owners’ meetings in Naples, Florida.
Apparently, the first rule of being “on a great high” is to make sure everyone stays in line.
According to Mark Feinsand’s story in today’s Daily News, the Yankees are taking heat for their three-year, $45 million contract offer to Mariano Rivera.
Feinsand reported that the deal drew criticism from Major League Baseball executives in charge of monitoring salaries and payrolls, as sources said that Yankee executives Hal Steinbrenner and Randy Levine were admonished during the owners’ meetings for drastically upping the market for relievers.
Hank Steinbrenner commented to The New York Times on Rivera’s contract situation:
“They haven’t rejected it outright, as far as I know,” Steinbrenner said. “It’s pretty much known that they’re seeking a fourth year, or more [money] for three years.
“I want him back, and that’s why the offer is as high as it is,” Steinbrenner continued. “We don’t have to change anything. Everyone in baseball knows it’s a great offer; we’ve even gotten a couple of complaints about it.”
Those complaints – which clearly constitute collusion – basically ended negotiations between the Yankees and Rivera. The Yankees can’t up their offer even if they wanted to and Rivera can’t shop his services to other teams because it is those teams that are criticizing the Yankees’ current offer.
So it’s take-it-or-leave-it for the greatest relief pitcher ever.
It’s take-it-or-leave-it for the son of the Panamanian fisherman, who now knows what it’s like to swim with the sharks.
It’s take-it-or-leave-it from 30 men who think $6.075 billion isn’t nearly enough.
Major League Baseball owners have lots of money these days and they wield even more power. They are a monopoly with an anti-trust exemption that can openly collude against the great Mariano Rivera.
Their arrogance knows no bounds.