MLB's revenue sharing program was supposed to take away money from teams that make a lot of it and give it to teams that need the financial support.
Through the end of the current CBA (2011 season), all 30 teams pay 31 percent of their local revenues into a pot each season. This pot is then evenly distributed among the 30 teams.
While a team in New York or Chicago pay more into this pot than a team in Tampa Bay or Kansas City, MLB distributes a portion of their Central Fund, which is comprised from sources like the television contract with the various networks, among the 30 teams with the teams that have the lowest revenues getting the most money.
Now that everyone understand how revenue sharing works, wasn't this money supposed to help the teams that didn't sell out every night, or help the teams that didn't make the playoffs, and finished in the last place every season?
That's what I thought.
But after documents were leaked the Pirates were revealed to have made $29.4 million in profits in 2007 and in 2008, the Marlins took in $95.2 million in revenue sharing, central-fund and local radio-TV payouts in 2008 (before they sold a ticket) and turned a $29.46 million profitand had a $36.8 million payroll, should revenue sharing continue?
It appeared the Pirates and Marlins were in financial trouble, and since many of us were under that impression, we were fooled to think the money these teams were receiving from the revenue sharing program were aiding these franchises in helping them stay afloat.
It has been reported, that although MLB and the MLBPA already knew that some of baseball's "poor" teams have been making small profits, the public did not.
According to ESPN.com, since 2000, 23 of the 30 clubs in MLB have made the playoffs, and two of the seven that have not reached the playoffs (the Cincinnati Reds and the Texas Rangers) are on track to participate in the postseason this year.
Despite baseball's attendance being down roughly two percent this season, the growing attendance that baseball has seen over the years, and the revenue that has been coming in over the past decade, continues to prove that fans are not turned off by any perceived imbalance, and revenue sharing does not appear to help poor teams compete.
Not every season, the teams who have the highest payroll play in the World Series, ala the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays. Therefore, instead of tweaking the current revenue-sharing system, baseball should eliminate it completely.
Because as we have seen, the public's perception of the smaller market teams unable to turn a profit is incorrect.
Why should the Yankees and the Red Sox continue to give "their money" to the Pirates and Marlins, when they don't even use their profits to improve their team?
The Rays have improved and succeeded by drafting players like Carl Crawford, B.J. Upton, Evan Longoria and David Price.
They have done it the correct way. That's how it should be.