Selig on Revenue Sharing (circa 2003)

I was reading through old articles today and found the following gem from our favourite current MLB Commissioner (by default, of course, but it's the type of thing he'd want credit for) from 2003:

You wouldn't have seen Anaheim [2002] or Florida [2003] in a World Series if this were 10 years ago. I'm convinced there will be other manifestations of revenue sharing in the future.
-USA Today interview

The above quote is supposed to be about how well revenue-sharing is working, but in effect it just demonstrates that the Commissioner's Office either thinks fans are stupid or itself is stupid. Possibly both. The article was written in 2003, so that the Marlin's would not have been in a World Series 10 years earlier is unspectacular. Guess what else he could have said? "You wouldn't have seen Arizona in a World Series if this were 10 years ago." That would have only been slightly more disingenuous, just a lot more obvious. No kidding Florida probably wouldn't make the WS in 1993. Nor before. Nor in 1994. None of those have anything to do with revenue sharing, including the detail Selig is attributing to his brainchild.

In fact, the Marlins are a pretty textbook example of what went wrong with revenue sharing. In 1997, they mustered up enough payroll to crack the top third in baseball and won their first World Series. Also in 1997, MLB instituted revenue sharing. The Marlins proceeded to fall immediately to the bottom third of the league in payroll and stayed there continuously through 2003 (including their WS winning 2003 season). They eventually became notorious for pocketing revenue sharing funds rather than investing them into the team and have fielded team payrolls lower than their revenue sharing payments alone.

As for Anaheim, the only two things I can think of are:

1)that Selig assumed most fans didn't know where Anaheim was in proximity to LA (then they went and changed their name and made it obvious how full of shit he was).


2)that there was officially no "Anaheim" team ten years earlier at all.

So I guess Selig's goal here is to win by default?


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