It wouldn’t feel right if large market teams were not complaining about revenue sharing and smaller market franchises. Fortunately, New York Yankees president Randy Levine came to the rescue.
Levine specifically called out the Rays and Marlins during a panel as part of Sportico’s Invest in Sports conference. He decried their lack of attendance, saying that “You can’t have two Florida teams averaging 15,000 fans. You can’t have it.” He also claimed that revenue sharing creates a dependency issue, incentivizing teams to avoid responcibility.
Funny thing about the 2023 season and the New York Yankees…
There may be some truth to Levine’s statements. The Rays have never been amongst the biggest spenders in the majors and the location of Tropicana Field makes it difficult to bring fans into the ballpark. The Marlins current ownership slashed payroll upon taking over the franchise and has been loathe to spend. Instead, both teams look to build through their farm system and add underrated pieces as they need to shore up the roster.
That approach worked for both teams in 2023. The Rays and Marlins both found themselves in the postseason, although they were swept in the first round. The Yankees? They had to go on a late season surge to stay out of the AL East basement as they missed the playoffs for the first time since 2016. They have a flawed roster with a multitude of holes that throwing money at will not fix.
But it is easier to point the finger elsewhere. The Yankees had complained about the luxury tax and needing to practice fiscal responsibility. Their failures to acknowledge that a full third of their lineup was an offensive black hole were blamed on those problems. Now revenue sharing can be added to the list of reasons why the Yankees struggled in 2023.
The New York Yankees are complaining about the Rays and Marlins. Maybe they should pay more attention to their own issues.