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I get the feeling sometimes that Randy Levine and I are somewhat alike.  Occasionally my friends and family joke about how I don’t have that “filter” that most people have that makes them hold back on telling other people how it really is.  ‘Cause I really do have no problem saying whatever comes to mind as long as it’s not really hurtful.

Anyways, I was very happy to read about Randy Levine telling Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio to stop whining about how the Yankees spend money.  Well done, Mr Levine, well done.

Apparently Attanasio and the Brewers are having a difficult time signing prized first baseman Prince Fielder to a contract extension and he’s blaming it on the big money that teams like the Yankees pay to their stars.  Attanasio was quoted by USA Today as saying, “We’re struggling to sign [Fielder] and the Yankees infield is making more than our team.”

The Yankees infield will make around $85 Million this season and the entire team payroll should be around $206 Million with Alex Rodriguez making $33 Million.  In comparison, Milwaukee’s total team payroll is around $80 Million and the Pittsburgh Pirates have dropped their payroll this season to around $35 Million – just a tad more than A-Rod himself will make.

When questioned about it by ESPNNewYork.com, Levine said:

“I’m sorry that my friend Mark continues to whine about his running the Brewers.  We play by all the rules and there doesn’t seem to be any complaints when teams such as the Brewers receive hundreds of millions of dollars that they get from us in revenue sharing the last few years. Take some of that money that you get from us and use that to sign your players.  The question that should be asked is: Where has the hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue sharing gone?”

Well said, Mr Levine.  Baseball, and every other sport for that matter, is a business and a business must spend money to make money.  A sales company needs to make sure its product fills a want or need (so people buy it) and is priced correctly enough to gain market share while making a profit.  A baseball team needs to field a great team so people want to buy tickets and gear and price everything correctly so market share and a profit can be gained.  Attanasio should know this; he’s an investment banker.

I don’t even want to hear the BS that small market teams can’t spend that much money because they don’t make that much money.  Enough of that silly argument.  In business, you need to spend money to make money.  There are small market teams in every other sport that transcend their market and have a national appeal because they field a good product almost every season.  Teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers in the NFL and the Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA.

So, Mr Attanasio…where is that revenue sharing money going?  To pay for your yacht?

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Embattled New York governor David Patterson may be investigated by the New York State Ethics Committee for accepting as many as 5 Yankee tickets for last Wednesday’s Game 1 in the Bronx.  The New York Post broke the story on Monday, stating that the tickets had a value of at least $2,000.

Public officials like the governor are prohibited for accepting gifts of anything higher than a “nominal value” from entities like the Yankees who lobby for their interests in state government.

The intriguing thing is the initial lies told by the governor’s office.  At first questioning by the Post, Patterson spokesman Peter Kauffmann said that Yankees president Randy Levine personally offered the tickets to Patterson.  When questioned, Levine called Kauffmann and Patterson liars, saying: “He’s a liar.  I never talked to him.”

So Kauffmann told another story – that Yankees COO Lonn Trost offered the tickets to Patterson.  Levine also denied that story.  At that point, according to the Post, Kauffmann admitted that Trost had offered playoff tickets, but not World Series tickets specifically.

The Post found out from an official in Patterson’s office that Patterson had an aide get the tickets for him, because “the governor did not want to pay.”

This is very naughty.

Patterson is already embattled among voters in New York State.  He came to power after former NY governor Elliot Spitzer resigned in disgrace after a prostitution scandal, just in time for the US economic collapse.  Patterson has imposed several new taxes and other things that have earned him one of the lowest approval ratings ever for a NY governor.

This ethics issue will not help anything.  Kinda foolish on his part.

Yup, you read that headline right. During yesterday’s hearing on public financing for Yankee Stadium, Assemblyman Richard Brodsky said to Yankees President Levine and NYC Economic Development Chief Seth Pinsky, “I would welcome the chance to have a civil, in-your-face fist fight with either of you.”

This role model of an assemblyman represents Westchester County, and is clearly grandstanding for attention.  Although I happen to agree with Brodsky that the Yankees need to find a way to finance more of the project themselves, I don’t really think challenging Levine to a “civil fist-fight” is the way to go about it.

“In these tough times you should be encouraging us to create jobs instead of engaging in political grandstanding that discourages it,” Levine told Brodsky.  I’ll agree with Levine on this one.  Shut your mouth, Brodsky, unless you can come up with something more rational to say.

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