There was an odd little press release from the offices of Major League Baseball on Tuesday that announced that the Florida Marlins and other clubs were being ordered to spend more of the money they receive from revenue sharing to improve their ballclubs. The money was being used instead for limo rides, private jets and bathtubs filled with caviar at the houses of team owners.
This has raised the rancor of the MLB Players Association and Red Sox owner John Henry recently expressed his own dissatisfaction with paying to feather the nests of other people. Presumably members of the Steinbrenner family feel the same way which makes one New York team happy about the announcement. The release was rather vague, something they likely also enjoy as it avoids a firm salary floor and its Yankee-unfriendly brother, the salary cap.
The other team, not so much. It's not that the Mets are into Bud Selig-enforced socialism -- Madoff-style felonies are more their speed -- so much as the fact that the Marlins won 87 games last year while apparently behaving in such a way that they weren't actively trying to be a good team. In the immediate term, it means they are lot less likely to trade Josh Johnson before he starts getting too expensive. That leaves one more ace pitcher in the NL East for now and, assuming the Marlins keep churning out good young players, the long term means that they'll never have the crater years that have potted their history despite winning two World Series since 1997.
That young player development is going to be the rub for the Mets, who probably wish they were still in a division with the Pirates at this point. The Pirates have alternated between spending too much money on mediocre talent and spending no money on mediocre talent, with the common thread that they weren't particularly well-run at any point. The Marlins have been a well-run team at $35 million and are probably still going to be a well-run team at $50 million.
It's not like the Mets have nothing going for them, though. It looks like the Mets are going to have Bengie Molina for the next two years to help them in their quest to beat back their Florida foes. Celebration time!