It would seem abundantly clear, upon a full reading, that John Henry’s complete statement was pretty poorly represented in the national media, and deceptively so. Here it is:
It will suffice to say that we have a spending limit and the Yankees apparently don’t. Baseball doesn’t have an answer for the Yankees. Revenue sharing can only accomplish so much. At some point it becomes confiscation. It has not and it will not solve what is a very obvious problem.
More often than not, $50 million, on average, will not allow a major league baseball franchise to field a highly competitive team. Every year there will be an exception, but that is really the baseline number. So what has meaning are the dollars spent above $50 million. Most clubs can perhaps afford to spend $10 million to $25 million above that figure trying to compete. A few can spend as much as $30 million to $60 million above that. But one team can and is spending $150 million incremental, and at some point 29 owners and their players say to themselves, “We can’t have one team that can spend $10 above the baseline for every incremental dollar spent by an average team.” One thing is certain the status quo will not be preserved.
Fifty-seven percent of baseball fans polled this week by ESPN.com characterized this week’s events as “disgusting” and “sad.” As for me, although I have never previously been an advocate of a salary cap in baseball out of respect for the players, there is really no other fair way to deal with a team that has gone so insanely far beyond the resources of all the other teams. There must be a way to cap what a team can spend without hurting player compensation in toto without taking away from the players what they have rightfully earned in the past through negotiation and in creating tremendous value. Revenue sharing alone, sufficient to address a problem of this magnitude, would require pure confiscation – but there is a simple mechanism that could right a system woefully out of whack.
Regarding the questions about how I feel about Alex going to New York. Personally, I am very happy for Alex. He very much wanted to play in games that have meaning. This year he will get that chance. We will be ready as well. The Yankees will have spent more than double the incremental dollars we will spend this year. It’s a huge advantage, but we’re not waving a white flag. We’re going to continue to work just as hard to bring home a championship and are fortunate to have fans that are as uncompromising as we are when it comes to demanding excellence.