Marlins (officially!) chided for thrifty ways

Remember all that talk about poor teams pocketing revenue-sharing money instead of spending it to improve the club? Well, it looks like one of those clubs got its hand caught in the cookie jar. From an official joint statement from the Players Association, Major League Baseball, and the Florida Marlins:

    The Basic Agreement requires that each Club use its revenue sharing receipts in an effort to improve its performance on the field. This requirement is of obvious importance to all players, Clubs and fans of the game. In recent years, the Union has had concerns that certain Clubs have not lived up to this requirement, and has consulted regularly with the Commissioner's Office about those concerns. The Florida Marlins are one of a number of Clubs that have been discussed.

    After extensive discussions, the three parties are pleased to announce that they have reached an agreement regarding the Florida Marlins' continued compliance with Article XXIV(B)(5)(a) of the Basic Agreement.

This is followed by exactly-what-you-would-expect statements from the interested parties:

* Players Association says the Marlins will now have to follow some guidelines;

* Marlins say they've been following the rules along; and

* MLB says everything's cool and will continue to be cool, but you'll have to take our word for it because all the juicy financial information is confidential.

Reading between the lines, it's pretty clear that the Players Association made at least a reasonable case that the Marlins really have been pocketing some of their revenue-sharing money. Otherwise Major League Baseball wouldn't have taken this extraordinary step of participating in a joint statement.

Chalk one up for the union and its brand new boss.