Levine calls out Brewers owner

BOSTON -- New York Yankees president Randy Levine fired an executive-level brushback pitch at Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio.

Levine's message: Stop whining.

Levine believes Attanasio should stop publicly lamenting the Brewers' troubles in signing first baseman Prince Fielder while pointing out how much the Yankees spend on salaries.

"I'm sorry that my friend Mark continues to whine about his running the Brewers," Levine told ESPNNewYork.com in a phone interview Tuesday morning. "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?"

The Yankees' payroll is expected to be about $200 million this year; the Brewers' will be in the $80 million range.

Levine made his comments in reaction to an Attanasio quote in a USA Today story about the average salaries of this year's players. Attanasio -- as he has done before -- made sure to mention the discrepancy in how much the Yankees spend on players in comparison to other teams.

"We're struggling to sign [Fielder] and the Yankees infield is making more than our team," Attanasio told the paper.

The Yankees infield will make $85.225 million this year. Third baseman Alex Rodriguez will make $33 million, which is slightly less than the Pirates' entire payroll of nearly $35 million.

Derek Jeter, who is a free agent at the end of the season, will take in $22.6 million. Mark Teixeira is scheduled to earn $20.625 million.

Robinson Cano, meanwhile, must survive on a measly $9 million.

Fielder, who is represented by Scott Boras, is a free agent at the end of the 2011 season. Boras' clients usually wait until free agency before signing, but the two sides are reportedly in negotiations.

In the initial seven years of the luxury tax, the Yankees have paid teams nearly $175 million in revenue sharing, according to the BizofBaseball.com. That is 92 percent of the total revenue sharing that has been doled out.

Andrew Marchand covers baseball for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter.