Selig endorses Pirates’ plan, payroll


MILWAUKEE — Commissioner Bud Selig tonight said the Pirates’ payroll level shows their rebuilding plan is “on the right track.”

Selig added that the Players’ Association six months ago asked to discuss the Pirates’ finances with MLB officials.

“They left satisfied,” Selig said.

Last weekend, the Pirates’ audited financial records for 2007-09 were leaked by The Associated Press. The Pirates turned $34.8 million profit over those three years, despite not finishing above .500 since 1992.

“I’m satisfied they are making good progress right now,” Selig said. “We’ve had other franchises that were in somewhat the same shape. Minnesota went 10-12 years losing, Detroit went a lot, Milwaukee went a lot. They’ve all come back now, so I am hopeful (about Pittsburgh). I’ve seen a very positive evaluation of their last two or three drafts.”

Selig said the data does not give an accurate portrayal of the effectiveness of baseball’s revenue-sharing system.

“You have to look at the long view of numbers, not just a year or two,” Selig said. “Am I satisfied with everything that’s gone on? I’ve said that the system needs to be tweaked here and there. What this has proven is that this has led to more competitive balance than we’ve ever had. Am I satisfied the system is working? Yes. Am I satisfied that it’s absolutely perfect? No. But that’s the only comment I have on the numbers.”