Earlier this week, incomplete financial statements from six clubs -- including Pittsburgh's -- were leaked, showing that, absent considerable key expenditures, the Pirates made more than $34 million in profits from 2007-2009. Anticipating that disclosure, Pirates officials gave four media outlets unprecedented access to the club's books and majority owner Bob Nutting said, "I know we're acting honorably. I know we're acting in the best interest of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball club. I know we're making good decisions that are going to help us create a winning organization."
Major League Baseball is investigating the source of the leaked documents. Selig said he had no issue with the contents of the Pirates' reports. He met with officials from the Players' Association about six months ago regarding Pittsburgh's spending of revenue-sharing dollars and said, "they left satisfied."
"Let me say this to you: We constantly check everything," Selig said. "The Players' Association has all of the numbers. You have to look at the long view of numbers, you can't look just at a year or two. That's the mistake some people are making. Am I satisfied with everything that's gone on? I've said that the system needs to be tweaked here and there. But overall, the system was set up to achieve competitive balance, and so with the Cincinnati Reds, the San Diego Padres, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers, and we could go on and on, what it's proven is that this has led to more competitive balance than we've ever had. Am I satisfied the system is working? Yes. Do I think it's absolutely perfect? No. But that's the only comment I have on the numbers."
Selig was asked whether he would like to see the Pirates increase payroll for 2011.
"That's up to them, but I read already where they said they would," Selig said. "People can talk about money, but they've spent a lot of money on scouting, a lot of money on player development. The frustration levels, I understand it from the fans' standpoint. But it takes time to show. I'm satisfied that they are making good progress right now."
Of the release of the financial statements, Selig said, "I would rather it was not done. It was not done properly. It's sad, in a way, that people violate confidences. I know that I would not do that and I know that baseball would never do that. You give somebody your word about something, that's the way it's supposed to be.
"That said, the Players' Association has our numbers, everybody around us has our numbers. There were no surprises in the game or the Players' Association."