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The Business of Baseball

Forbes' annual estimates of operating income and franchise value are up. The Yankees top the list in asset value at just over a billion. Nevertheless, they are estimated to have lost $50m in 2005, due primarily to a $77m payment in baseball's enhanced system of revenue sharing. Michael Ozanian writes that

by not using their subsidies to boost player payroll (which was the intent of revenue sharing), the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Royals and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays each earned more than $20 million.

Nice work if you can get it!

The Yanks' attempt to shield income from the revenue sharing system is discussed by Ozanian and Lesley Kump here, in a piece with the crafty title, "Steinbrenner's Tax Shelter." Richard Justice discusses the Astros' numbers with owner Drayton McLane here. Somehow, I'm not surprised to find out that the man drives an 8 year old Ford. Not that there's anything wrong with that; in fact, I'd rather he spent his hard-earned money on Roger Clemens than a fancy new car.

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