Craig Calcaterra

Yankee Stadium

For the 19th straight year, the Yankees are the most valuable franchise in baseball

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Every spring Forbes estimates the value of each major league club and reports who makes the most money, loses the most money and all of that. They’re guesses at the absolute best. In some case rather wild guesses. There just isn’t enough data out there about major league clubs for anyone to check these numbers against and the only people in a position to correct them — the owners themselves — wouldn’t dare reveal what they really make or lose. It’s a nice snapshot. A fun exercise. But not much more.

For what it’s worth, in 2016 Forbes says, surprise surprise, that the New York Yankees are the most valuable club, worth $3.4 billion. That’s up 6 percent from last year and the highest evaluation for the 19th year in a row. The Los Angeles Dodgers are second at $2.5 billion, followed by Boston ($2.3 billion), San Francisco ($2.25 billion), the Chicago Cubs ($2.2 billion) and the New York Mets ($1.65 billion).

At the other end of the scale, the Miami Marlins are last at $675 million and Oakland is second to last at $725 million. The biggest gain on the list from anyone comes from the Houston Astros, whose value increased 38 percent to $1.1 billion after a new broadcasting deal was put in place. And, of course, after a winning season with a playoff run that presages some good crowds going forward.

Forbes claims the average value of a Major League Baseball team increased 7 percent in the last year to $1.3 billion.

It’s good to own a baseball team, you guys. It’s the most foolproof investment I can think of.

Jeremy Hellickson is the Phillies’ Opening Day stater

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jeremy Hellickson throws in the bullpen during a spring training baseball workout Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016, in Clearwater, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Associated Press
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The Phillies have named Jeremy Hellickson their Opening Day starter.

Hellickson signed with the Phillies in November. He was 9-12 with a 4.62 ERA with the Diamondbacks last year but came on better later, posting a 4.17 ERA and averaging 7.8 K/9 IP in his final 20 starts. He’s improved his groundball rates a bit, but he’s still dinger-prone.

The Phillies start the year in Cincinnati, which is one of the most homer-friendly parks in the league, though their lineup is not all that production-friendly, so I suppose it’s as good a start for Hellickson as any.

The Rays were stuck on the tarmac in Cuba for seven hours

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The Rays-Cuba National Team game ended around 5pm yesterday. It’s about an hour flight from Havana to Tampa. The Rays didn’t get home until 5AM this morning.

Why? Their charter plane had a mechanical problem which needed a part that was not available in Havana so they had to wait for a second plane to be flown in. The charter carrier was Eastern Airlines, so apparently the part was being flown in from 1983 (my fellow olds will get that one).

Anyway, the social media hashtag that the Rays had been using for the trip was #RaysInCuba. While stuck on the tarmac, Chris Archer altered it a bit:

The Rays play the Twins in Fort Myers in less than an hour. My guess is that the road squad is going to consist of a LOT of non-roster dudes. If they get fined for that, they can send the bill to Eastern Airlines.