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.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.