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As any baseball fan can tell you, the New York Yankees have won three of the last four World Series championships. The Yankees' recent success--as well as the success of other big market, high revenue teams--has led many to question whether smaller market teams can compete in Major League Baseball (MLB). In fact, in 1999, the Yankees had revenues of $176 million, the most of any team in sports--and more than the revenue of three other MLB teams (Milwaukee, Montreal and Minnesota) combined! Many baseball writers (who may or may not know very much about economics) have written that our national pastime may be threatened by the big market, high revenue teams like the Yankees (or the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Boston Red Sox or the Arizona Diamondbacks) and that smaller market teams (e.g., the Kansas City Royals or the Pittsburgh Pirates) cannot compete for the high salaried free agents (e.g., Randy Johnson or Mike Piazza) necessary to win championships. In fact, some writers claim that many MLB teams are actually not profitable for the team owners. Are these claims true? Are MLB teams losing money? Are MLB owners looking to dump unprofitable teams on unsuspecting investors? Are MLB players grossly overpaid? This lesson will help you answer these and other questions.
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