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As many baseball fans can tell you, the New York Yankees usually have a great season record, make the playoffs and make a run towards to the World Championship each year. The Yankees' 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 2009, the Yankees had revenues of $441 million, the most of any team in sports--and more than the revenue of four other MLB teams (Florida, San Diego, Pittsburgh, and Washington) 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 New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, etc.) and that smaller market teams (e.g., the Florida Marlins, San Diego Padres or the Pittsburgh Pirates) cannot compete for the high salaried free agents (e.g., Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez) 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 your students answer these and other questions.
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