USA TODAY US Edition
As Mets’ off-field issues rise, value sinks
Forbes released its annual report on the value of Major League Baseball franchises Wednesday, led by the New York Yankees, who are valued at $1.7 billion.
But this year’s report contained jarring numbers for the New York Mets.
Burdened by debt on their new Citi Field, stung by a sharp drop in attendance in 2010 and with the looming specter of possible penal- ties against owner Fred Wilpon in connection with the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, the Mets are valued at $747 million, down 13% from 2010, Forbes said. According to Forbes, the average major league franchise is worth an all-time high $523 million, a 7% increase over last year.
Philadelphia Phillies right-handed pitcher Roy Oswalt was hit behind the ear by a Manny Ramirez line drive Wednesday in Port Charlotte, Fla.
X-rays revealed nothing beyond a bruise, and the team said it might not prevent him from making his next scheduled start.
“He’s all right. X-rays said he’s all right,” manager Charlie Manuel said Wednesday. “When he got up, he was OK.”
Atlanta Braves minor league manager Luis Salazar returned to camp Wednesday, two weeks after being struck in the face by a foul ball and losing his left eye. He hopes to join his Class A Lynchburg (Va.) team in April. . . . Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel will enter the season sharing the closer’s role for the Atlanta Braves. . . . Texas Rangers right-hander Brandon Webb was scratched from a scheduled bullpen session because he was unable to get loosened up. . . . Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Brandon Morrow will start the regular season on the disabled list with right forearm inflammation.