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Forbes says Tampa Bay Rays' value had third-highest increase in baseball

SEATTLE — According to Forbes magazine, the value of the Rays franchise has gone up to $320 million, a 10 percent increase over last season that is third largest in the majors.

And according to the Rays, it doesn't matter.

"It is based on their own proprietary metrics. We don't and have never understood them," team president Matt Silverman said Wednesday night.

"Clearly, our appearance in the World Series has helped the franchise's valuation. Since the team isn't for sale, the number has very little relevance."

The Rays still rank just 26th overall, with the Yankees topping the list at $1.5 billion. But, according to Forbes, the Rays had the fourth-highest operating income, $29.4 million, which it defines as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, though down slightly from last year ($30 million). Only the Marlins, Nationals and Cubs had more, but it also shows the Yankees in negative numbers, at minus-$3.7 million.

Forbes says the Rays' revenues went up from $138 million to $160 million. For more, see forbes.com.

NEW MATH: After proving last season that 9=8, Joe Maddon has no problem with the equation about the byproduct of their aggressive and more shallow outfield defensive alignment.

"When a ball gets hit over our heads now all of a sudden people want to point to that, but we've caught a lot of line drives that have been short, too," Maddon said. "It's not even six of one, a half-dozen of the other. I'll take what we're doing right now. We're 7-5, 8-4, maybe 9-3."

The shallow play was a topic of conversation because the key hit in Tuesday night's game was a two-run triple by Mariners C Rob Johnson that went over the head of CF Gabe Kapler, who was filling in for B.J. Upton.

Whether it was the product Kapler not getting a good break on the ball because he hesitated for a moment, or of pitcher Andy Sonnanstine not executing the pitch which allowed Johnson to hit it how he did, Maddon said the Rays aren't going to change what they're doing.

UPTON UPDATE: Upton returned to the lineup after testing his tight right groin in some pregame agility drills. But his participation is going to be a bit of a day-by-day proposition with the cool temperatures — it was in the 40s Wednesday night — and the Rays playing day games after night games today and Saturday.

"I don't want to push him right now," Maddon said.

Upton also has a see-how-it-feels approach: "We're probably going to have an issue with keeping it loose; that's the biggest thing."

ON THE RISE: RHP James Shields heads into today's start with his arm feeling better than it has in his first three.

"The first couple games, I'm not going to say I'm going though some arm issues but it's more or less dead arm," he said. "We had a long season last year. So I think it's starting to come around. My last bullpen session was really good, and I'm starting to fix my direction a little bit toward the plate. Hopefully I can bring it into this game and start getting a roll on."

MINOR MATTERS: LHP David Price picked up his first win on Tuesday, allowing two runs over five innings for Triple-A Durham. … Bulls reliever Dale Thayer started the season with a shutout, working nine innings without allowing a run. … LHP Chuck Tiffany, the onetime touted prospect released in spring training, signed a minor-league deal with the Dodgers, from whom the Rays acquired him in the January 2006 trade.

MISCELLANY: First-pitch temperature was 48. … The Rays will take batting practice in the indoor cages today, in part to cut down on their swings. "You can't hit home runs in the cage; I like the low line drives," Maddon said. … All-Star balloting began Wednesday in stadiums and on MLB.com, but Maddon, who will manage and help select reserves and pitchers for the AL team, said it was too early to start thinking about it. … The Rays were the last AL team to allow an unearned run when the Mariners scored in the first inning Tuesday.

FAST FACTS

RBI mentality

Rays 3B Evan Longoria reached 100 career RBIs in his 135th game on Wednesday, making him the third-quickest to get there among active players:

Player Team Games

Ryan Braun Milwaukee 118

Albert Pujols St. Louis 131

Evan Longoria Tampa Bay 135

Miguel Cabrera Detroit 136

Josh Hamilton Texas 138

Carlos Lee Houston 141

Tony Clark Arizona 143

Jeff Francoeur Atlanta 143

Justin Morneau Minnesota 144

Ryan Howard Philadelphia 148

Carlos Beltran NYM 148

Hideki Matsui NYY 150

Source: Elias Sports Bureau

Forbes says Tampa Bay Rays' value had third-highest increase in baseball 04/22/09 [Last modified: Friday, April 24, 2009 10:58am]

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