Money, money, money

The Phillies are valued at $609 million, according to Forbes. (David Maialetti / staff photographer )

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The era of good feelings (and money) has never been better for Philadelphia baseball. We know this; 123 straight sellouts at Citizens Bank Park are a fine indication.

Three more pieces of information released Wednesday confirm it.

1. In its annual valuation of baseball teams, Forbes lists the Phillies as the sixth most valuable in the majors at $609 million. (The limited partnership now headed by David Montgomery purchased the team in 1981 for $30 million.)

Forbes says strong attendance and TV ratings boosted the Phillies' value by 13 percent to $609 million. They trail only the Yankees ($1.7 bil), Red Sox ($912 mil), Dodgers ($800 mil), Cubs ($773 mil) and Mets ($747 mil).

Interestingly enough, the Forbes evaluation of the Phillies details this: The franchise's operating income decreased from $15 million in 2009 to $8.9 million in 2010. Yet revenue is up to $239 million from $233 million a season ago.

2. For the first time ever, Major League Baseball released a list of its top selling jerseys. Three of the top five are Phillies: 1. Derek Jeter, 2. Joe Mauer, 3. Roy Halladay, 4. Chase Utley, 5. Cliff Lee. Ryan Howard checks in at No. 18.

3. The Phillies ranked fourth in the majors based on sales of all MLB-licensed merchandise for the 2010 calendar year. Only the Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers sold more team products.

Indeed, the times are green and good for ownership.

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