UPDATE: At this point who the hell knows what's going on with Beltre?

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7:51 P.M.: OK, now we do know what the hell is going on: Beltre to Boston, one year, $9 million, with a player option for $5 million.

5:37 PM
: First the Sox were in, then out, and now they’re apparently in again, as Gordon Edes at ESPN Boston is reporting that the Sox have actually made an offer to Beltre, but face serious competition from the Orioles, Athletics and Angels. Earlier, Amalie Benjamin tweeted that since Beltre lives on the west coast, he may just want to stay out there.

At this point, your guess is as good as ours.

2:50 P.M.
Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald tweets that it isn’t the Red Sox that are in on Beltre. In fact, he says that Boston is “not currently in the mix at all.”  Hmmm. I’ll have to leave the west coast guess as the A’s until I hear a single other west coast team that is interested. But who else on the east needs a third baseman?

1:06 P.M.: Yahoo!’s Tim Brown tweets that Adrian Beltre is “close to choosing from between two clubs, source says, one from each coast.”  Brown suspects that the two clubs are Oakland and Boston, which makes sense given previous reporting, speculation and whatnot.

Boston has got to be the favorite, simply because the Beltre-Boston talk has gone on for so much longer, and because Boston seems so much more willing and is definitely much more able to meet Beltre’s reported asking price of $10 million.

No, I don’t think he’ll quite get that, but unless he agrees to a substantial discount from numbers he was asking for a mere two weeks ago, or unless Oakland goes well beyond what a historically-frugal team which drew the lowest number of fans in baseball last year seems likely to pay,  there’s no way I can see Beltre in an Athletics’ uniform.

Minor League Baseball eclipses 40 million in attendance for 14th consecutive season

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Minor League Baseball announced on Wednesday that, for the 14th consecutive season, the league has eclipsed 40 million in total attendance. 20 teams set single-game attendance records and seven teams set franchise records for single-game attendance in their current parks.

ESPN’s Keith Law, who has been covering the minor leagues for quite a while, did the math:

Minor League Baseball president and CEO Pat O’Conner, whose most prominent stint in the public eye involved him disingenuously justifying the underpaying of his players, said, “Minor League Baseball continues to be the best entertainment value in sports, and these numbers support that. For us to top 40 million fans for the 14th consecutive season despite the weather challenges our teams faced in April and May is a testament to the continued support of our loyal fan bases and the creative promotions and hard work done by all of our teams across the country.”

Major and Minor League Baseball are quite happy to make money hand over fist on the backs of their players, but are too cheap to pay them adequately for their labor.