Nomar Garciaparra headed for retirement?

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garciaparra.JPG36-year-old free agent Nomar
Garciaparra is “widely expected” to retire, according to Susan Slusser of
the San Francisco Chronicle
.

Garciaparra posted a disappointing .281/.314/.388 batting line with three home runs and 16 RBI in 160 at-bats as a backup corner infielder for the A’s last season.  He’s a major injury risk and is no longer a reliable defensive infielder, even at first base.  Par for the course, he has not been linked to any teams this offseason.

Nomar spent 13 seasons in the big leagues, starting in Boston and making stops with Chicago (Cubs), Los Angeles (Dodgers) and finally Oakland.  If he is indeed retiring, the California native will finish with a stellar .313/.361/.521 career batting line, 229 career home runs and 1,747 career hits.  Garciaparra won the Rookie of the Year in 1997 and was voted to six All-Star games.

He’s widely regarded as one of the classiest guys in the business and he no doubt has a stack of after-baseball opportunities available to him.  But Nomar might prefer to spend the next chapter of his life driving his overly athletic kids to baseball, basketball, football, soccer, lacrosse, hockey, and maybe even slamball practice.  Don’t let John Calipari near those children.  He’d have them in Kentucky gear by age 10.

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.