The Dodgers release Eric Gagne

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Last week the Dodgers sent Eric Gagne to the minors.  Last night they said, eh, forget it, and just released him. He allowed six runs and eight hits in 2.2 innings. Late innings in spring training games, so it’s not like he’d be facing a less-talented brand of competition in the minors.

I would assume that Gagne’s career is over.  The Rockies had offered him deal similar to that which the Dodgers offered, but I’m fairly certain the demote-then-release dynamic would have played out the same way there too.  He’s on record this spring saying that the independent leagues were no fun — and he wasn’t that good in the Can-Am league to begin with, going 6-6 with a 4.65 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 102 2/3 innings as a
starter — so I doubt he’s heading back there. Dude just can’t pitch anymore.

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.