The Mets and Mariners have had "serious talks" about Cliff Lee

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Cliff Lee headshot Mariners.jpgThat report is from Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog.  The sticking point: the Mariners want Jon Niese, but Omar is unwilling to trade him.

I think I have to side with Omar here.  Given that Lee is going to hit the market this winter, why not wait it out, be aggressive, and try to get him then, thereby giving the Mets a pretty spectacular rotation heading into 2011? By giving up Niese for him and then extending him you’re basically paying for him twice.

If the answer is that they wouldn’t be willing to pay what Lee would be asking for a long term deal, they shouldn’t be talking to the Mariners about him anyway. They should be sticking with younger, cheaper talent like, say, Jon Niese.

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.