Manny Ramirez set to return from the disabled list tonight

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Out since late last month with a strained hamstring, Manny Ramirez is expected to return from the disabled list tonight against the Cardinals despite going 0-for-9 with five strikeouts during a brief rehab assignment at Single-A.
In his article about Ramirez’s impending return MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick writes that “he’s become more of a singles hitter than the slugger he once was.” Technically true, since like just about every player in baseball history Ramirez isn’t as good at 38 years old as he was at, say, 28 years old, but he hit .322/.412/.525 in 59 games before the injury to lead all NL outfielders in OPS. That’s one hell of a singles hitter.

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.