Earl Weaver is not dead. We know this because he says so.
This is contrary to a political column in the New York Times on Saturday, which referred to Weaver in the past tense. “Texas Democrats have become the Baltimore Orioles of politics,” wrote Ross Ramsey. “Somewhere in heaven, Earl Weaver and Ann Richards are comparing notes on what went wrong with the teams they left behind.”
Mike Klingaman of the Baltimore Sun called Weaver, 80, at his home in Florida to notify him of the bad news:
“I’ll be damned,” said the Hall of Famer, who managed the Orioles to four American League pennants and a World Series title. “All I can do is say, that’s false.
“I’m still here, although my knees have given out, so I don’t play golf anymore. I’ve always said that there were two places that I wouldn’t mind dying. One was Memorial Stadium; the other, the golf course.
“Now I’ve got to wait forever [to go], because both of those places are gone.”
That’s it? I have to admit I’m disappointed that Weaver’s response wasn’t a little more colorful.
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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.