Dodgers players could theoretically become free agents if the team misses payroll. But they won’t.

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There’s an item over at Bloomberg this afternoon that caused a bunch of people to email me with “Hey! Can we get Matt Kemp??!” messages. Thusly:

Los Angeles Dodgers players could file for free agency if the team can’t make payroll, Major League Baseball players union spokesman Greg Bouris said in an e-mail.

That is technically true, per the uniform player contract. If the team can’t pay, sure, they’re free agents.  But the team will never technically miss payroll because Major League Baseball would step in and pay the players.  Of this there is 100% certainty, because the only thing the other owners would hate more than footing the bill for Frank McCourt is 25 brand new free agents on the market in the middle of May.

So: thanks for the brief scare, Bloomberg, but next time feel free to add a touch of commentary to your technically-true but in this case misleading news item.

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.