Aramis Ramirez “clearly is on the Marlins’ radar”

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Last week Aramis Ramirez explained that he’ll be looking for a multi-year contract as a free agent if the Cubs do as expected and decline his $16 million option for next season and Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports that the Marlins figure to be one of his strongest suitors.

Frisaro calls Ramirez “one of the more realistic big names that clearly is on the Marlins’ radar” and speculates that they envision an infield with Ramirez at third base, Hanley Ramirez at shortstop, Omar Infante at second base, and Gaby Sanchez at first base.

Of course, Frisaro also writes that “Ramirez would bring an established defensive presence” and he’s pretty terrible defensively, posting a below average Ultimate Zone Rating in each of the past four seasons.

Matt Dominguez has been viewed as the Marlins’ long-term answer at third base. He may not be quite MLB-ready yet, but certainly would be before a two- or three-year deal for the 33-year-old Ramirez expired.

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.