Every time Wily Mo Pena comes up I — and a lot of other people — get kind of excited because big long home runs and all-or-nothing kind of players like him are sort of neat on some weird level. It’s irrational, I know. It’s just one of those times when people who think like I do cast aside the “how valuable is this player, truly” thinking and just say “man, he’s fun!”
But Pena isn’t like to ever stick full time in the bigs. Just too many holes in his swing and no defensive value at all. Which is why it makes perfect sense that he told ESPN’s Dominican Republic radio station that he may play in Japan next year. The wording was that he may “accept a contract,” so it’s possible that he already has an offer.
Back to irrationality: I hope he hits 50 homers over there and is given some crazy/wonderful nickname by Japanese fans and never has to pay for a meal in Tokyo again.
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.