Pat Burrell expected to retire at age 35

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No official word yet, but Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors reports that Pat Burrell will announce his retirement following a 12-year career.

Burrell got back on track after a miserable one-and-a-half season stint with the Rays, returning to the NL with the Giants while hitting .259 with 25 homers and an .827 OPS in 560 plate appearances.

Those numbers basically match his career marks, but Burrell’s foot problems made staying in the lineup difficult and his lack of defensive value likely would have made it tough to land a full-time job anyway.

Burrell never quite developed into the superstar many projected from the No. 1 overall pick in the 1998 draft, as his offense was very good rather than great and his defense dragged down his overall value, but he smacked 20-plus homers nine times and among all active right-handed hitters with at least 5,000 plate appearances his .834 OPS ranks 11th.

And now Burrell–or at least his alter ego “The Machine”–will have plenty of time to play dress-up with Brian Wilson.

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.