Lance Berkman legs out a triple, sits out with a calf injury

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Lance Berkman was playing through a finger injury yesterday when he tweaked his left calf muscle legging out a rare triple, leaving the game two innings later.

He’s also absent from the Cardinals’ lineup this afternoon, sitting out against right-hander Johnny Cueto and the Reds.

Berkman described his calf as “tender” following the game and initially held out some hope that he’d be in the lineup today, suggesting it might not be particularly serious.

He was off to a great start this season, batting .375 with a 1.190 OPS through five games, but Matt Carpenter is now filling in for Berkman at first base and hitting cleanup. Carlos Beltran also has the day off.

When he does return, the 36-year-old Berkman may want to think about stopping at second base.

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.