Bob Davidson screws up a double switch, costs the Cardinals a hitter

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The Cardinals beat the Marlins in extras last night, but umpire Bob Davidson made it all the harder when he screwed up a double-switch made by Mike Matheny which cost the Cards Allen Craig.

The short version: when Matheny put reliever Victor Marte into the game, he signaled “five” with his hands, meaning that he was taking over David Freese’s position in the lineup, with Freese being the third baseman or the five-position, defensively (he was batting seventh). After a batter had batted, however, Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen came out and said told Davidson that Matheny meant the five-hole in the lineup, which had been occupied by Allen Craig.

Davidson inexplicably agreed with Guillen regarding what Matheny meant, said that the pitcher was supposed to be batting fifth now and that Allen Craig had to leave the game. This later led to the Cardinals having to use a pitcher to pinch hit in extra innings. Which worked out — he got an RBI — but still.

Later the on-field mics picked up Davidson telling Ozzie that he “f****d up,” and that Matheny had, in fact, told him that he wanted the pitcher in the seven-hole. Too late, of course.

Just another day in Mr. Davidson’s neighborhood.

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.