Daniel Bard back with Red Sox despite 7.03 ERA at Triple-A

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Daniel Bard was back in the Red Sox’s clubhouse yesterday and will officially be recalled before today’s game, returning to the majors following a three-month demotion to Triple-A.

Bard was dumped from Boston’s rotation and sent to the minors in early June, taking with him a 5.24 ERA and more walks (37) than strikeouts (34) in 55 innings.

He was every bit as awful at Triple-A with a 7.03 ERA and 32/29 K/BB ratio in 32 innings, making 30 of his 31 appearances as a reliever. He also plunked 10 batters and uncorked nine wild pitches. In other words, he was a mess.

And yet now he’s back in the majors, although it’s hard to imagine manager Bobby Valentine relying on him for anything more than a mop-up bullpen role.

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.