It’s not quite Mariano Rivera throwing out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium before Game 3 of the ALDS, but this should be pretty cool: Ivan Rodriguez will throw out the first pitch tonight at Comerica Park.
Rodriguez signed with the Tigers as a free agent in 2004 when they were coming off a 119-loss season and three years later they reached the World Series.
Jim Leyland was the manager of that 2006 team and current Tigers who were also around then include Omar Infante, Ramon Santiago, and of course Justin Verlander.
Rodriguez announced his retirement in April, ending a 21-year career that included five seasons in Detroit.
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.