Mariano Rivera is “feeling good” and “will be ready” for Opening Day

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Two weeks after officially returning to the Yankees on a one-year, $10 million deal Mariano Rivera made it very clear that he expects to be fully recovered from knee surgery by Opening Day.

“Oh, yeah, I don’t see why not,” Rivera said, via Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News. “We have at least three months, four months until that point. I’ll be ready.”

Rivera noted that he hasn’t started throwing regularly yet, but added that he’s “feeling good” and “the leg’s getting stronger and stronger.”

Because the Yankees are not expected to re-sign fill-in closer Rafael Soriano they’re definitely counting on Rivera being healthy and effective in 2013, but David Robertson is still around as a potentially excellent closer if things don’t go totally according to plan.

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.