Red Sox grab big first-inning lead in Game 1

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The 2013 World Series is off to a pretty horrendous start for the National League-champion Cardinals.

Adam Wainwright walked Jacoby Ellsbury to open the bottom of the first inning and then gave up a one-out single to Dustin Pedroia. David Ortiz then hit a groundball to Cardinals second baseman Matt Carpenter that should have been turned into an inning-ending doubleplay. But Carpenter made a soft, off-the-mark flip to shortstop Pete Kozma and the ball was dropped. Second base umpire Dana DeMuth originally called Pedroia out, claiming that Kozma dropped the ball on the transfer, but the entire six-man umpiring crew got together and made things right.

A moment later Mike Napoli — who terrorized the Cardinals in the 2011 World Series as a member of the Texas Rangers — slugged a bases-clearing, three-run double into the left-field gap.

Wainwright threw 31 pitches in the first inning. Red Sox starter Jon Lester threw just 12.

Boston has a 3-0 lead as Game 1 of the World Series moves to the top of the second.

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.