TAMPA — I’m at Steinbrenner Field for the Masahiro Tanaka debut today. As I was waiting for his arrival to the Yankees’ clubhouse this morning, another player of note walked in. No one walked over to his locker so I figured I would.
Me: Derek, do you have a second?
Me: What’s it like having a day here where you aren’t the guy everyone is here to see?
Jeter: I’m never that guy. He is [Jeter points to Brian Roberts, two lockers down. Roberts guffaws]
Jeter: What’s going on today?
Me: Well, Tanaka is pitching.
Jeter: Is he? Didn’t even know that. [Jeter is grinning now]
Jeter: Well, come back later and I’ll let you know what that’s like.
All that was missing was him waving his hand, telling me that these are not the droids I’m looking for and telling me to move along.
He’s so damn smooth.
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.