Ryan Cook rejoins A’s after shoulder injury

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Oakland has another option if closer Jim Johnson continues to struggle, activating Ryan Cook from the disabled list after the right-hander missed the first week of the season with a strained shoulder.

Cook has been one of the best setup men in the league since the A’s acquired him from the Diamondbacks in 2012, posting a 2.30 ERA and 147 strikeouts in 141 innings. He also has some closing experience and definitely has closer-caliber raw stuff.

For now he’ll slide back into a late-inning setup role in what has the potential to be one of the best, deepest bullpens in baseball if Johnson can get his act together.

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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.