A’s shortstop Jed Lowrie was initially diagnosed with a bruise after taking a hard grounder off his right index finger last week, but Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that an MRI taken Tuesday afternoon revealed a hairline fracture.
Lowrie is hoping to play through the injury for the remainder of the 2014 season (and playoffs), but he acknowledged to Slusser on Tuesday that the fracture causes him pain when he throws — “a burning feeling” — and also occasionally bothers him on swings. Lowrie is 1-for-11 with four strikeouts since the grounder struck him.
This injury comes with bad timing for the AL West-leading A’s and for Lowrie, who is set to become a free agent this fall. He has hit .238 with a .671 OPS this season after batting .290 with a .791 OPS in 2013.
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.