Touch 'Em All: Lehigh Valley IronPigs lead U.S. minor league teams in attendance

Posted: September 25, 2012

Take a bow, you 'Pigs.

The National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues reported Monday that the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Phillies' triple-A affiliate in Allentown, led all U.S. minor-league teams in total attendance (622,421) for the second straight year and in average (9,153) for the third year in a row. Sultanes de Monterrey of the triple-A Mexican League led overall in attendance (645,302) and average (11,321).

The NAPBL reported that the average regular-season attendance in the minor leagues dropped 1.5 percent this year (3,967, down from 4,029) while the total rose slightly, to 41.28 million for 10,238 dates, up from 41.25 million for 10,045 dates. There was an increase of two teams this year to 176.

Good to see that eastern Pennsylvania understands that minor-league ball offers high-value entertainment.

Bad stuff 'bout Ozzie

With rumors are flying that he would soon be fired, Miami manager Ozzie Guillen, of course, decided to throw some gasoline on the fire on Friday, by saying of Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria that "if [he] doesn't think I'm doing the job I should do . . . it's not the first time he's fired a manager. Look yourself in the mirror and ask why so many [bleeping] managers come through here." Loria was, it seems, displeased by this.

Now, here's demoted Marlins closer Heath Bell coming along to throw some firecrackers wrapped in dryer lint on the conflagration, saying in a radio interview on Monday that he didn't think much of Guillen.

"It's hard to respect a guy that doesn't tell you the truth or doesn't tell you face-to-face," Bell said, evidently with Guillen in the next room, or at least listening at home.

Bell has a 5.19 ERA and has converted just 19 of 26 save opportunities this season, after signing a three-year, $27 million contract with the Marlins. He's got a 3.12 ERA since his demotion but said Guillen has not given him a chance to get the closer's job back.

"It's just one of those things that - what you see is what you get," Bell said. "I'm not going to be two-faced. I'm not going to sneak around your back and say this and that." (Uh, sure, you won't.)

Got milk?

Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton was back in the lineup Monday night against Oakland after being diagnosed with a drying of the cornea caused by too much caffeine.

"Coffee in the morning, coffee midday, energy drink before the game, chocolate after the game," he said. "All these things were compounding and making it worse and worse. . . . Call the doctor and let him explain it to you."


Cincinnati's Homer Bailey, after giving up two solo homers to Los Angeles' Adrian Gonzalez, giving the Dodgers slugger five in his career off the righthander: "I'll tell you one thing: If you want to get Adrian Gonzalez hot, have him hit against me. I throw balls out of the [strike] zone, and he still hits them out."

Contact Michael Harrington at

This article contains information from the Associated Press.


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