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MLB Roundup: A-Rod hopes to return Monday, MLB attendance drops

The SportsXchange

Alex Rodriguez says if all goes well he will rejoin the New York Yankees Monday in Texas for a series against the Rangers.

"I will be back on Monday and I'm very excited," Rodriguez told WFAN radio Wednesday. "If I have a good weekend, I'll be there in Texas."

The Yankees third baseman completed a rehab assignment with Double-A Trenton on Tuesday night, going 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly and an RBI at the plate, and after a day off on Wednesday will play for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday.

Rodriguez underwent hip surgery in January and has not played in a major-league game since last October. He progressed from Class A to Double-A and now to Triple-A as he targets Monday as a return date to the Yankees for the start of a four-game road series against the Rangers.

Though Rodriguez is hitting only .179 (5-for-28) with one home run and seven strikeouts over 10 rehab games, he said he is not discouraged.

---Major League Baseball attendance declined 3 percent during the first half the 2013 season in comparison to last year, according to Sports Business Daily.

MLB games averaged 29,220 fans before the All-Star break. Eight teams experienced a double-digit drop-off.

Among the teams with smaller crowds during the season's first half this year were the Texas Rangers, whose average was off 10 percent from a year ago despite being in the American League wild-card race and coming off two World Series berths.

The Yankees had the highest American League average attendance at 39.669 per game, which is still a 7 percent reduction from 2012.

The Houston Astros had the largest decline, plummeting 17 percent at the gate over last year after its move to the American League from the National League.

But the news was not all bad for MLB teams. The Toronto Blue Jays are up 18 percent, the Oakland A's showed an 11 percent increase and the Baltimore Orioles' attendance rose 9 percent.

Commissioner Bud Selig is optimistic that more fans will turn out during the second half of the season and that the weather will cooperate, noting that there were 34 rainouts to date compared with 21 during the entire 2012 season.
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