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Derek Jeter Announces Retirement

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Earlier today, longtime New York Yankees player Derek Jeter announced he'll say farewell to baseball following his 2014 MLB season. The shortstop is entering his 20th season with the Yankees this spring. Jeter is a five-time World Series champion, a 13-time All Star, and the Yankees' all-time career leader in hits with 3,316.

Jeter released a statement on his official Facebook page to deliver the news. In it, he called his 2013 a "tough one" (citing a broken ankle) but noted he came to the conclusion months ago that this season would, indeed, be his last.

He wrote, "I will remember it all: the cheers, the boos, every win, all the plane trips, the bus rides, the clubhouses, the walks through the tunnel and every drive to and from the Bronx."

Jeter's final game will be Sept. 28 at Fenway Park, with his final game at Yankee Stadium taking place Sept. 25.

Mariano Rivera Says Farewell to Yankee Stadium

Saying goodbye is never easy, but somehow it gets even more emotional when you've got an entire team, stadium of fans, and world watching. On Thursday, Yankees player Mariano Rivera said farewell to his team and the game, after he was pulled from the game in the ninth by teammates Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter. Watching him say goodbye is equal parts sad and moving. Check it out above.

Mariners All-Star Ichiro has been traded to the Yankees

It's a sad day for Mariners fans everywhere. Right fielder Ichiro Suzuki, who has been with the Mariners since 2001, was traded to the Yankees last night. And to add insult to injury, his first game as a Yankee was also last night...at Safeco Field...against the Mariners.

While I'm now a Mets fan, there has always been a hometeam spot in my heart for the Mariners, since I grew up just a few hours from them. The one season I remember most clearly was actually Ichiro's first, in 2001, when the M's set an American League record for single-season wins, ending with a record of 116-46. Ichiro won AL MVP that year, and he's also managed to be a 10-time All-Star during his time with the team. I've always inherently rooted for the Mariners as a Washingtonian...but with the loss of Ichiro that's much harder to do, since he was the last team member I still remembered.

This morning I came across a song called "Ichiro's Theme" by Ben Gibbard. Take a listen:

We'll miss you, Ichiro. And while I love you, I now dislike the Yankees a little bit more.

Texas Rangers tickets tops in MLB at All-Star break

The Texas Rangers have been among the top teams in Major League Baseball in 2012, and on TicketNetwork.com, they have also been the most sought-after tickets in the league.

Games at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington have accounted for nearly 12% of all MLB tickets sold through the TicketNetwork.com marketplace, nearly 3% more than their closest competitor, the New York Yankees. Even more impressively, the Rangers have sold more than two times the number of tickets than any of their American League West rivals combined. The team has had an electrifying first half (see video below to see Mother Nature's proof) and currently boasts the second-best record in baseball, having out-slugged their opponents all season long, scoring a league-leading 443 runs.

Having the Rangers and Yankees atop the rankings is not really a surprise as they are the two best teams in baseball, but one surprise is the disappointing Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox have been a fixture as one of the top selling teams in previous years, but they have not lived up to those standards in 2012. The team currently ranks No. 11, behind teams like the Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates and even the typically attendance-challenged Tampa Bay Rays.

Top Selling MLB Teams on TicketNetwork.com

#1. Texas Rangers #16. Minnesota Twins
#2. New York Yankees #17. Kansas City Royals
#3. Milwaukee Brewers #18. New York Mets
#4. Detroit Tigers #19. Houston Astros
#5. Atlanta Braves #20. Philadelphia Phillies
#6. Pittsburgh Pirates #21. Cincinnati Reds
#7. San Francisco Giants #22. Cleveland Indians
#8. Colorado Rockies #23. Los Angeles Angels
#9. Tampa Bay Rays #24. Baltimore Orioles
#10. Los Angeles Dodgers #25. Toronto Blue Jays
#11. Boston Red Sox #26. Miami Marlins
#12. St. Louis Cardinals #27. Arizona Diamondbacks
#13. Washington Nationals #28. Chicago White Sox
#14. Seattle Mariners #29. San Diego Padres
#15. Chicago Cubs #30. Oakland Athletics

No team went through as many changes as the Miami Marlins did this past offseason, and their fans have taken notice. Changes included getting a new name (the Florida Marlins became the Miami Marlins), hiring outspoken manager Ozzie Guillen, moving into a brand-new 37,000-seat stadium (that features an over-the-top structure in center field, see left) and signing prized free agents Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle.

If those moves alone didn't add to excitement among baseball fans, the team has become a sleeper pick to win the National League East Division and possibly the World Series. The team's first test will be the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals on opening night, April 4. The game has created a buzz around the city and has caused Miami Marlins tickets for this game to have a higher average on TicketNetwork.com than any other opening day game this week.

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