Jose Reyes tears a tendon in his hamstring

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Jose Reyes can add “small tear in a hamstring tendon” to his list of health issues:

Don’t count on seeing Jose Reyes back on the field anytime soon.

Reyes, who removed himself from an extended spring-training game
Wednesday after his second at-bat with continued right calf discomfort,
had an MRI in New York Thursday that revealed what the Mets said in a
statement was a “small tear in his right hamstring tendon, a new
injury.” The statement also said, “Reyes will rest for two days and
then resume treatment.”

As James at Amazin’ Avenue notes,
the key to whether this is merely bad news or disastrous news has less
to do with how Reyes responds to treatment and rehab than it does to
how Omar Minaya responds to it:

Dear Omar,

Please do not purge the farm system for Matt Holliday or Carlos Lee.
Seeking out a blockbuster trade at this point would be silly, as most
other GMs (yes, even Ed Wade) can sense the semi-desperate
circumstances surrounding your team . . . Take a deep breath and
realize that the Mets’ core is outstanding and still relatively young.
Residing in your improving minor league system are young fireballers
Brad Holt and Jenrry Mejia, an OBP-machine of a catcher in Josh Thole,
and a 20 year-old outfield phenom named Fernando Martinez. None of them
should be wearing Oakland Athletics green and yellow uniforms at any
point this season.

I’m not the biggest Omar Minaya admirer in the world, but I have to
think that even he wouldn’t go all-in for yet another corner outfielder
type. If he does anything silly it will be to try and fix the specific
hole that Reyes’ injuries have created — leadoff hitter and/or
shortstop — and I don’t believe that there’s anyone available that
fits that description for whom even a panicky Minaya would risk
mortgaging the future.

Though I’m sure nervous Mets fans will tell me if I’m wrong about this.

The Yankees attendance and revenue is down, but it makes sense

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There’s a long article in the New York Times today noting that the Yankees attendance is down and that, based on financial figures released as part of their stadium bond disclosures, ticket and suite revenues through last season have fallen by $166 million since the end of 2009.

There is a lot of talk in the article about the exciting young team the Yankees have put together and how much they’ve won so far in the early going. And there is a lot of talk about marketing and demographics — Hal Steinbrenner talks about baseball’s “millennial problem” — but the story of the Yankees’ box office issues, such as they are, is pretty straightforward.

All teams suffer attendance and revenue decline when they play poorly. While the Yankees have not been bad for a long, long time, that’s a somewhat relative thing. They Yankees have sold themselves and sold their fans on the idea that nothing short of a championship is acceptable, so missing the playoffs for three of the past four years is bad for them. Fans don’t want to go see a bad team, be it Yankees fans, Rays fans, Royals fans or whoever.

Despite the recent lack of success, the Yankees have still, perversely, continued to price their tickets, concessions, parking and everything else as though they’re the only game in town. When demand falls and prices remain super high, fewer people are buying your product. Even if you’re the New York Yankees.

The Yankees are good this year. What’s more, they’re good in that exciting way that only young promising players bursting out onto the scene can deliver. It’s a wonderful thing for marketing and stuff, but even under the best of circumstances, ticket sales tend to lag on field success, often by as much as a year. Go back and look at World Series winning teams — especially the surprise winners — and you’ll see that it’s the year after on-field success when the real attendance bumps happen. I expect, if the Yankees continue to play well, their gate will get really nice by the end of the summer, but I suspect we’ll also see a more dramatic bump next year.

Taken all together, this is a dog-bites-man story. The Yankees are not some transcendent institution, immune from market forces. They’re just one of 30 Major League Baseball teams competing against other entertainments for a finite amount of the public’s money and attention. Nothin’ to see here.

David Price had a rocky rehab start last night

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Red Sox starter David Price has been rehabbing a left elbow injury since early March. Last night he made his latest rehab outing for Triple-A Pawtucket. It didn’t go well.

Price allowed six runs — three earned — on seven hits in three and two-thirds innings, requiring 89 pitches to do it. His velocity was good, but otherwise it was a night to forget. This was supposed to be Price’s last rehab start before returning to the Sox’ big league rotation, but one wonders if he’s ready for it.

Price didn’t talk to the media after the game, but Pawtucket’s manager said he was “upbeat” and “felt good.” For his part, John Farrell, upon hearing about the outing, said this:

“There’s no announcement at this point. We’ve got to sit with him and talk about what’s best for him, best for us as we move forward.”

The Sox could really use Price back in the rotation given their injury problems, but rushing him back if he’s not ready is certainly not ideal.

Stay tuned.