In counseling against an Adrian Gonzalez trade, I’ve cited the idea that the Padres can’t trade him during season ticket renewal season because otherwise an already depressed and apathetic fan base may get even more turned off, if that’s even possible.
Well, turns out that the fan base may not be as depressed and apathetic as I thought, because as MLB.com’s Corey Brock reports, the team passed 71 percent on their season ticket renewals last week. They renewed only 55 percent all of last offseason.
In addition, they’ve sold more new season tickets so far than all of last year.
None of which is to say that the Padres should go out and deal Gonzalez. It does show, however, that (a) there’s a stronger fan base in San Diego than a lot of us realized; and (b) baseball’s relative resistance to the overall gloomy economic situation may be even more pronounced than we thought.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.