Just got the press release from MLB announcing the beginning of interleague play this weekend. As usual, the league touts the attendance boost it brings:
Interleague Play drew 8,468,620 fans in 2011, averaging 33,606 fans per game. The average 2011 Interleague attendance was 12.1 percent higher than the season’s final intraleague average of 29,985. Since its inception in 1997, Interleague Play has drawn an average of 33,285 fans per game, which is 11.8 percent higher than the intraleague average of 29,774 during the same span.
They always leave out the fact that interlegaue play is disproportionately centered (a) on weekends; and (b) in warm weather months. I’d like to see how a Mariners-Rockies series would draw on a Wednesday in April, but I guess we won’t know how that works until next season.
Oh well. We’re way past complaining about this. Matchups this upcoming weekend that seem fun, with the home team listed second: White Sox-Cubs, Orioles-Nationals, Red Sox-Phillies and the Braves-Rays. Actually, a series I’m most looking forward to this weekend is an intraleague thing: Cardinals-Dodgers.
Good news in Boston: An MRI on Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi‘s left knee revealed no structural damage.
Benintendi slipped while trying to avoid a tag at second base, injuring his leg, but it appears he’s avoided a serious injury. A timetable for his return isn’t known at this point, but the Red Sox expect to get him back before the end of the season.
Benintendi is hitting .324/.365/.485 with a homer and ten RBI in 21 games.
And then there was one. One player from the 2008 World Series champs, that is. Ryan Howard likely isn’t going anywhere so he’ll be the last one to turn the lights off, but today Carlo Ruiz bid adieu to the Phillies following his trade to Los Angeles.
Lost in all of the emotions the Dodgers are reported to be feeling about A.J. Ellis leaving is the fact that Ruiz was one of the most beloved Phillies players ever, by both his teammates and their fans. Yesterday Roy Halladay penned a heartfelt goodbye to Ruiz, suggesting that he was every bit as essential to his and the Phillies’ success as Ellis has been to Clayton Kershaw (and in pure baseball production, obviously, quite more).
Today Chooch left a message for his now former teammates: