Major League Baseball issued a press release a few minutes ago touting attendance numbers, and there was much to tout.
Overall attendance is up 8.1% over last year, and last year was among the biggest years for attendance all time. The last eight years have been the highest eight-year stretch for attendance in baseball history.
Interleague play is certainly helping drive this, as this year’s slate posted the third highest attendance totals since the advent of the beast, and represented a 15.8% increase over intraleague games. Usually it draws around 12% more than intraleague games.
Reasons for all of this? Probably a combination. A ton of teams are still very much in contention, particularly some teams who have not been in recent years like the Nationals, Orioles and Pirates. The new park in Miami. Great weather all season long.
For baseball, it’s all good.
Former Mets pitcher Anthony Young died on Tuesday at the age of 51, the team said. Young was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in February.
Young, 51, pitched parts of six seasons in the majors from 1991-96. He began his big league career with the Mets in 1991 and stayed with the team through ’93. He famously failed to win a game between April 24, 1992 and July 24, 1993. During that span of time, he went 0-27. It was a great example, even back then, of the uselessness of won-lost records. Young posted a respectable 4.17 ERA in ’92 and 3.77 in ’93.
Former pitcher Turk Wendell, who was Young’s teammate with the Cubs in 1994-95, called Young “a true gentleman.”
The Blue Jays announced on Tuesday that the club designated reliever Jason Grilli for assignment as part of a handful of roster moves. Outfielder Dwight Smith was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo, outfielder Ezequiel Carrera was activated from the 10-day disabled list, and pitcher Chris Smith was recalled from Buffalo as well.
Grilli, 40, struggled to a 6.97 ERA with a 23/9 K/BB ratio in 20 2/3 innings of work this season in Toronto. The right-hander similarly struggled in the first half last year with the Braves before being acquired by the Jays but Grilli’s role had diminished and most of the rest of the bullpen has been pulling its weight.
Grilli should draw some interest — perhaps from the Nationals — as his peripheral stats suggest he’s not nearly as bad as his ERA suggests.