When I was in Arizona the weekend games were packed and there were plenty of seats available during the week. Seemed normal, but apparently not so much: according to STATS, Inc., spring training attendance is off 14% so far.
There are several reasons. Games started a week earlier this year. There were a lot of rain delays and rainouts, even in Arizona. The World Baseball Classic games had to have some negative impact as well.
The linked story notes high ticket prices too. This is something I’ve wondered about. Each year I go I make a point to go to at least one game as a ticketed customer as opposed to a credentialed scribe. This year it seemed like the tickets cost a heck of a lot more than usual. Next year: lawn seats and sunscreen.
Update (12:58 AM ET): Per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Samardzija has been diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle. He’ll be shut down for a week. That’s good news for the Giants, considering the alternatives.
Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.
This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.
Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.