Here was David Ortiz after last night’s game, in which he was plunked:
“I just want to thank [the media]. Not all of you, but some of you, for the stat today about be not being hit. I finally got hit. I hope you [expletive] are happy.”
Then Josh Beckett:
“I’m still trying to figure out if David got hit for something I did or if it was something ESPN stirred up.”
Eh. I think the media’s calls for retaliation following Tuesday night’s game were pathetic indicia that they care more about storylines and at sort of bullcrap than they do about the actual honor and well-being of players, but let’s be honest here: the media didn’t make CC Sabathia hit David Ortiz. I don’t think the media could make Sabathia do anything he didn’t want to.
Baseball American reports today that total attendance at minor league baseball games reached a 14-year low in 2018. Total attendance was 40,450,337. That’s a drop of 1,382,027 fans compared to last season.
Around a third of that drop is attributable to fewer scheduled games but, as Baseball America notes, even when you go to average attendance per game, there was a sharp drop off this season. BA suggests that this represents a leveling off after over a decade’s worth of large increases in minor league attendance. Which sound pretty plausible. Overall, attendance numbers are still massively above where they were 15-20 years ago, so this seems more like a correction than a real problem. The BA article goes into some good analysis of the decline.
All of that said, revenues are up for the minors, in large part because of merchandise sales and because minor league ballparks have a lot more amenities and better concessions than they used to have and fans are willing to pay for them.