Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger is, in my view, the best Yankees beat writer there is and is one of the best beat writers in all of Major League Baseball.
I like his temperament. I like that he always manages to be even-handed while not checking his brain or his opinions at the door. He’s smart and he’s fair and his writing is informed by a curiosity about and appreciation of the game that has long left the writing of many other beats, if indeed they ever had it.
Today Moshe Mandel of The Yankee Analysts has a lengthy and highly informative Q&A with Carig that sheds a huge amount of light on the way a good beat writer approaches his or her job. It’s required reading for anyone who ever plans on criticizing someone in the media. And criticism is totally fair game according to Carig. The point is to know what the hell these guys do before you rip them.
Just fantastic reading if you care at all about baseball media.
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.