Jerome Williams let the Giants call him “Jeremy” for two years

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Jerome Williams returning to the majors with the Angels for the first time since 2007 is a pretty interesting story, but Sam Miller of the Orange County Register investigated something about the one-time Giants prospect that’s even more interesting.

Apparently when Williams first arrived in the big leagues as a 21-year-old rookie in 2003 the Giants coaching staff and various teammates thought his name was Jeremy. And when they repeatedly called him by the wrong name Jerome didn’t correct them … for two years.

Miller broached the topic with Williams yesterday, leading to a highly amusing exchange. Here’s an excerpt:

“Yeah. They called me Jeremy. I just rolled with it.”

They just called you Jeremy? Were you called Jerome growing up?

“Yes.”

So.

“I don’t know. In the minors, they didn’t call me Jeremy. When I got to the big leagues they called me Jeremy for two years.”

Were they screwing with you?

“No, they just called me that. I just rolled with it. I was a rookie and I didn’t want to tell anybody cause I was scared.”

You mean that whole time, (pitching coach Dave) Righetti was calling you Jeremy?

“Everybody was.”

(Manager) Felipe Alou?

“Felipe never really called me by my name. He was just like ‘hey guy come here guy.’ Every time I was ‘guy.’ But yeah, some – most — of the guys did call me that.”

The conversation between Miller and Williams got so absurd that Trevor Bell started cracking up in the next locker over. And how did it finally end?

“I just told Righetti one day. I’m doing a bucket, and I’m like Rags, we need to talk about something. He’s like, ‘What?’ Ummmm. What’s my name? He’s like, ‘Jeremy.’ Ummmm. No. It’s not, actually.  It’s actually Jerome. He’s like, ‘so for a couple years I’ve been calling you Jeremy and it’s not even your name? Why didn’t you correct me?’ I told him the same: I was scared. ‘What were you scared about?’ I don’t know. And he slapped me.

Sounds about right.

MLB crowds jump from ’21, still below pre-pandemic levels

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PHOENIX — Even with the homer heroics of sluggers like Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, Major League Baseball wasn’t able to coax fans to ballparks at pre-pandemic levels this season, though attendance did jump substantially from the COVID-19 affected campaign in 2021.

The 30 MLB teams drew nearly 64.6 million fans for the regular season that ended Wednesday, which is up from the 45.3 million who attended games in 2021, according to baseball-reference.com. This year’s numbers are still down from the 68.5 million who attended games in 2019, which was the last season that wasn’t affected by the pandemic.

The 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers led baseball with 3.86 million fans flocking to Dodger Stadium for an average of 47,672 per contest. The Oakland Athletics – who lost 102 games, play in an aging stadium and are the constant subject of relocation rumors – finished last, drawing just 787,902 fans for an average of less than 10,000 per game.

The St. Louis Cardinals finished second, drawing 3.32 million fans. They were followed by the Yankees (3.14 million), defending World Series champion Braves (3.13 million) and Padres (2.99 million).

The Toronto Blue Jays saw the biggest jump in attendance, rising from 805,901 fans to about 2.65 million. They were followed by the Cardinals, Yankees, Mariners, Dodgers, and Mets, which all drew more than a million fans more than in 2021.

The Rangers and Reds were the only teams to draw fewer fans than in 2021.

Only the Rangers started the 2021 season at full capacity and all 30 teams weren’t at 100% until July. No fans were allowed to attend regular season games in 2020.

MLB attendance had been declining slowly for years – even before the pandemic – after hitting its high mark of 79.4 million in 2007. This year’s 64.6 million fans is the fewest in a non-COVID-19 season since the sport expanded to 30 teams in 1998.

The lost attendance has been balanced in some ways by higher viewership on the sport’s MLB.TV streaming service. Viewers watched 11.5 billion minutes of content in 2022, which was a record high and up nearly 10% from 2021.