Bryce Harper receives 10 stitches above left eye after slamming bat into wall

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Bryce Harper had the worst game of his brief major league career during the Nationals’ 7-3 win over the Reds tonight. And it’s not just because he went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts.

According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Harper needed 10 stitches above his left eye after slamming his bat up against a wall and having it come back and hit him in the face. Seriously.

Harper took his frustrations out on a wall in the tunnel after grounding out to begin the seventh inning. He remained in the game after the incident and returned to the field in the bottom of the seventh with blood streaking down the side of his face. The picture to the right is from his at-bat in the ninth inning.

The 19-year-old outfielder emerged in the clubhouse after the game with what Kilgore describes as a “golf ball-sized welt” on his forehead and “clumps of blood” in his hair.

“I just got caught up in the moment,” Harper said. “I want to do so well. It just got me.”

Nationals manager Davey Johnson suggested that Harper could sit out one or two games for precautionary reasons, but the precocious rookie doesn’t think he’ll need to miss any time.

Harper obviously let his emotions get the best of him here, which isn’t unusual for a teenager, but the good news is that he managed to avoid serious injury. And hey, at least it inspired Ian Desmond to give him a new nickname. You can now call him “Bam Bam.”

Minor League Baseball had its worst attendance in 14 years

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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.