Alex Rodriguez suffers fractured hand on HBP

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Alex Rodriguez suffered a non-displaced fracture in his left hand when he was hit by a Felix Hernandez slider on Tuesday night and will go on the disabled list, the Yankees announced after the 4-2 loss to the Mariners.

Here’s the video.

Even though it wasn’t a fastball at 88 mph, it looked like Rodriguez suffered a break from the moment he was hit. He was in serious pain as he rolled around on the ground, and he showed no interest in moving his wrist as he walked off the field.

Jayson Nix pinch-ran for Rodriguez. He and Eric Chavez figure to split time at third base for at least the next couple of weeks for the Yankees. While it’s good news that Rodriguez didn’t suffer a more serious fracture that would have been guaranteed to knock him out for at least 4-6 weeks, it still isn’t all that likely that he’ll be ready to go when his 15 days are up. For what it’s worth, Chavez said after the game that he missed five weeks in 2004 with a break similar to the one A-Rod suffered.

A-Rod was Hernandez’s second hit batter of the inning and third of the game. Derek Jeter was also hit in the hand by a pitch in the eighth, and while he seemed to be in considerable pain initially, he stayed in the game.

Hernandez was pulled following the A-Rod HBP, but he ended up with the win after allowing two runs in 7 1/3 innings. The second run scored after he left the game in the eighth. Lucas Luetge got out of the jam from there — though not before he knocked down Raul Ibanez with some chin music — and Tom Wilhelmsen closed it out for his 11th save.

Still trying to win a close game. the Yankees declined to send any messages back to the Mariners in the bottom of the eighth. One wonders if Ivan Nova will drill a batter early in Wednesday’s series finale. While it wasn’t obvious that any of the Mariners’ plunkings tonight were intentional, the fact that there were three, followed by the Ibanez dusting, could be considered worthy of retaliation.

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.