When I was in Arizona the weekend games were packed and there were plenty of seats available during the week. Seemed normal, but apparently not so much: according to STATS, Inc., spring training attendance is off 14% so far.
There are several reasons. Games started a week earlier this year. There were a lot of rain delays and rainouts, even in Arizona. The World Baseball Classic games had to have some negative impact as well.
The linked story notes high ticket prices too. This is something I’ve wondered about. Each year I go I make a point to go to at least one game as a ticketed customer as opposed to a credentialed scribe. This year it seemed like the tickets cost a heck of a lot more than usual. Next year: lawn seats and sunscreen.
Update, 7:49 PM ET: The Nationals placed Howie Kendrick on the 10-day disabled list with a right Achilles injury. In a corresponding move, right-hander Jefry Rodriguez was recalled from Double-A Potomac.
Nationals left fielder Howie Kendrick was removed from the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Dodgers after injuring his right leg. In the eighth inning, Kendrick tracked a Max Muncy sac fly to the wall, but landed strangely on his right leg and fell to the ground. Unable to put weight on it, he was forced to exit the field on a cart and was sent to undergo an MRI soon afterward, the results of which have yet to be revealed.
While the Nationals have not specified the nature or severity of Kendrick’s injury, Martinez revealed that it’s located in the “lower part” of the outfielder’s leg and appears to be quite severe. He’ll likely be placed on the 10-day disabled list in the next couple of days, though the recovery process could take even longer.
Prior to the incident, Kendrick was off to a hot start this season. Entering Saturday’s doubleheader, he carried a batting line of .302/.331/.477 with 18 extra-base hits and an .808 OPS in 157 plate appearances. He went 1-for-3 on Saturday with a base hit in the seventh inning. Andrew Stevenson subbed in for Kendrick following the injury and has been tabbed to start in left field for the second game of the doubleheader at 8:05 PM ET.