George Postolos steps down as Astros president and CEO

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George Postolos, who was hired as Astros president and CEO when Jim Crane took over as owner in late 2011, announced today that he’s resigning from the job.

According to his MLB.com bio Postolos “had worked with Crane for five years in pursuing an MLB franchise before ultimately completing the purchase of the Astros.”

Postolos was previously the president and CEO of the Rockets and the idea at the time was that he’d be a good fit with the Astros’ new-school front office.

While both sides’ press releases make it sound like an amicable parting of ways, Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle reports that “there was an increasing divide within Astros and many were unhappy with decisions made by Postolos.”

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.