Andrew McCutchen got hit in the head during batting practice

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Wouldn’t it be just Pittsburgh’s luck if likely NL MVP Andrew McCutchen got knocked out of the wild card game by a batting-practice accident?

Fortunately, it looks like he’ll avoid that fate, though he was hit in the head while shagging flyballs on Monday. McCutchen said he was distracted by a teammate when a ball off the bat of Jorge Mercer clipped him around his right ear.

McCutchen walked off the field on his own and deemed himself fine to play Tuesday. He added that he was “no snitch” when asked which player distracted him.

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.