Ruben Amaro appears not to understand how walks affect at bat totals

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Last year Ruben Amaro said he didn’t care about walks, he cared about production. Maybe his apparent indifference to them is based on his failure to understand how they work.

That’s the takeaway from an appearance he made on the air during yesterday’s Phillies game. He was talking about how Jimmy Rollins is about to pass Mike Schmidt as the all-time Phillies hit leader. Amaro noted that Schmidt had nearly 900 more plate appearances than Rollins yet, magically, their batting averages aren’t very different despite the identical hit totals. The transcript of his comments via Crossing Broad:

“Yeah, we were checking it out. In fact Schmitty was in the booth yesterday when we were talking about it, and, um, I think it’s about a thousand difference in, ah, plate appearances. Pretty amazing. But their batting averages aren’t that different, which is kind of… weird. I don’t quite understand it.”

One would think that how walks, plate appearances and at bats interact would some something within the comprehension of a major league general manager, but maybe Amaro is more of a big picture guy and he leaves that complex stuff to subordinates.

In reality: I fail to believe that a major league GM doesn’t understand how walks affect at bat totals. I TOTALLY believe that Amaro would say such a thing to drive Phillies fans crazy, though. He’s the GM most likely to troll people, and it’s not even close.

Anyway, here’s the audio. Listen to the commentary added by Kyle from Crossing Broad at the end:

 

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.