The Rockies don’t want Jose Reyes in camp, but they may not have a choice

9 Comments

When Jose Reyes‘ domestic violence arrest was first reported back in November, it seemed like a blessing to MLB that the first test of its new domestic violence policy came so early in the offseason. By virtue of the timing, it would prevent the optics of having a player facing suspension on the field and in uniform while the league investigated him. Now, however, it seems that they’ve taken so much time in waiting to deal with his case that the blessing has disappeared.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports the Rockies’ front office “doesn’t relish” the idea of having Reyes at spring training while his domestic abuse case is still active and speculates that Reyes and the Rockies may try to come to some arrangement which prevents him from attending the team’s first workouts later this week.

It may be preferable for the Rockies to keep Reyes away from the team until he’s either suspended or his court case is settled, but unless he agrees to it, I’m not sure what the mechanism for that would be. If the Rockies were to put him on the restricted list or something that would look a lot like discipline that they, as a club, are not permitted to take under the league’s domestic violence policy. Even if they said they were doing it for another reason, it seems clear that that’s what they’d be doing, right? The only way they can do this, it seems, is for Reyes agree to stay away in defacto a paid suspension situation.

For as distasteful as it may seem to have someone in Jose Reyes’ situation on the field, I’m not sure what else MLB can do here. If you have disciplinary policy you are clearly making a demarcation between a player who has been punished and one who has not. MLB, by not punishing Reyes yet, has created this situation.

MLB crowds jump from ’21, still below pre-pandemic levels

mlb
Logan Riely/Getty Images
1 Comment

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.