The Royals are allegedly seeking payback for Noah Syndergaard’s World Series pitch

Getty Images
35 Comments

Marc Carig of Newsday has some juicy gossip. It’s not attributed to any one source — it’s more of a word on the street thing — but he’s hearing that the Kansas City Royals are “signaling their intent to seek retribution against the Mets on Opening Night.”

Retribution for what? For that pitch Noah Syndergaard sent toward Alcides Escobar’s head in Game 3 of the World Series.

The pitch, you may remember, was clearly intentional. It was foreshadowed by Syndergaard saying that he had a few “tricks up his sleeve” to deal with Escobar’s habit of jumping on first-pitch fastballs in the Series’ first two games.

You may also remember, however, that the pitch didn’t come too far inside. It tailed in towards Escobar, but it was really just a super high pitch that didn’t actually enter the batters box. And it had no real bearing on anything. Yes, the Mets won that Game 3 but it wasn’t because of that pitch (the Royals actually took a 1-0 lead off Syndergaard that inning). And in no case did it affect the World Series in any way. The Royals, you may remember, won it. And won pretty convincingly.

If winning the World Series and having five months to relax isn’t enough to cause them to get the heck over a single inconsequential pitch maybe they should seek counseling.

[mlbvideo id=”526920883″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]

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.