World Baseball Classic Rosters Released

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The rosters for all 16 teams participating in the World Baseball Classic were announced last night. Here is where to go for team-by-team breakdowns. Here are the highlights:

  • There are 25 guys who made the 2016 All-Star team, including Jose Altuve (Venezuela), Nolan Arenado (USA), Xander Bogaerts (Kingdom of the Netherlands), Francisco Lindor (Puerto Rico) and Manny Machado (Dominican Republic). There are 63 players who have, at one time or another, been All-Stars;
  • As far as past award winners go there’s two-time American League Most Valuable Player Miguel Cabrera (Venezuela), 2012 National League MVP Buster Posey (USA), 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen (USA), 2006 AL MVP Justin Morneau (Canada), 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez (Venezuela), 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colón (Dominican Republic) and 2003 NL Cy Young Award winner Eric Gagne (Canada);
  • The Dominican Republic is the defending WBC champ, and they look to be loaded again. Coming back from the 2013 team is Robinson Canó, Santiago Casilla, Nelson Cruz, Samuel Deduno, Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, Fernando Rodney, Carlos Santana and Edinson Volquez;
  • The Detroit Tigers are the most-represented Major League team on WBC rosters, with 15 players from their organization in the WBC. The Mets (13), Cardinals (11), Indians (11), Mariners (11), Royals (11), Blue Jays (10), Braves (10), Dodgers (10), Phillies (10), Twins (10) and Yankees (10) are next on the list. As far as players who are on their team’s 40-man roster, the Mets lead with nine, followed by the Tigers and Phillies with eight.

The World Baseball Classic gets underway with pool play in four cities around the world on March 6. The final game will be March 22nd in Los Angeles.

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.