Alex Rodriguez might try to buy the Mets

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The New York Post is reporting that Alex Rodriguez is “kicking the tires” on a possible purchase of the Mets. Jennifer Lopez’s fiancé has become a man of many hats since he retired from playing the game, and is now a somewhat prominent figure in the business world. The Post says that J-Lo is also keen on the idea, and their combined wealth could be a good starting point for the investing group that would be necessary to meet the expected price tag for the franchise.

The Wilpons are reportedly seeking a deal in the $3 billion range, and claim to no longer be demanding continued control of the Mets after the sale. The team’s regional sports network, SNY, is not expected to be part of the transaction.

A-Rod and J-Lo would undoubtedly need to find outside help to meet the Wilpons’ demands (even America’s most prominent 40-and-over power couple has financial limitations), but the Post says that Rodriguez has busied himself with rubbing elbows with all sorts of financial bigwigs. Derek Jeter was able to do this to buy the Marlins, even if his group only had to pay $1 billion for the keys to that particular car.

It should be noted that Rodriguez getting to sit in Jeff Wilpon’s chair is far from a done deal, and the Post characterized the potential bid as a long shot. The Post also reports that Steve Cohen has not yet completely walked away from the idea of making the Mets his, even after his very public blow-up with the Wilpons.

A-Rod being the lucky winner of this latest moment in Mets history would be endlessly amusing. He’s long said that he grew up a Mets fan, but more importantly, this would be Alex freaking Rodriguez buying the Mets. A-Rod’s history in New York is the sort of story that The Lonely Island need to make their next gonzo half-hour Netflix special about. Every baseball fan in the city has strong feelings about Rodriguez, and this would be the climax of quite a character arc. You have to imagine that the league would adore having the storyline of two teams in the NL East being owned by A-Rod and Jeter, too.

Of course A-Rod wants to buy the Mets. Why wouldn’t he want to buy the Mets? We need to will this into existence, purely for the memes. The best part of this is that it’s not hard to imagine Rodriguez actually being a pretty decent owner. The guy’s got baseball acumen for days and nobody can ever accuse him of not caring about winning.

If you like your Mets with the usual dose of absurdity but want them to actually do well on the field, Rodriguez might be your guy.

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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.