Dodgers lead majors in attendance
Major League Baseball averaged 30,517 fans at games this season, the sport’s seventh-highest mark, and the Dodgers again had the best home attendance.
The majors’ average was up from last year’s 30,454 and was the most since 30,985 in 2012, the commissioner’s office said Monday. The average peaked at 32,785 in 2007, before the Great Recession.
Total attendance was 74.76 million, an increase of 30,000; there were four fewer dates this season.
The Dodgers drew 3.76 million and led in home attendance for the third straight season. The New York Yankees drew 3.4 million and topped the AL for the 13th consecutive year. Tampa Bay drew a big league-low 1.25 million.
Court rejects San Jose appeal
The Supreme Court rejected an appeal from the city of San Jose in its bid to lure baseball’s Athletics from Oakland.
The justices on Monday left in place lower court rulings that dismissed the city’s antitrust claims against MLB, which blocked the Athletics’ contemplated move to San Jose.
San Jose sued MLB in June 2013 for conspiring to block the relocation. San Jose is in Santa Clara County, part of the San Francisco Giants’ territory under MLB’s constitution. The city said the territory rules violated federal antitrust laws. Baseball has been exempt from antitrust laws since a 1922 Supreme Court decision.
“The court’s decision, while significant, has no impact on our intense and unwavering focus on solving our ballpark issue and providing A’s fans the first-class experience they deserve,” A’s owner Lew Wolff said in a statement.
Wolff has been committed to building a new ballpark and leaving the rundown Oakland Coliseum. The A’s averaged 21,829 fans a game this year, 27th among the 30 big league teams.
Games a bit shorter
MLB has managed to cut six minutes from the average time of a nine-inning game this season, when it adopted some speed-up rules.
STATS said Monday that the season average ended at 2 hours 56 minutes. While the average dropped to 2:53 in the first half of the season, it was back at 3:00 after the All-Star break.
MLB and the players’ association agreed this year to enforce the rule requiring a hitter to keep at least one foot in the batter’s box in many cases, and they also agreed to post stadium clocks timing pitching changes and between-inning breaks.
St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina will try to play in an NL division series while wearing a splint to protect his injured left thumb. Molina partially tore a ligament on Sept. 20 and hasn’t played since. Backup Tony Cruz would be the starter if Molina is unable to play.... The Oakland Athletics promoted assistant general manager David Forst to GM and elevated Billy Beane to executive vice president of baseball operations.
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