KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Fresh from pitching against solid Atlanta hitters, Jake Westbrook faced a far trickier test: Guess how much fans paid for box seats to watch the exhibition game.
Hmmm, I have no idea, the St. Louis starter ventured. Twenty bucks?
Gotcha! $54 for top tickets sold Tuesday at the Braves ballpark at Walt Disney World Resort.
Wow, Westbrook said.
All over Florida and Arizona, teams are paying the price. Spring training attendance is off and several things are to blame, aside from pricey tickets – early start, cold weather and lineups depleted by injured stars and players dispatched to the World Baseball Classic.
The dip is nearly 14 percent lower than it was on this date last year, STATS said.
Games started about a week earlier this season because players wanted to get in shape for the World Baseball Classic. That meant games were scheduled before many fans arrived for vacation and spring break. By the end of February, several teams had already played for a week.
I think we started about eight or nine days too early. That means a whole lot, Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said.
Miami paper won’t give MLB records
The Miami New Times has rejected a request from Major League Baseball for records that the alternative newspaper obtained for a story that alleges several players received performance-enhancing drugs from a now-closed anti-aging clinic.
New Times editor Chuck Strouses response to MLB commissioner Bud Selig appeared on the papers website Tuesday. Strouse cited journalistic ethics and the fact that the newspaper has already posted dozens of records on its website, omitting personal information of people who werent involved in any wrongdoing.
The newspaper reported in January that six professional baseball players bought human growth hormone and other PEDs during 2009-12 from Biogenesis of America LLC.
MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said, While we appreciate the New Times consideration, we have been proceeding with our investigation as if we were not going to be getting documents from them.
Reds split pair
In Goodyear, Ariz., Reds starter Bronson Arroyo gave up one earned run in four innings as San Francisco beat Cincinnati 9-5. In another split-squad game, Mat Latos gave up one run in four innings and the Dodgers Josh Beckett gave up his first run of the spring in Cincinnatis 6-2 win over Los Angeles.