ESPN reporter Jeff Passan snapped this photo at Kauffmann Stadium in Kansas City early in the Rays-Royals game. Slightly more people are in the stadium now, at press time in the bottom of the sixth, but I’m wondering if at first pitch whether there were more players for the two teams than there were fans in the stands.
If you can get to 50 people — which is how many people are on two active MLB rosters — in the stands in this photo, it’s barely. And then you have to factor in that some of the people you can see are probably ushers or vendors.
We can have the debate about MLB’s resonance a million times — the league maintains inconceivably strength in terms of racking up regional viewership, but you just can’t see imagery like this and interpret as anything but a dire sign.