Major League Baseball, Fox, seemingly everyone, was pulling for a re-match of last year's World Series - Phillies/Yankees - unfortunately for those in charge, that didn't happen. Below are some of the ridiculous reason's being tossed around for why this year's W.S. will be lacking in the ratings.
The Yankees Aren’t in it
Obviously, the Yankees aren't in the World Series, thank you Texas; but it is a fact that ratings do go up when the Yankees play in the World Series. The reasoning - they have the most fans, no matter how fair-weather they may be - and lets be honest, everyone also loves a villain e.g. Duke, the Cowboys, the Lakers.
With that said, It’s hard to make a team that’s Never even been in a World Series evil; and now that Bonds is gone, the Giants have no villain to speak of, other than that awful contract to Barry Zito…
But in this world of good vs. evil, a World Series without the Yankees or Red Sox can be good for those, uh, small markets.
Small Market Teams
This argument is just laughable. Texas has somehow convinced the baseball world that they are a small market team – poor money management doesn’t make you small market, it just makes you dumb. And, yes, San Francisco isn’t Los Angeles, but it’s no evil step-child.
Here’s a crazy number for you: 6, that’s the ranking for the San Francisco television market according to Nielson. Oh, and how about 5, that’s Dallas’ ranking. So, lets do away with this small market crap.
No Big Name Stars
Yes, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Ryan Howard aren’t in the series, but Josh Hamilton, Cliff Lee, and Tim Lincecum are. Granted they aren’t household names...yet, but they’re getting there. Josh Hamilton may be the most well known, but that could still be for his play off the field... And Lincecum and Lee are two of the best pitchers in the game; and it certainly does help that Lincecum kind of looks like Woody from Toy Story, sorry Roy Oswalt, or that kid from 3rd Rock from the Sun; either way he's odd looking and that gets the women-folk talking and watching.
Pitching Isn't Sexy
If steroids have taught us anything it’s that we like homeruns; but in the year of the pitcher, homeruns are significantly down, but viewers aren’t. Game 6 of the 2010 ALCS was the second most watched program in TBS’ 34-year history with a 7.2 and 11.9 million viewers; second only to the 2008 ALCS Red Sox/Rays Game 7, which drew a 7.9 with 13.4 million total viewers. And Game 6 was the most watched MLB regular season or postseason game of the season, on broadcast or cable, and came in as the most watched LCS series on TBS, ever.
And yes, I am focusing only on TBS, as Fox and Cablevision are still feuding, but overall viewership is up 12% from 2009.
Here is some of the stellar shows going up against the opening night of the World Series: Survivor, Undercovers, and The Middle. If you can't pull in mild sports fans with that line-up and Tim Lincecum and Cliff Lee pitching, well then it doesn't look too promising for the rest of the series.
Over the past thirty years, every single MLB team has made it to the World Series except four teams: Pirates, Mariners, Expos/Nationals, and Cubs. The Rangers were on that list but on Wednesday that'll change. The playoffs may seem like the same teams year after year, but no other sport can say that they've had nearly all their teams play for the ultimate championship over a 30-year span, hell Cleveland can't even win one championship in that amount of time. Either way this is good for Texas, good for baseball, and good for anyone who actually watches it.