Blog Entry

Low World Series ratings? Fans shouldn't care

Posted on: October 18, 2011 6:01 pm

By Matt Snyder

ST. LOUIS -- Brace yourself, baseball fans. You are about to be bludgeoned over the head -- for the next two weeks -- with the TV ratings for the World Series. Specifically, the ratings are likely to be low. We're also sure to hear about how much bigger regular-season football games rate, as if that matters to baseball's well-being, and that "no one cares."

And you know what? I don't care ... I don't care what the TV ratings say or what all the baseball haters say. I don't care that most of the people in New York probably think this series sucks. I don't care that some NFL fans are so insecure they have to pompously pound their chests about ratings. Seriously, we get it. The NFL is a monster. There's no denying it and it's not going to change any time soon. If baseball was actually competing with the NFL, it would be losing in a blowout. And I have nothing against the NFL, in fact, I quite enjoy it.

World Series coverage
It's just that the NFL and MLB are completely different entities and different sports. Having some die-hard NFL fan look down upon baseball by talking smack about ratings is akin to a 6-foot-6 guy walking into a room and screaming at everyone else, "I'm taller than all of you!" and then repeating it every single day. There's simply no need for it. Again, we get it. Meanwhile, true baseball fans are perfectly content to enjoy good baseball, just as the players are content to put on a good show.

"The games are still really exciting for us," Cardinals infielder Daniel Descalso said, remarking how much support the Cardinals have locally.

Bud Selig and the commissioner's office should be worried about the ratings and finding ways to make the audience younger, but we shouldn't be worried about that.

"I'm sure if you're Fox, you care a lot about the ratings," said Rangers relief pitcher Scott Feldman. "I hope people watch. It's going to be a great series with lots of great players, so hopefully more fans tune in than expected."

In the here and now as fans, though, there's no reason to get caught up in it.

So if you're reading this and only want to comment about how the ratings are going to be low or that no one cares about these two teams playing in the World Series, grow up. Get a life. Lots of people care about these two teams. The two are playing incredible baseball at this time and have huge fan bases behind them.

"We're just playing for our fans," Rangers reliever Mike Gonzalez said, who glowed when discussing how electric Rangers Ballpark can get.

And there's this:

"We don't play for the ratings, we play for the rings," Cardinals starting pitcher Edwin Jackson said with a smile.

So, true baseball fans, just enjoy what is shaping up to be a great series. If you hear hoards of people pontificating about how much better the NFL's ratings are -- and you will -- just ignore the noise. The easiest way to rid yourself of a pest is to ignore it.

And if you claim to be a true baseball fan yet still say you don't care about this series, maybe you need to reconsider calling yourself a fan of the sport.

"It's unfortunate, but we can't really do anything about it," said Kyle Lohse of the Cardinals. "It's two really good ballclubs and I'm surprised more people don't wanna see great baseball."

Me, too. But Lohse is right, we can't really do anything about it right now. So just enjoy the great baseball that is to come in the next week and a half.

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Since: Dec 24, 2006
Posted on: October 20, 2011 9:30 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Mar 15, 2008
Posted on: October 20, 2011 2:59 pm

Low World Series ratings? Fans shouldn't care

You wrote the story. You just got the headline wrong.

"True baseball fans" will still watch the Series, you say. But obviously, there aren't as many of those "true fans" as there used to be.

exactly correct...... 

the problem is with MLB has spent 20years building the league around a couple of teams and has allowed it's media partners to define the product and is now suffering the only possible result...the sport is now marginalized everywhere outside of the few markets that have been promoted.

add this to the fact that the games have become so long and it's been a long drawn out  suicide mission by MLB for 20years

Since: Oct 20, 2011
Posted on: October 20, 2011 9:32 am

Low World Series ratings? Fans shouldn't care

Look at all the terrible WS that this 4 division system has created. There has never been so many 4/5 game WS before in the entire history of baseball.

Since: Oct 20, 2011
Posted on: October 20, 2011 9:30 am

Low World Series ratings? Fans shouldn't care

Sorry but I agree with KNute. A real baseball fan wouldn't accept a wild card team in the WS. Any WS that has a second place team competing doesn't exist for me. Even if the Cardinals sweep the Rangers it can always be said that the Cardinals weren't good enough to win their division and it would be true!

Since: Oct 25, 2006
Posted on: October 20, 2011 7:33 am

Low World Series ratings? Fans shouldn't care

Dear George,.

Get off the computer and grab the want ads; you have to get out of Mommy's basement someday.  It's not healthy spending your days and nights on the computer.  You start getting crazy, paranoid thoughts like the guy who calls you George is insulting you (after you named yourself Jetson!).  Playoffs should be kept as small as possible.  As you said, the greed has gone crazy in the NHL and NBA; pretty soon they'll let ECERYONE into the playoffs.  But the smaller the playoff pool, the truer the result.  That was and remains an undeniable fact.  Think of it: if all 32 teams got into the playoffs or if only 2 got into the playoffs.  Which has the greater potential for producing a true champion, over both the 162-game season and the playoff round?

Like I said: undeniable fact.

Since: Oct 20, 2007
Posted on: October 19, 2011 1:56 pm

Low World Series ratings? Fans shouldn't care

I'm assuming that your reply was addressed to me and that, in your infantile way, you thought that calling me "George" because my ID is EJetson was some sort of super put-down.

Playoff "tournaments" are used throughout sports.  All of the major sports use them.  It is a positive not a negative.  There is a limit to the number of teams that should be allowed into the tournament, but that limit should not be two.  Nor should it be 16, like the NBA or NHL.  The current way MLB does it with 8 teams is pretty darned good. 

Your point is undeniable, alright.  Undeniably wrong.

Since: Oct 25, 2006
Posted on: October 19, 2011 1:36 pm

Low World Series ratings? Fans shouldn't care

Dear George,

My point is undeniable.  The old system put the two best teams in the Series.  The new system rewards the two teams who were hotter for a brief time.  That's not better.  Period.

Which team is better, the one that is superior for 6 months or the one that's superior for only a week and a half?

Since: Oct 20, 2007
Posted on: October 19, 2011 1:28 pm

Low World Series ratings? Fans shouldn't care

The problem, Knute, is that you're not a baseball fan.  You're a Yankee fan.  Or a Phillies fan.  Baseball fans will watch regardless of who is playing because they know that both teams earned their places there, and that the series will be exciting (because it always is, even when it's a sweep). 

It's one thing to be a traditionalist.  I'm one.  But, to completely close your mind to any changes to the way things were 50 years ago is just pigheadedness.

Since: Nov 16, 2009
Posted on: October 19, 2011 12:34 pm

Low World Series ratings? Fans shouldn't care

BC Eagle, your suggested reallignment breaks up the Cubs/Cardinals rivalry, pretty sure that isn't going to happen.

I get SO sick of the stupid ratings talk every time the Yankees or Red Sox don't make the World Series.  I don't know what the response to that complaint is supposed to be.  Perhaps just skip the playoffs next year and have the Yankees and Red Sox meet in the World Series?  Or maybe just skip the entire season and have them play each other a few hundred times? 

Since: Oct 25, 2006
Posted on: October 19, 2011 12:29 pm

Low World Series ratings? Fans shouldn't care

I am a true baseball fan, Mr. Snyder, and I know that without a doubt this World Series matchup is inferior.  It is blah.  It is who-cares.  And nothing in your column did, or could, change that fact.  I won't be watching and almost everyone else here in New York will do the same.  And here we have the problem inherent in the modern post-season.  Back in what I think of as baseball's "good old days", if you came in first (there were two loeague with no divisions) you went to the World Series.  In other words, World Series participation was based on an entire season's performance, not who's hot this week.  A team could win 125 games and lose in the playoffs to a division "champion" with 78 wins, but the inferior team got hot this week.  Is that right?  No, but it's usually more profitable as a longer playoff process means more games.  But this method can bite itself in the ass as it did this year.  The clearly superior (based on a 162-game season) teams (Yanks and Phillies) are out and we're left with this ratings nightmare of a World Series.  The powers-that-be of MLB have no one to blame but themselves; all they can do now is dream and salivate over the Yankees-Phillies Series that could have been.

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