October 18, 2003

What might have been...: "One moment the Fox executives were anticipating the ultimate dream World Series, the Cubs vs. the Red Sox. And then Friday morning they woke up to find a Marlins-Yankees series on their schedule, which must have been a bit like waking up and finding Marge Schott on your mattress."

posted by justgary to baseball at 03:07 AM - 25 comments

Besides the Yankee and Marlins fans, I don't know anyone who is actually going to watch this thing. It's such a long term time committment and if you don't care who wins or aren't interested in who wins, many will not find it worth their time. It's too bad too. Baseball has been rather captivating in the last couple weeks, recapturing some of the audience it has lost in the last decade. Even Entertainment Weekly made 2 notes of baseball in this week's issue.

posted by jerseygirl at 10:10 AM on October 18, 2003

I agree jerseygirl, completely. Baseball has been fun the last couple of weeks; no talks about contracts, agents and millions of dollars; it's been about the game and I've loved it. Sadly, when the Red Sox and Cubs lost, it has gone back to where it was; people are talking about the payrolls of the two teams, etc, and it's a shame.

posted by therev at 10:24 AM on October 18, 2003

Come on jerseygirl: you've got Urbina and Chad Fox to root for. I'd be 100% behind the Marlins, but that would mean the dickhead who owned the Expos would win. Short of theological intervention, it will end poorly. But with a whimper rather than a bang*. * assumes no terrorist activity.

posted by yerfatma at 10:33 AM on October 18, 2003

In spite of Loria, I am rooting for the Marlins.

posted by jerseygirl at 11:15 AM on October 18, 2003

jerseygirl, almost every year people complain that no one outside of the two team's fans will want to watch the WS--what was interesting about last year's to people outside of California, for instance--but then people watch anyway. At least baseball fans do, and I think that's the part that's dwindling.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:20 AM on October 18, 2003

I've made my decision: I'm cheering for the Marlins, despite Loria. BUT! If Clemens is pitching in the deciding game, then I'm rooting for him. But ONLY him. Take him out of the game, and I'm back on the Marlins bandwagon. I do reserve the right to yell at the screen if Loria appears on it.

posted by grum@work at 11:40 AM on October 18, 2003

Any other combination of the final four teams would have been more compelling. Sox-Marlins? The possibility that Boston would be thwarted the way Cleveland was. Yanks-Cubs? Oh please, how sweet would that be? And, of course, Cubs-Sox, the match-up everybody wanted. I say Marlins in six, and won't there be hell to pay if that happens?

posted by outside counsel at 02:05 PM on October 18, 2003

Any other combination of the final four teams would have been more compelling. I agree. Even without the sox in I would loved to see the cubs/yankees.

posted by justgary at 02:17 PM on October 18, 2003

I agree that this is the least interesting of the four possible matchups, but c'mon, it's the World Series. I really wanted to say I wasn't going to watch, but of course I will. Even now I'm tempted to say I won't watch if it looks like a sweep, but who am I kidding? I'm pulling for the Marlins. I love the way they play; they never give up, they're aggressive on the base paths, and they play with a lot of enthusiasm. Also, they're not afraid of anything and they've got nothing to lose. I think they'll give the Yankees a lot of trouble and they could win in six or seven.

posted by kirkaracha at 02:51 PM on October 18, 2003

I'll bet that Fox is still happy with this series because the Yankees are a big draw. I think it could still be a compelling World Series if the Marlins pound the Yankee devils. However, something tells me we're looking at another Yankees-Padres stomping.

posted by rcade at 03:10 PM on October 18, 2003

I'm pulling for the Marlins. I love the way they play; they never give up And the Yankee coming from behind by three runs with five outs left is giving up?

posted by billsaysthis at 03:54 PM on October 18, 2003

And the Yankee coming from behind by three runs with five outs left is giving up? really?

posted by jerseygirl at 03:59 PM on October 18, 2003

And the Yankees came back from the bottom of their division and the mid-season firing of a coach when...? [Note: seasons in which their payroll is 40-50% more than the next team in the league may be ineligible for sympathy points...]

posted by tieguy at 05:37 PM on October 18, 2003

And the Yankee coming from behind by three runs with five outs left is giving up? I've never quite gotten the 'never gives up' line. The redsox faced what...5 or 6 elimination games before being done in by their manager? To get to this point in the playoffs none of these teams have ever given up. I think though that you add the fact that the Marlins are young and the underdogs AND never give up and you can see why people would pull for them.

posted by justgary at 05:37 PM on October 18, 2003

I believe one line in the linked article about sums it up best: "Fox went from a World Series that would draw Super Bowl-type ratings to one that will draw Jim Belushi-sitcom ratings." I consider myself a true baseball fan. Love the game, love to watch it, love to read about it. I can see no compelling reason to watch this series. Only feelings I have for these teams are indifferent to negative. I do realize this is not so different from last year or '01 (except I am a D-Backs fan) but the utter disappointment of what this series is vs. what it almost was just kills it for me. I believe I'll sit this one out.

posted by pivo at 10:15 PM on October 18, 2003

what can i say? i've waited an entire season to see this series. is there something better on that i'm missing? baseball has broken my heart three times this season (the diamondbacks, the cubs, the red sox); it would just be incomplete without the hated yankees gloating over yet another world series trophy.

posted by kjh at 11:55 PM on October 18, 2003

In between SNL (great Don Zimmer skit, btw) I watched the bottom of the 9th tonight and a snip of Baseball Tonight a little while later. That's it. Totally impressed by Juan Pierre. Good times.

posted by jerseygirl at 12:37 AM on October 19, 2003

It wasn't too bad; other than replay after replay from the sox/yankees series. I just turned the channel each time. Still, we have one team with a very short history and another who lives at the world series, so I'm interested in how the ratings ended up. I'm guessing one big yawn.

posted by justgary at 02:04 AM on October 19, 2003

What justgary said (about not giving up).

posted by billsaysthis at 02:11 PM on October 19, 2003

the ratings were up 16 percent from last year's opener, but that ain't sayin' much.

posted by goddam at 07:21 PM on October 19, 2003

the thursday night game's ratings were higher though, interestingly enough.

posted by jerseygirl at 08:33 PM on October 19, 2003

Of course sports fans are going to watch, since there's no Sunday night football game on. How the hell did Fox convince the NFL and ESPN to take the night off?

posted by dusted at 11:37 PM on October 19, 2003

dusted, by agreeing not to schedule a world series game on monday nights.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:51 PM on October 20, 2003

These probably-way-before-the-teams-were-set agreements really seem to have swung quite nicely for Fox. ESPN Sunday night game and MNF would probably have crushed Yanks-Marlins in ratings. Of course one fan's arm outta the way and someone get a brain in a certain manager and NFL could have been the ones grateful to not be going head to head.

posted by pivo at 10:48 PM on October 20, 2003

pivo, these are pretty old arrangements, not something year to year and AFAIK are between MLB and NFL, not the networks. Though I suppose the nets had their input.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:07 PM on October 21, 2003

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