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  #1  
Old 10-29-2012, 08:31 PM
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Default Making the World Series relevant again

It's really no secret that the World Series does not garner the interest it did in the past. Other than die-hard baseball fans, there was very little buzz (or even knowledge) of the Series among people.

Jon Heyman was on The Score this morning talking about this. He said that the Series has become a hometown series where almost all of the interest is contained in the two cities represented. One thing he pointed out was that there are no day games any more during the World Series. Game IV last night started at 8:00 and ended around 11:00. It was a school night, so young kids could not fully enjoy the game.

What do people think needs to be done to make the World Series relevant again? I remember growing up in the 60's and 70's and when the World Series was on, everyone tuned in regardless of the teams involved. It can't be that the Series competes with Football, because there has been NFL football in October for almost 100 years now. It can't be for lack of general interest because making the Series is Topic A for fans of almost all MLB teams from November until their team is eliminated in August/September the next year.

I think day games on the weekends would go a long way. This would allow younger fans to get involved and more committed to the Series as they grow up. I also think the extended playoff schedule is a buzz kill. Right now, the only pro sport whose championship game garners widespread interest is the NFL with the Super Bowl. The NBA and NHL have extended playoffs with so many teams, they feel like regular season games. I think MLB has fallen into the same trap. With extended playoffs, the specialness of the World Series become anti-climatic because most casual fans have hit their saturation point. After all, once we're done with 162 games, there is a potential for another twenty games which is more than 10% of the regular season.

Having two divisions where the division champs play a best of five to go to the World Series would keep post season interest high. Of course, the owners would never put the genie back in the bottle because it would reduce revenues in the short term until people rediscover baseball.
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:49 PM
Lip Man 1 Lip Man 1 is online now
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MLB is partially to blame for this issue. When it's all Yankee-Red Sox, all the time regardless of whether or not you give a damn, it has an impact.

When those teams don't get to the series a vast amount of the baseball fan base is rather ho-hum, who cares...."who are these Giants? Never heard of half the guys playing for Cincinnati" and so forth.

MLB needs to start promoting and representing all teams, even garbage ones like Kansas City and Houston. If Fox doesn't like it (or ESPN) MLB needs to explain who is running the show. I understand the networks have a say in things given the money they are spending but you can't fall on your knees every single time they ask for something.

Bob Grim has told me about the things the Sox have to do at times for ESPN when they televise a game and I've got to tell you, it's a wonder Bob and his people don't tell them to go **** themselves.

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Old 10-29-2012, 08:55 PM
PaleHoser PaleHoser is offline
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IMO, three developments have killed interest in the World Series:

1. Interleague play. The World Series is no longer special, particularly when it can be a rematch of a series played during the regular season.
2. Expanded playoffs. Either the Division Series round or the fact that the League Championship Series is also seven games. Pick your poison.
3. Fox television. I'd rather listen to nails on a chalkboard than Buck and McCarver.

I think it's sad that they can't play World Series baseball on a Saturday afternoon. MLB may be too scared to see that the SEC game of the week would have higher ratings.
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:00 PM
mzh mzh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
Bob Grim has told me about the things the Sox have to do at times for ESPN when they televise a game and I've got to tell you, it's a wonder Bob and his people don't tell them to go **** themselves.

Lip
What do you mean, Lip? Something in the way of having to brief the guys on all the players, coaches, what's been going on lately, etc?
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
MLB is partially to blame for this issue. When it's all Yankee-Red Sox, all the time regardless of whether or not you give a damn, it has an impact.

When those teams don't get to the series a vast amount of the baseball fan base is rather ho-hum, who cares...."who are these Giants? Never heard of half the guys playing for Cincinnati" and so forth.

MLB needs to start promoting and representing all teams, even garbage ones like Kansas City and Houston. If Fox doesn't like it (or ESPN) MLB needs to explain who is running the show. I understand the networks have a say in things given the money they are spending but you can't fall on your knees every single time they ask for something.

Bob Grim has told me about the things the Sox have to do at times for ESPN when they televise a game and I've got to tell you, it's a wonder Bob and his people don't tell them to go **** themselves.

Lip
I think you have some very valid points here. Whenever you watch a national NFL show, especially on Sunday morning, you would be hard pressed to figure out which teams are the most popular nation-wide. They talk about each team in the same terms. The 1-6 teams get coverage as much as the 6-1 teams. This allows the casual fan (i.e., the one who does not spend many hours each week on football sites reading up on the players and teams and reading all the football publications that are out there) to easily get working knowledge of each team. Also by having numerous teams on MNF, there isn't that "Yankees/Red Sox again" feeling on Monday nght and each team gets at least one turn on Thursday night also helps spread out the knowledge.

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What do you mean, Lip? Something in the way of having to brief the guys on all the players, coaches, what's been going on lately, etc?
All teams west of New York/ Boston are required to provide GPS coordinates for their ballpark locations.
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  #6  
Old 10-29-2012, 09:26 PM
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Brian26 Brian26 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DumpJerry View Post
It's really no secret that the World Series does not garner the interest it did in the past. Other than die-hard baseball fans, there was very little buzz (or even knowledge) of the Series among people.
I think part of the problem is that people now have more entertainment options at home. Before satellite/cable, most people were lucky to have a half dozen channels. Casual fans would watch the World Series just because it was on. Now, there are hundreds of channels, internet, dvr, on demand movies, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lip Man 1 View Post
MLB is partially to blame for this issue. When it's all Yankee-Red Sox, all the time regardless of whether or not you give a damn, it has an impact.
I'm not sure I've ever bought into this line of thinking. In the late 70s, baseball was all about the Dodgers and Yankees. In the mid 80s, it was the Cardinals and Mets. I think that particular problem, or at least the perception of the problem, has always existed.
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:31 PM
central44 central44 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DumpJerry View Post
I think you have some very valid points here. Whenever you watch a national NFL show, especially on Sunday morning, you would be hard pressed to figure out which teams are the most popular nation-wide. They talk about each team in the same terms. The 1-6 teams get coverage as much as the 6-1 teams. This allows the casual fan (i.e., the one who does not spend many hours each week on football sites reading up on the players and teams and reading all the football publications that are out there) to easily get working knowledge of each team. Also by having numerous teams on MNF, there isn't that "Yankees/Red Sox again" feeling on Monday nght and each team gets at least one turn on Thursday night also helps spread out the knowledge.
This is absolutley huge and a major part if the issue, IMO.

I don't think it's a reflection of the Series itself as much as a reflection of the state of the game. People aren't really interested in baseball as a whole--the fanbases are much more localized. Most people like to follow their own team, and when their team is eliminated they lose interest.


It's not a huge, world-stopping event like the Super Bowl, and the players aren't marketed the way they are in the NBA--casual fans are less likely to tune in to watch Miguel Cabrera as opposed to Lebron James. Most fans who don't follow baseball religiously probably have no idea who Miguel Cabrera even is, or Matt Cain, etc.

That's my theory, anyway. But as long as places like ESPN spend all of their time fixated on the Yankees/Red Sox, it will be hard for the casual fan to care about a matchup like Detroit/San Francisco.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:03 PM
Irishsox1 Irishsox1 is offline
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If you want the worlds series to be "relevant" like it was in the 60's and 70's, make only 5 channels available on TV, get rid of video games, the internet, cell phones, DVR, DVD's and computers.

Also, the world series wasn't as popular as many think it was back then. Most world series games were day games.
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:34 AM
samurai_sox samurai_sox is offline
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I hate the thread title, the World Series has always been relevant, if others don't want to watch, screw 'em!

I'm always tuned in every October.
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:58 AM
DSpivack DSpivack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai_sox View Post
I hate the thread title, the World Series has always been relevant, if others don't want to watch, screw 'em!

I'm always tuned in every October.
I agree. Baseball is the 2nd most popular sport, and TV revenue has never been higher. The health of the sport is perfectly fine.
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  #11  
Old 10-30-2012, 01:01 AM
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I think the only feasible way is to shorten the LCS to 5 games and keep everything else intact. The play-in game earned a lot of buzz from people, and revenue, so it's not going away until Selig leaves the post. The postseason is too long. The casual fan seems to move on from baseball after the middle of October, especially if the local team is out of it.

I, personally, would shorten the regular season to 145 games. But we all know that owners will never unilaterally go for it. They will also never return to two divisions per league, even if that is the best way to maintain excitement and get the best postseason teams.
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:53 AM
SephClone89 SephClone89 is offline
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The World Series does seem to be the domain of diehard fans in a way that the Super Bowl (obviously) and even the NBA finals aren't.

I've found that more casual baseball fans or general sports fans actually do have more interest in the early rounds of the postseason, and by the end of the month are kind of burnt out.
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:03 AM
aryzner aryzner is offline
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I know plenty of people who really do watch the Super Bowl just because of the commercials.

Clearly, the World Series needs the same outrageous commercials that the Super Bowl has.
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:22 AM
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Even with the low ratings this years WS was the 9th most watched prime time program on television in 2012 and the 2nd most watched prime time program in the sought after 18-49 male demographic.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports...,6811243.story
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  #15  
Old 10-30-2012, 09:08 AM
Moses_Scurry Moses_Scurry is offline
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Is it really any worse for baseball than any other sport with the exception of the Superbowl? Once the Bulls, Blackhawks, or Sox are out of it, I pretty much tune out. Yeah if there is a great story as in if the Orioles had made it this year, I'll tune in, but my interest will still be pretty low.

And really, a large majority of people watching the Superbowl who aren't fans of one of the teams are just watching it because of peripheral things.

Maybe the MLB needs to have some over-the-hill performer do a 10 minute medley of their hits during the seventh inning stretch each game. And have really funny commercials. That'll do it.

Really the only championship I'll watch with a lot of interest without my favorite team involved is the NCAA basketball championship. I don't know why that and not the others. Maybe because I don't really have a favorite college team since I went to Western Illinois University who doesn't appear in any major championships.
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