And judging by the ratings, you did.
Everyone knew that the TV ratings would take a hit when the Yankees failed to reach the postseason. They took another hit when the Cubs and Angels were sent on vacation early. The Dodgers couldn't salvage the LA market and Boston couldn't be counted on to get their rabid fans to tune in.
That left us with the unattractive matchup of Philadelphia and Tampa Bay, but Tampa had a shot to make this a memorable World Series. They took on the role of lovable losers and the average American had their team to follow.
Game 1 seemed like a sure fire ratings win when it was announced that the aces would square off. Scott Kazmir was slated to take the hill against Cole Hamels. Hamels came out on top as he led the Phils to a 3-2 opening game win. Philly went up 2-0 in the first inning and the Rays battled back but came up just short. The game produced a 9.2 share, the 2nd lowest for Game 1 of the World Series.
Some of the luster was off of Game 2 after the big guns had already been rolled out the previous night. Tampa Bay used small ball to score 4 runs in 4 innings and held on for a 4-2 victory, evening the series at 1-1. The ratings dropped to an 8.1 share. That was the lowest rating for a Game 2 by a large margin.
Game 3 shifted to the City of Brotherly Love and Matt Garza squared off against 67-year-old Jamie Moyer. The Phillies used 3 homeruns to take a 5-1 lead through 6 innings, but the Rays weren't about to give up the game that easily. They scored 3 runs in the 7th and 8th, but the Phillies rallied and scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the 9th inning. It was a good game…too bad no one was watching. The game produced a 6.1 share, which is not only the worst rating for a Game 3, but also the worst for any World Series game ever.
Game 4 was never close. The Phils scored early and they scored often. A 10-2 rout was exactly what the city of Philadelphia was looking for, but it was not the kind of game that produces ratings…or was it? Despite the lopsided outcome, the 9.3 share was the highest of the series.
Game 5 was pretty exciting, if you like rain and weather reports. The game was suspended in the 6th inning when rain wouldn't allow them to continue. The score remained 2-2 for quite sometime, as they couldn't get the game going on Tuesday either. When the game finally concluded on Wednesday evening, the Phillies were able to close things out and claim the 2008 World Series title. The 8.2 share was the worst ever for a Game 5. You could add in the ratings for the 2nd night of the game and it still wouldn't have a shot at being on top of the Game 5 ranks.
You could blame any number of factors for the subpar ratings.
Certainly it didn't help that Philly and Tampa can't bring in the fans that New York, Boston, Los Angeles or Chicago can, but Tampa had the chance save the ratings if the series had been closer. The clock finally struck midnight on their Cinderella story.
The clock also struck midnight on fans. The start times on these games were set up to give fans on the west coast a chance to get home and tune in, but the games just ran too late for many east coast fans to stay up. That couldn't have helped the ratings.
One other possible reason that the ratings were so brutal is that people simply don't care. With all of the over the top coverage that we get out of the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues each spring followed by a grueling 162 game season and then a long playoff format, people are sick of baseball. After 8 months, it's simply time for a change of pace if your team is out. It also doesn't help that we haven't seen a World Series reach Game 6 since 2003.
Take a break from baseball while you can because before you know it, we'll hear about winter meetings, offseason moves where Manny will or won't play.
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