BOB: World Series ratings and playoff expansionby Brian Borawski
November 03, 2010
World Series ratings a mixed bagYou have to love the spin here. MLB’s last press release on the final television numbers showed an average of 14.27 million tuning in. Instead of comparing this to last year, they compare it to 2008 when “teams of similarly combined market size” played. Compared to 2008, the numbers were up 5 percent.
These numbers were actually down a bit compared to what came in after the fourth game. After Game 4, the overall television draw was down but the percentage gain was higher at 8 percent.
Expanded playoffs getting a lookBud Selig is now talking about expanding the playoffs from eight teams to 10, saying “It’s more fair then eight.” There were no details on how this would be accomplished but it looks like there would be a wild card round that would consist of either one game or a best-of-threed series.
I have mixed feelings on this. My initial reaction is that they’re going in the wrong direction and diluting the playoffs. It wasn’t that long ago when four teams got in. Now you’re talking about potentially the 10th best team making the playoffs and having a shot at winning it all. On the other hand, adding another wild card team would make the race like we had with the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays a little more interesting because the division winner would have a leg up and not have to play that first series.
Cactus League could cash in on World SeriesI didn’t recognize this until I saw this story, but this was just the fourth time in history that we’ve had a World Series with just Cactus League teams. With the event, the Cactus League is anticipating a boon at the box office this spring when the now 15 teams kick off their season.
Attendance was down last year with 1.47 million fans coming out to Cactus League games. This was down from 2009’s 1.58 million but in that year, the league set a record. In a bit of trivia, only five Cactus League teams have won the World Series in the past 30 years.
Dodgers go after Brooklyn RestaurantYou’d think the Los Angeles Dodgers would have their hands full at the moment but they’ve filed an official complaint with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office over a logo that was developed by Brooklyn Burger, a hamburger restaurant in Brooklyn, N.Y. A team lawyer for the ballclub claims the Dodgers still own the trademark to the distinctive cursive Brooklyn lettering and that there’s a chance that people frequenting the restaurant will think they’re affiliated with the team.
The restaurant’s owner, Alan Buxbaum, had his trademark approved earlier in the year so it’ll be interesting to see if this one ends up in court. Apparently he has his bases covered because even Buxbaum’s lawyer said the Dodgers' trademark covers only apparel and not food.
The charitable side of Minor League BaseballIf you’re interested in the business of baseball, Ben Hill’s Minoring in Business is a must read. His latest column looks at the Cedar Rapids Kernels and all they’ve done in the local community. In 2008, the area was devastated by a flood and the team reached out by allowing the local community to use their ballpark as a command center for the team. An offshoot of this generosity came when Minor League Baseball then donated $25,000 to the local Boys and Girls Club.
Not content with just the money from the league, the Kernels went on to raise even more funds and they eventually formed the League of Dreams, a baseball league for at-risk kids in the area. There’s a few other examples of how minor league teams are pitching in so be sure to check out the full column.
Harlem looks to rename city street in honor of Willie MaysPrior to their victory in the 2010, the Giants' last World Series came way back in 1954 when the team still resided in New York. Harlem wants to recognize Willie Mays for his contributions both to that 1954 team and his time in New York by renaming a street in his honor. There’s just one problem.
The New York city council’s first rule as far as the requirements for naming streets is that they can only be named for people who have passed away. Mays is alive and well but that’s not going to stop the local attempt at pushing it through. At this point, it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen until Mr. Mays passes away which hopefully isn’t for some time.
Brian Borawski is a member of SABR's Business of Baseball Committee and writes about the Detroit Tigers at his own website, TigerBlog. He welcomes comments, questions and suggestions via e-mail.