Friday, October 24, 2008


While reading a few TV blogs, media trade magazines and press releases, I find myself amazed that no matter what baseball tries to do in order to enhance the viewing and attending experience around the country, it's a sport that can never, ever, ever, ever win the battle against poor perceptions because of dwindling ratings.

So what is FOX going to do, cancel the World Series like they did to "Do Not Disturb"? As they're going to put "Til Death" out to pasture?

Oh, I can hear the conversation right now... of course, maybe "The Commish" (actually, not that one) might stumble through a few words in frustration:

Just arriving to the Major League Baseball headquarters in New York after a private flight from St. Petersburg, Bud Selig's executive assistant patches a call from whoever the heck runs the show in FOX's Los Angeles office.

FOX: Hey, Bud. Can we have a talk?

Bud Selig: (sips on his can of Diet Coke, recommended by Jeff Van Gundy) About what?

FOX: Well, it's about the World Series.

Selig: Great baseball, ain't it? James Shields was electric and those fans are just great...

FOX: Bud, (long sigh)... we're not going to renew the Series.

Selig: (spills Diet Coke onto his lap) WHAT?!?!

FOX: I'm sorry, Bud, but they're only pulling a 8.7/14 share.

Selig: (still spilling Diet Coke onto his lap) You're gonna do WHAT?!?!

FOX: We are not going to air the remainder of the Series.

Selig: Wait, wait, wait... you're going to... cancel the WORLD SERIES... our championship... one of your bigger money makers... the WORLD SERIES, which is better than, what?... damn near everything else on your programming schedule?

FOX: You're just not the NFL, Bud.

Selig: No one is! That's apples and oranges, you idiot! We're baseball. We have such a tremendous history from Babe Ruth to...

FOX: And we appreciate all you guys have done for us, believe me. Bud, we're just not getting the numbers.

Selig: You're going to cancel the World Series. Do you realize what you just said?

FOX: Bud, please don't make it harder than it already is. It's nothing personal.

Selig: Well, it's something stupid.

FOX: Now, listen here...

Selig: No, you listen! (Clutches his Hank Aaron-autographed bat) You want us to call A-Rod and Derek and Big Papi and Manny, buy some Rays and Phillies jerseys, fly to Philly tomorrow and play in Game 3?

FOX: Can you do that?

Selig: No, I won't do... are you f***in' serious?

FOX: We'll it's hard to make sexy out of Philly and Tampa.

Selig: Sexy? What, the two best teams in their respective leagues all season long meeting in the World Series isn't sex-ay enough for you? Oh, I'm so sorry. Well, I'll give Scott Boras a call then. Tell him to make some asinine commercial announcing that Andruw Jones is available for a $500 million contract and air it during Game 4. Or... ooh, ooh, how about I call Eva Longoria-Parker and ask her to sit in the stands with a Rays cap and jersey. Maybe Joe Buck can have America play "Guess the Longoria" and win a free taco.

FOX: (Matter of factly) Actually, we've talked to Eva before we called you and we're flying her out of San Antonio or wherever the heck she is right now.

Selig: Wait, I thought you were cancelling us all of the sudden. Just to think that we were going to contract those guys to get contracted ourselves. Now, you're going to rewrite the script?

FOX: Well, we wanted to talk about this last night, but with those games ending so late, we had to get to work.

Selig: You're in Los Angeles! The game ended at 9:06 over there and you could still get another tan or whatever you do at night over there. I have enough people here in the East bitching about the time games end and you're lying about how late the game ended? Come on.

FOX: Dammit, Bud! You don't seem to get it, do you? If we don't get ratings, we don't get advertisers and if we don't get advertisers...

Selig: Hey, I brought you Buck, the Yankees, the Red Sox and Budweiser! (Channeling his inner Tony Montana) Who put this thing togetha', mang?

FOX: You! The same fool that brought us... St. Louis and Detroit!

Selig: Oh my God, wait a minute... I have an even better idea than that Eva crap... I've seen the light... and... I see it... yes!... yes!... YES!... I'll call Barry. I'll say, "Hey, Bar, sorry about the collusion thing, but listen, can you and Ryan Howard have a Home Run Derby after the third inning and the winner gets to..."

FOX: (interrupts excitedly) Barry... as in Barack?

Selig: (Hangs up... and webbies himself to his private plane bound for the home office in Milwaukee)

1 comment:

kzfone said...

The thing is Jason, the World Series usually wins the night and/or does well in the 18-49 demographic which is so highly coveted by the networks.

Yet, you don't hear this because curmudgeons like Phil Mushnick, Bob Raissman and other crotchety, old, Milk of Magnesia-drinking media critics all complain the Series goes well beyond their bedtime. Well, do your job and shut up because the Series is not going to change its starting time nor is it going away.

Fox likes it because it helps to promote its fall lineup. And don't think if Fox ever gave up on MLB that another network (ESPN/ABC) would come in a swoop it up.

I could have written this on my own blog, but I'll give this diatribe to you. ;-)