The Boston Red Sox return home today for a victory parade after beating the Colorado Rockies in four state games to win the World Series. It was the second professional baseball championship trophy in four seasons, after the Red Sox broke the famous “curse of the Bambino” to win the Series in 2004, but drew the second lowest TV ratings ever for a Series.
What the commentators said
This settles it, said Mark Starr in Newsweek.com, the “curse of the Bambino” that caused the Sox to struggle through decade after decade without a trophy was “really just a metaphor for bad management.” It just goes to show what you can do with a big payroll, provided you’re “smart” enough to spend it right.
All is right in Boston, said The Boston Globe in an editorial (free registration), “but out there in the nation beyond Red Sox Nation, Major League Baseball needs to shore up fan support.” The league has elevated “TV revenue above all else,” starting games late in pursuit of ratings and advertising dollars, and leaving even adult fans finding it “difficult to stay up for the last out.” And ad promotions—such as Taco Bell’s “Steal a base, steal a taco” gimmick—are intruding on the game.
Baseball can afford to “throw the public a bone,” said the San Francisco Chronicle in an editorial. “MLB no longer is speaking of contraction and franchises losing money. The sport is thriving with another year of record attendance and record revenues. Can't the marketing executives see in their hearts” to stop dragging play past midnight with constant commerial breaks?