Monday, October 27, 2008

Wait, The World Series is on?

By Ben Chew

Well, most of you were probably as confused as I was that playoff baseball is still currently being played with Game Five tonight (as of this blog post). How many of you can guess who is leading the series, or even better, who was the winning pitcher in game four? (If you said Joe Blanton, give yourself a cookie.)

It’s not that I am not a fan of baseball, that is not a true statement. However, the popularity of baseball has gone by the wayside, which is sad if you consider that it is allegedly the “American Pastime.” However, MLB reached its day of reckoning when the Tampa Bay Rays upset the Boston Red Sox to have the matchup of the Philadelphia Phillies-Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series -- which will live in infamy due to the ratings.

Specifically, the day of World Series Game Three, which started at 10 pm EST due to a rain delay; yeah, that is correct, on the eastern time-zone it started at 10 pm. Most of you were probably out partying or doing something more proficient with your time. I watched the entire game, and honestly, I cannot recall anything specific related to the game. (I do remember that Taylor Swift did sing the National Anthem and the umpteenth Til Death episode in place of World Series baseball.)

How in the hell did baseball fall this far? I know a lot of you out there are probably going to say that the 1994 strike is at fault. This does seem to be a factor, but that was 14 years ago. The NBA was locked out in 1999 and it has steadily gotten back into the public mind.

Maybe the voice of Fox baseball Joe Buck is partly right that we as Americans have so many options in our lives that sitting down to watch a three-hour baseball game is too much. Think about when you were a kid, without the internet/DVD’s/etc., it would be assumed that you were limited in your options and your only option was to watch the game. Now you can catch your favorite episode of your favorite sitcom on the Internet and watch that hot Britney Spears video on YouTube. You can do both of those while keeping up-to-date on the game on your favorite sports site gamecast.

It really is sad at some points to see MLB fall this farm where episodes of Heroes, CSI, How I Met your Mother, The Office, Prison Break and House all top the ratings for Game Three and Game Four. In the end, maybe baseball in the words of Taylor Swift has “Teardrops on their metaphorical guitar,” but in the end, it isn’t self-inflected, but a sign of the times and the change that we have undergone in the 2000’s.

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