Thursday, October 20, 2011
FADING, FADING, FADING by ST
Last night the Cardinals edged the Rangers to take the opener of the Fall Classic. Game was televised on Fox. Smallest audience to view game 1 of the World Series since 1987. The average age of the viewer tuning in was 54. As a 51 year old I know my kids and their friends could not care less unless their team is in it. Many years ago the decision was made to put all World Series games into prime time on the East Coast and have it end in prime time on the West Coast. That meant a couple of generations of kids could not stay up to watch. Did the powers that be really think time would stop and they wouldn't have to pay the piper for this short sighted decision? When my generation was younger we would storm off the school bus to watch the playoffs and world series when games were played in the afternoon. It was part of our sporting DNA. Unless something dramatic happens calling baseball our national past time will be about nostalgia rather than facts. The unfortunate part is the actual games have been terrific all playoffs long. The bullpens and timely or clutch hitting has been the story. Cardinal starter Chris Carpenter went 6 strong and once again Tony LaRussa's bullpen shut the door in a 1 run game with Jason Motte chucking a 1-2-3 ninth. The St. Louis closer coming out of spring was Ryan Franklin, a reason I picked Milwaukee to win the Central. After 21 appearances and an era over 8 he was released. Fernando Salas was next. He did pretty well but in late August LaRussa and Dave Duncan decided Mott was their guy. Converted his 1st save on August 28th against the Pirates. And despite a couple of blowup games in September, they stuck with him as their playoff guy. He's been perfect. 8 games, 9 innings, 1 hit, no runs, 5 of 5 in save situations. Brilliant. Too bad millions of sports fans are missing it!