Late October-early November is the time of year that Yankee fans wait for. It's the time of year where seasons become magical, where players become unforgettable, where the ultimate dream comes true. It has happened 27 times before. But unfortunately, for Yankee fans in 2010, this time of year is full of lament. Their dreams of a repeat have been snatched away. Although the Yankees had a fabulous season, (reaching game 6 of the ALCS is quite an accomplishment) they fell short of their ultimate goal.
All those baseball fans who don't root for one team, but rather are just "Yankee Haters," are probably still hung over from their "The Yankees are eliminated" parties. They are probably laughing their you-know-whats off that the Yankees were beaten by a team that has never experienced postseason success. They are probably all giddy that the World Series will feature two "underdog" teams.
They may be happy, but I'm sure television is not.
Let's be honest: Everyone knows the Yankees are the most renowned franchise in the history of sports. Yankee-Lovers watch them to see them succeed; Yankee-Haters watch them for the slight possibility of seeing them fail. No matter what they think of them, people watch the Yankees. Without the Yankees in the World Series, will people really care?
I don't think so.
In 2008 when the Phillies and Rays battled it out in the Fall Classic, the television ratings were pathetic - posting the lowest number of views in World Series TV history at around 13.5 million. But in 2009, when the Yankees were back in it, the series posted the greatest year-to-year increase in TV World Series rating history. The Phillies were there both years. It was the New York Yankees who were responsible for this historic increase.
The 2010 World Series will feature the San Francisco Giants and the Texas Rangers. In attendance this season, both these teams were in the middle of the pack. They don't have huge fan-bases, that's for sure. The two teams in the series last year, the Yankees and Phillies, ranked at numbers 1 and 2 in attendance in 2010 respectively. For this World Series, I am predicting the largest decrease in TV ratings history.
Going from Yankees vs. Phillies to Rangers vs. Giants is an upset to say the least. Frankly, I just don't think people will care.
Hopefully in 2011, for the sake of television, and for the sakes of the millions of Yankee fans around the globe, the Yankees will be back where they belong: in the World Series.
by Virginia Califano
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