White Sox

2010 World Series: Rated MB for Mind-Boggling

2010 World Series: Rated MB for Mind-Boggling

Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010
3:18 PM
By Joe Collins
CSNChicago.com

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants, as they ended decades of misery by winning the World Series last night over the Texas Rangers. Their win was the first by the franchise since 1954, when the team was based in New York. Im guessing you noticed this. Maybe? Maybe not?

I like to think that the newsroom chatter at Comcast SportsNet Chicago serves as a fairly accurate gauge when it comes to interest and excitement levels in regards to local and national sports. Here is a sampling of what was said around the water cooler and copy machines Monday and Tuesday:

Can you believe Brett Favre? What a goof!How about that Bulls comeback the other night!?! And did you see what Luol Deng did against Portland?Randy Moss got dumped by the Vikings? My fantasy team is wrecked! Again!The Hawks are going to go on a big winning streak soon.The Tampa Bay Bucs are 5-2? And tied for first? And the Raiders beat the Seahawks 33-3? This year is crazy!

But one comment seemed to resonate louder and clearer above all the others. And its one thats been part of a common theme in the hallways and around the cubicles over the last few weeks or so:

I think I watched about five pitches of the World Series this year.

And you probably havent spent much time watching it either.

Is it just me or has the World Series fallen to insurance seminar-excitement levels? Maybe its because Chicago didnt have a team playing on the biggest stage this year. Or that the two teams duking it out were west of the Mississippi and had less than stellar playoff histories. Or because the two teams dont have Yankees, Red Sox or Phillies attached.

Or maybe its something greater.

To me, the world of sports is like a typical high school dance. Its pretty clear that the cool kids represent the NFL. They dance better, show off more and, naturally, draw more attention. Theyre the popular ones. College basketball, college football, hockey and the NBA represent the middle class: Likable and loyal. And then you have soccer and UFL representing the kids that are considered strange by some, wildly popular by others and simply intriguing by many. And then you have baseballthe kids who used to dominate the hallways and are now just looking up at the bigger, stronger popular kids in football jerseys.

I cannot remember a time where, aside from the onlookers in Dallas and the Bay Area and a few others across the country, that sports fans have cared so little about the game of baseball. The numbers back up a disturbing trend. Take a look at these mind-boggling statistics:

Locally, Mondays World Series clincher was a virtual dead-heat ratings-wise with the regular season Monday Night Football gameColts vs. Texans. Both games peaked at around an 11 (ratings point language). Nationally, although the World Series beat MNF 10.6 to 8.6, the game five rating was down 17 from last years Yankees-Phillies game 5.

On Sunday night, game 4 of the World Series and Sunday Night Footballs Steelers-Saints game went head to head. The World Series game drew a 10.4 rating nationally (which means 10.4 percent of TV households). Steelers-Saints drew an 11.8. The numbers were even more spaced out in the Chicago market. Baseball racked up a 7.26 rating. Football trumped it, scoring a 10.48. At one point (8:45pm quarter hour), football owned a 13.04-6.82 advantage.

Saturdays World Series Game 3 drew a 6.7 national rating, the second lowest rating ever for a World Series contest (game 3 of the 08 World Series, a late-starting, rain-soaked contest between the Phillies and Rays scored the lowest).

What do you think? Have the fantasy footballs and survivor pools of the world eliminated your craving for championship baseball? Is a 3 hour, 15 minute regular season football game just more intriguing than a playoff baseball game of the same length? Is baseball just too slow and boring? Do we not have the patience to sit through, not only a nine-inning game, but a fivesixor even seven-game series? Have you ever thought the day would come where a regular season football game would draw the same or more viewers than a World Series game? Twice?

The scary part of this World Series is that they had the perfect storyline in place: the Giants hadnt claimed a World Series title since 1954. The Rangers havent won anything period. One franchise was going to break through! And they couldnt sell this? Can you imagine if the Pirates and Royals were to shock everyone and get to the World Series? What would happen then?

I think the gap between baseball and football is only going to get bigger. Theyve been the popular kids at the dance for quite some time now. And the baseball kids are looking at their shoes by the punch bowl when a slow song comes on. If only they could get a hot one to come along and ask for a dance.

Or something like that.

White Sox Talk Podcast: The 10th anniversary of Mark Buehrle's perfect game

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

White Sox Talk Podcast: The 10th anniversary of Mark Buehrle's perfect game

Chuck Garfien and Steve Stone take a look back at Mark Buehrle's perfect game. How did Buehrle do it? How did Dewayne Wise make that catch?

Plus, Buehrle and A.J. Pierzynski talk about how Buehrle actually told Pierzynski before taking that field that day that he would throw a perfect game and more.

Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.

White Sox Talk Podcast

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Road struggles continue for Cubs in late-game implosion against Giants

Road struggles continue for Cubs in late-game implosion against Giants

It’s no secret that the Cubs have had their fair share of struggles on the road this season. Entering Monday’s game the Giants – the first of a nine-game road trip -- the Cubs held an 18-27 road record, 21st in all of baseball.

Things took a turn for the worse in that department on Monday night.

Clinging to a 4-2 lead in the eighth inning, the Cubs called upon reliever Pedro Strop to shut down the Giants 3-4-5 hitters. Strop, who entered action with a 4.62 ERA in 29 appearances (5.40 in July), surrendered three runs on four hits – including three doubles. The end result was the Giants taking a 5-4 lead, ultimately the game’s final score.

While Strop’s outing will get the most face time due to it occurring in a high-leverage spot, the truth of the matter is that the Cubs struggled for much of Monday’s game. After taking an early 3-0 lead, they couldn’t pull away from the Giants, watching San Francisco slowly close the gap and cut the deficit to 3-2 in the fifth inning.

The Giants actually came close to tying the game at 3-3 in the seventh inning, though Steve Cishek was able to work out of a first and second, one out jam to keep the Cubs ahead. Plus, before consecutive two out singles in the eighth inning – one being an RBI from Anthony Rizzo to give the Cubs an insurance run, the Cubs offense went through a 1-for-15 drought that began with two outs in the third inning.

At the same time, Strop struggling again is quite concerning. The 34-year-old has been the team's most reliable reliever for the past five seasons, posting sub-3.00 ERAs in each campaign from 2014-18. However, he's in the midst of a forgettable month, allowing seven runs on 11 hits in 7 2/3 innings. Strop also surrendered a game-tying home run in the eighth inning Friday against the Padres, though the Cubs were able to bounce back and win. 

Between their road woes and Strop's rough July, Monday's game did nothing to alleviate concerns over two unsettling Cubs trends. If there's one positive to take away from the game, it's that the Cubs were six outs away from picking up their third road win in seven tries this month.

Moral victories count for little when a team is in a heated pennant race, though, especially since the Cardinals took down the Pirates Monday to cut the Cubs' lead in the NL Central to 1.5 games. The Cubs have to find a way to get better on the road, and they have to find a way to get Strop back on track. Fortunately for the Cubs, there's still time to do both, as Strop pointed out postgame.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Cubs games easily on your device.