Poor Scheduling Doomed World Series Ratings
It is official that the recently concluded World Series was the least-watched in history. While this may not concern baseball fans who are not paying for advertising time, it raises questions about the decisions made by Major League Baseball (MLB) regarding the scheduling of the series.
MLB chose to start the World Series on a Friday and Saturday night, which are widely regarded as the two worst nights on the calendar for such an event. By deviating from the traditional Tuesday-Wednesday start, MLB missed an opportunity to fully engage fans and establish the series as a prominent fixture in the sporting scene.
Furthermore, the chosen schedule pitted the World Series against early season NBA and NHL games, rather than competing with college football and people’s usual weekend plans. This decision was made despite the fact that the series took place over Halloween weekend, when many individuals likely had parties and other social engagements to attend.
While it is understandable that MLB wanted to avoid direct competition with the NFL, it is worth noting that under a normal schedule, only Game 5 would have coincided with football. Game 5 is often a pivotal moment in the series, as it can determine the outcome or provide a team with the opportunity to clinch the championship. This scheduling choice raises questions about the decision-making process of MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred.
San Diego Padres’ Financial Challenges
The San Diego Padres recently made headlines for taking out a $50 million loan during the 2023 season. This move has raised eyebrows and sparked speculation about the team’s financial situation.
It is important to note that the Padres were one of the teams affected by the collapse of the Bally TV deal, which resulted in MLB taking over the team. The TV deal was worth $60 million per year, and its collapse has undoubtedly had a significant impact on the Padres’ financial books.
While it is not uncommon for teams to tap into lines of credit or dip into owners’ personal accounts, the timing and publicity surrounding the Padres’ loan raise questions. Some unnamed sources suggest that MLB may have wanted to highlight the Padres’ financial struggles, particularly because the team has been criticized for its spending habits as a small-market team that operates like a big-market one.
Despite not making the playoffs, the Padres have been a target of scrutiny, especially as other small-market teams like the Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles, and Milwaukee Brewers have found success without extravagant spending. It seems that the Padres’ financial challenges have become a focal point for other owners, who may be seeking to distance themselves from the team’s approach.
Looking ahead, the upcoming free-agent class is not as star-studded as previous years. However, notable players like Shohei Ohtani and the Padres’ own Juan Soto will be available. Ohtani and Soto have the potential to secure record-breaking contracts, and it appears that some sources are already attempting to justify why only a select few teams will be able to afford them.
The timing of the Padres’ loan and the poor scheduling of the World Series have generated discussions and raised concerns within the baseball community. As the offseason progresses and the free-agent market takes shape, it will be interesting to see how these factors impact the future of the San Diego Padres and the overall landscape of Major League Baseball.