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World Series Newsbeat

Friday, November 08, 2019

Nats World Series Win Affirmed Their Once-Questioned Existence in D.C.

From our own(?) Chris Needham:

D.C. baseball fans are told that their baseball history is actually Montreal’s. Hipster baseball fans who’ve never set foot in Quebec and can’t name any Expos other than Tim Raines and Pedro Martinez push for a version of history that prefers a corporate lineage to the over 100 years of baseball history in Washington: of Walter Johnson and Goose Goslin; of Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard.

Bote Man Posted: November 08, 2019 at 08:20 AM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, nationals, world series

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Strong ending helps World Series avoid record low viewership

NEW YORK (AP) — It may be no solace to the Houston Astros, but the Washington Nationals’ comeback win in the World Series helped baseball avoid a dubious record.

The series’ seventh and deciding game reached 23.2 million people, eclipsing even “Sunday Night Football” and enabling the Series to average just under 14 million viewers per game, the Nielsen company said. The last game drew nearly 7 million more viewers than any of the other games.

Through five games, the series was on pace to be the least-watched Fall Classic ever.

At least for another year, San Francisco’s four-game sweep of Detroit in 2012 keeps the record of least popular series ever. It averaged 12.66 million viewers.

One last ratings report- as a side note, many of you may find flipping to a few paragraphs ahead rather interesting in terms of understanding the current media market.

 

QLE Posted: November 06, 2019 at 01:05 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasting, ratings, world series

Saturday, November 02, 2019

McCarthy: the nerds cost the Astros the World Series and it was glorious to watch

Speaking of dumb narratives…

Jim Furtado Posted: November 02, 2019 at 08:59 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, world series

Why did those World Series games last so long?

Baseball’s regular season has the pace-of-play problem with which we’re all familiar: Many of the 2,430 games take on dead time until they are boring, lulling. It’s a good dish, watered down until you don’t love it as much.

The postseason’s pace-of-play problem is different. It’s not that games get boring, since a World Series game is almost always tense and urgent, and if you’re on a cross-country flight with cable TV access you will enjoy every moment of it. But most people aren’t on cross-country flights. Most people have full lives, and they have to squeeze in their baseball indulgences among other obligations, like family, and sleep, and moving at least once every four hours to avoid nerve damage. These postseason games are thrilling, but they are so lengthy that they become impractical for many otherwise enthusiastic customers—a good dish that goes cold before it can be finished.

Nearly every game in this World Series was long, even by World Series standards. Of the 13 longest nine-inning World Series games this decade, six came this year. Game 3, a 4-1 Houston victory, took 4 hours, 3 minutes

...

In some ways, the most discouraging part of the pace of these games is how well disguised the slowness is. It’s not that the games are slow for reasons that are anomalous (like 15-14 slugfests) or that could be easily legislated away (like limiting constant mound visits by catchers, which have been sharply curtailed since the 2017 postseason) or that would be delightful (very good dogs running onto the field to frolic). Rather, they’re slow because ... well, why are they slow?

A case study in pace-of-play issues, using Game 3 of the World Series.

 

 

QLE Posted: November 02, 2019 at 12:17 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: pace of play, world series

Friday, November 01, 2019

BB Hall of Fame gets nice array of World Series artifacts

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Artifacts from the World Series are headed to the Baseball Hall of Fame, including the ball hit by Washington’s Howie Kendrick off the right-field foul pole for the go-ahead home run in Game 7.

Following the Nationals’ 6-2 win over the Houston Astros on Wednesday night, the Nationals and players donated several pieces. Other items include a jersey worn by World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg in his Game 6 victory, a cap worn by starting pitcher Max Scherzer in Game 7, and the ball Juan Soto hit for a home run in Game 1.

Something to look for, the next time you’re in Cooperstown…..

 

QLE Posted: November 01, 2019 at 01:06 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, memorabilia, world series

World Series Loss Brings Astros’ Season-Long Dominance to Staggering End

HOUSTON — Baseball offers no harsher end than a loss in Game 7 of the World Series. You have endured the April frost and July heatstroke, the blowouts and the walk-offs, the delayed flights and the late-inning pitching changes, and you have played as long as you can play. And now you are faced with the most binary of options: win, and float with your friends through the next days and weeks in a champagne-soaked haze, or lose, and descend alone into winter.

Three of the last four seasons have slammed to a halt with this stark contrast, each team’s opposite emotion heightened by the suddenness with which it came. As the 2016 Cubs danced, the Indians staggered through the clubhouse. As the ’17 Astros doused one another in alcohol, the Dodgers wept openly. But on Wednesday, as the ’19 Nationals celebrated a title that even they barely believed had come, the Astros’ response was muted.

The tears were dry by the time the uniforms came off. Houston had just capped a 107-win season with a 6–2 loss, but the mood in the clubhouse reflected more disappointment than devastation.

At his locker, first baseman Yuli Gurriel checked his Instagram metrics. Across the room, outfielder Josh Reddick and reliever Will Harris argued about fantasy football invoices. In the quietest corner of the room, shortstop Carlos Correa and second baseman José Altuve leaned forward in the office chairs in front of their lockers. Between them, on the floor, sprawled third baseman Alex Bregman. In whispers, they discussed the improbability of what they had witnessed: Zack Greinke, seemingly on his way to a one-hit shutout, carried a 2–0 lead into the seventh inning. Then came a solo home run. A walk. A pitching change. Another longball. Two innings later, the Astros watched the Nationals celebrate at Minute Maid Park.

Some thoughts on what it means to lose a World Series, in parallel with the articles on what it means to win one.

 

QLE Posted: November 01, 2019 at 12:56 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, the agony of defeat, world series

The Nationals won their first title. Who’s next?

When I was a kid there were two immutable truths about baseball: the Boston Red Sox were cursed and the Chicago Cubs were losers, however lovable they might be.

Four World Series titles in the bag make that Red Sox curse seem rather quaint. The Cubs’ 2016 title — and four or five straight years with them considered rich and powerful contenders — put that lovable loser thing to rest. Time marches on and the stuff you believed about the world when you were a kid becomes inoperative as you grow older.

Young baseball fans today carry with them a different set of assumptions about who are baseball’s haves and who are baseball’s have-nots. To them the Sox and Cubs are and always have been alpha teams. Those powerful Braves and Indians teams from the 90s are only vague memories. The Dodgers have replaced the Braves as that great regular season club that can’t seem to get over the hump. And, of course, there are a handful of losers, some lovable, some not-so-lovable, that seem destined to never win it all.

Last night’s win took the Nationals out of that category. Their October surge — complete with five wins in elimination games in which they trailed at some point — forever vanquished the narrative about how they had never won a postseason series and kicked the memory of those 90-100-loss Nats teams from the first several years of their existence into a deep, deep hole.

A consideration of the chances that the six teams that have never won the World Series have of getting out of that club.

QLE Posted: November 01, 2019 at 12:41 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, mariners, padres, rangers, rays, rockies, world series

And now a word about Bryce Harper

Jumping ahead, unless you really like the Detroit Pistons:

Which makes me think, the morning after the Nationals won the World Series, about Bryce Harper.

To be clear: no, I don’t feel sorry for Bryce Harper. Not one iota. We’ve talked for a year about how and why he left Washington and the time for either (a) blaming him for taking the money and running to a division rival; or (b) blaming the Nats for not matching or beating the offer the Phillies gave him should be well behind us. I’m largely uninterested in revisiting any of that stuff or wondering if the Nationals could’ve or would’ve done as well this year with him as they did without him. The past is the past and, in the present, Bryce Harper plays for the Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals are World Champions. Adam Eaton is their right fielder and he was there to spray the champagne last night.

Nats fans, I presume, are largely past it too thanks to last night’s win. To be sure, if they’re still wanting to have some fun with Harper — and based on social media, there is a segment that still does — hey, they’re entitled to. I think — and would hope – that that impulse will soon pass, but fans of the World Series winners can celebrate however they wanna, even if it involves dunking on Bryce Harper. Go crazy, folks.

But I am still thinking about Adrian Dantley this morning and I am wondering if, on some level, it should be a bit harder to separate the Bryce Harper years and the World Series Champion 2019 Washington Nationals than everyone wants to make it out to be.

Some thoughts on what it means when a team wins a championship immediately after a notable player leaves.

QLE Posted: November 01, 2019 at 12:31 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, nationals, world series

2020 World Series odds: Astros and Dodgers favored to win pennants, Nationals sit third in National

The Washington Nationals took home the 2019 World Series title in seven games on Wednesday, and while the 2020 MLB season is still five months away, odds for next fall’s World Series and pennant championships are out. The latest 2020 World Series odds have this year’s runner-up Houston Astros as 4-to-1 favorites to win it all, with the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees behind Houston with 5-to-1 odds. Eight (Astros, Dodgers, Yankees, Braves, Red Sox, Nationals, Indians and Cardinals) of baseball’s 30 teams have World Series odds of 18-to-1 or lower.

For the AL pennant, the Astros are a +225 favorite with the Yankees at +250. Over in the NL, the pennant favorites are the Dodgers with +250 odds and the Braves next on the board at +450.

The Astros were one game away from winning their second World Series title in three years, before the Nationals won two straight games in Houston to clinch the 2019 title. The club is expected to return the majority of their potent lineup in 2020, and they’ll once again be the team to beat in the 2020 season. Gerrit Cole will be a free agent at the conclusion of the 2019 season, and even if he departs, Houston will be bringing back Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke to lead the pitching staff.

Never too early, is it?

 

QLE Posted: November 01, 2019 at 12:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: odds, world series

Nationals-Astros was least-watched Game 7 this decade, but the ratings news isn’t all bad

These days, when it comes to baseball ratings, you take the good with the bad. For this World Series between the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals, and specifically Wednesday night’s Game 7, there was indeed both good and bad.

John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports Game 7 had 23.013 million viewers with a 13.1 rating. It was 24 million when you add streaming platforms. That makes it the most-watched non-NFL sporting event of the year on Fox and the most-streamed MLB game ever on Fox.

Those numbers are quite a bit more than the previous games in this series — 85 percent actually, according to Fox Sports’ Michael Mulvihill. The Hollywood Reporter is also calling it the most-watched baseball game in two years.

Where that doesn’t compare as well is to other World Series Game 7s this decade. In fact, it ranks the lowest among the five, coming in below the 2014 Game 7 between the Royals and Giants, which drew 23.517 million viewers. The other end of that is Cubs and Indians in 2016 with 40.047 million.

 

 

 

QLE Posted: November 01, 2019 at 12:05 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasting, ratings, streaming, world series

Thursday, October 31, 2019

‘We’re World Series champions’: How a six-man unit of Nationals pitchers slayed the Astros’ lineup – The Athletic

One thing I’ve learned over the years is, winning a playoff series doesn’t mean the better overall team won. Luck plays a much bigger role than people realize. I’m not saying not to appreciate the victory. I’m saying the narratives attached to those victories don’t usually match the outcomes.

“Everybody thinks they’re a better team,” Hudson said as he sipped a Budweiser after the game. “And we’re World Series champions. Baseball is not played on paper. It’s just a fluky game, a funny game.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 31, 2019 at 11:40 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, nationals, world series

A baseball miracle or a deal with the devil? Nah, it was just Nationals baseball.

Boswell rises to the occasion, including this burn:

Next, Soto walked, and Greinke was removed from the game. Don’t ask why, after just 80 pitches, a former Cy Young Award winner with a 2.98 ERA this season would get the hook. But the Astros think they are smart — very, very smart — and that they have the mathematically perfect player for every situation and matchup.

Heh.

Perry Posted: October 31, 2019 at 11:35 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, thomas boswell, world series

Biggio and Bagwell throw out Game 7 ceremonial first pitches

HOUSTON — Two of Houston’s all-time favorite people got World Series Game 7 started tonight.

Hall of Famers and Astros legends Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell through out the ceremonial first pitches before the deciding game in the 2017 World Series between Houston and Washington.

A fitting choice- I hope the two of them aren’t too depressed about the results of the night.

 

QLE Posted: October 31, 2019 at 12:35 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: craig biggio, first pitch, jeff bagwell, world series

Dave Martinez says doctor, fan were worried for his health after Game 6 tirade

Dave Martinez lost his cool on Tuesday.

The Washington Nationals manager blew up at umpires after a controversial call went against shortstop Trea Turner during Game 6 of the World Series against the Houston Astros, and Martinez gave the umpire crew an earful.

After play continued, Martinez went out for more between innings and had to be restrained as umpires ejected him from the game.

Martinez — in considerably better spirits ahead of Game 7 after the Nationals prevailed on Tuesday — told reporters on Wednesday that a fan and a team doctor were concerned for his health during his outburst.

I sincerely hope he feels better now, and that the excitement of this moment isn’t too much….

 

QLE Posted: October 31, 2019 at 12:29 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dave martinez, world series

Undefeated in Oct., Stras named WS MVP

Stephen Strasburg did not appear in Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday night, but the Nationals right-hander already had made his mark on this Fall Classic.

Strasburg won the Willie Mays World Series Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet for those efforts after the Nats closed out the first championship in franchise history, beating the Astros, 6-2, at Minute Maid Park. He earned that honor by starting and winning Games 2 and 6, becoming the first pitcher to finish a postseason 5-0.

Congratulations to Strasburg and to the Nationals.

 

QLE Posted: October 31, 2019 at 12:01 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: mvp, stephen strasburg, world series

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

MLB’s Torre says “right call” on dispute interference

HOUSTON (AP) — Major League Baseball executive Joe Torre says the “right call” was made and that a protest was denied after Nationals leadoff hitter Trea Turner was called out for interference during Washington’s 7-2 Game 6 victory in the World Series on Tuesday night.

Nationals manager Dave Martinez was ejected for arguing plate umpire Sam Holbrook’s ruling in the seventh inning, and Torre said Washington’s request to protest the game was denied because it was a judgment call.

Holbrook’s signal came after Turner hit a slow roller down the third base line with a runner at first and ran narrowly inside fair territory.

Pitcher Brad Peacock fielded the ball, and his throw pulled first baseman Yuli Gurriel toward the baseline. As Gurriel stretched, Turner ran into his glove, and the ball bounced off Turner’s leg and into foul territory. Turner ended up at second, with lead runner Yan Gomes going to third — except Holbrook quickly signaled for interference.

I believe that this is what our British friends would describe as “Mandy Rice-Davies applies”.

QLE Posted: October 30, 2019 at 12:49 AM | 193 comment(s)
  Beats: controversial calls, interference, joe torre, trea turner, world series

New Jersey sports books could lose millions to high roller ‘Mattress Mack’ if Astros win World Serie

The Houston Astros are one game away from winning the World Series, something that would be costly for New Jersey sports books — largely due to one bettor who doesn’t even live here but has wagered around $4 million on the Astros winning it all.

Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale has been making headlines back in his home state of Texas for the large bets he has been placing on the Astros to win it all. The furniture mogul who owns three Gallery Furniture stores in Houston is offering a promotion to his customers where he would give full refunds up to $3,000 if the Astros win.

“I believe in the Astros,’’ McIngvale told the Asbury Park Press. “I’ve watched them play all year.”

The bets are in part a hedge against the cost of the promotion, said Darren Rovell, a sports business analyst and betting expert who works for Action Network.

Somewhere, Sport Sullivan is kicking himself….

 

QLE Posted: October 30, 2019 at 12:23 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, gambling, new jersey, world series

Nielsen: 2019 World Series on track to be least-watched ever

This year’s Houston Astros-Washington Nationals World Series is on track to be the least-watched in the history of the game, the Associated Press reported via Nielsen data on Tuesday.

The series has averaged 11.6 million viewers through the first five games, according to Nielsen. The current least-watched series was the San Francisco Giants’ sweep of the Detroit Tigers in 2012, which garnered an average of 12.64 million viewers.

An important note, however, is that at least one elimination game — which you might expect to bring higher viewership — is yet to come. Should the Astros clinch it in Game 6, however, it would need to draw approximately 18 million viewers to bring the series’ average over 2012’s average (or average about 15.5 million over the final two games).

[Steps back, waits for the arguments as for why to begin]

 

QLE Posted: October 30, 2019 at 12:19 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasting, ratings, world series

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

DC police: WV Man sold $2K in fake World Series tickets

WASHINGTON (AP) — Police in Washington have arrested a West Virginia man accused of selling $2,000 in fake World Series tickets.

Metropolitan D.C. police said Sunday they charged 54-year-old Ondre Nelson of Huntington, West Virginia, with first-degree fraud. The Washington Post reports Nelson sold five counterfeit tickets for $400 each to a man near the ballpark just before Friday’s third game between the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros.

 

 

 

QLE Posted: October 29, 2019 at 12:35 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: counterfeits, tickets, world series

Monday, October 28, 2019

World Series fan takes home-run ball to the chest rather than spilling his beers

Life is nothing but a series of choices and we are nothing but creatures trying to make the right decision about whatever comes flying our way.

Like, for example, if you’re at the World Series, a home run ball is flying right at you and you have a beer in each hand, what do you do? Well, if you’re Washington Nationals fan Jeff Adams, you’re obviously an elevated species.

Met with this exact predicament Sunday night during Game 5 of the World Series, Adams took the home-run ball to the chest, didn’t spill the beers and he even retrieved the ball. Behold this moment of fan greatness

Well, with prices being what they are, what would you have done?

 

 

QLE Posted: October 28, 2019 at 01:19 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: beer, fans hit by projectiles, world series

The Late Show: World Series games taking almost 4 hours

WASHINGTON (AP) — Snacking on chicken at a picnic table near section 402, decked out in his curly W cap and pullover, Bob Batwinis hoped to see a lot at Game 4 of the World Series.

Exciting plays.

A Washington win.

And maybe, just maybe, on this evening at Nationals Park, the final out sometime before midnight.

It’s a sign of something when the quick game takes around 3 hours and 19 minutes- then again, as a West Coast resident, certain aspects of this issue are moot to me….

 

QLE Posted: October 28, 2019 at 01:10 AM | 75 comment(s)
  Beats: pace of play, world series

Max Scherzer on neck injury: ‘I’m as disappointed as I could possibly be’

WASHINGTON — Hours after he had been scratched from his start in Sunday night’s Game 5 of the World Series, three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer was so fragile his voice shook. He held his right shoulder lower than his left. The slightest turn of his head required a hard effort, starting at his waist.

“I can’t pick up my arm right now so I can’t pitch,” he said, and, “I’m as disappointed as I could possibly be.”

Scherzer, with Stephen Strasburg the Washington Nationals co-ace, said he experienced minor neck spasms Friday and Saturday and awakened Sunday morning to discover the symptoms had worsened, to the point he was unable to dress himself. His wife assisted. On his drive to Nationals Park, he’d texted teammate Joe Ross, his tentative replacement for Game 5, telling Ross the start would be his. The content of the text, Scherzer said, was, “Get ready.”

Into a series tied at two games apiece, then, the thunderbolt that one of the sport’s finest pitchers would miss his scheduled start and was questionable to pitch in any capacity in the final two or three games. Scherzer received a Cortisone injection into the area — his right trapezoid, he said, was also affected — that doctors told him could require 48 hours to alleviate the pain.

Best wishes- I’d be frightened if that happened to me abruptly.

 

QLE Posted: October 28, 2019 at 12:59 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: max scherzer, neck, world series

Saturday, October 26, 2019

World Series is back in DC and it’s one expensive party

WASHINGTON (AP) — The first World Series game in the nation’s capital since 1933 had all the trappings of a modern-day big event: exceedingly expensive tickets, massive traffic jams and long lines at the entrances and concession stands.

No one seemed to care about all that, not with the Nationals holding a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series heading into the biggest baseball game this city has hosted this generation.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity!” declared 43-year-old Colin Miller, who paid $849 for a standing room ticket that provided him a spot far beyond the right field wall for Friday night’s game.

The hottest seat in town did not come cheap. Miller was standing next to a guy he’d never met, 39-year-old Paul Crickenberger, who plunked down $2,400 for two 40-game season tickets in 2020 for the right to spend $350 for a standing-room slot.

So, was anyone here lucky enough to attend, and what was the experience like?

 

QLE Posted: October 26, 2019 at 12:25 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: washington, world series

Friday, October 25, 2019

If World Series is the goal, Yankees need to get Cole-blooded and get some pitching

NEW YORK — It has become an annual event, this news conference held during an off-day while two other teams play in the World Series, at which the New York Yankees try to explain why things didn’t quite work out for them this year but will surely be better next year. Instead of a championship ticker-tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes, the Yankees offer you a parade of excuses in the bowels of a deserted Yankee Stadium.

“One hit this way, one bounce that way and maybe it’s a different conversation,’’ said manager Aaron Boone, speaking the language of losers throughout history.

“This is a championship-caliber team,’’ GM Brian Cashman said. “Just because we lost doesn’t diminish the fact that this was a championship-caliber roster that was capable of winning the whole thing.’’

And yet, the fact remains that for the 10th consecutive October, the World Series transpires without the Yankees, a drought that would seem like an eyeblink to most teams — it’s 33 years between flag-raisings for the Mets, for instance — but in the annals of a team that bills itself with some justification as The Greatest Franchise in the History of Sports, this would have been a source of shame in a previous era.

Mind you, it’s not like firing everyone every time things went wrong worked for those teams either, given the rather telling aspect involving how the two Yankees dynasties built during George Steinbrenner’s ownership were actually built…..

 

QLE Posted: October 25, 2019 at 12:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: entitled fans, gerrit cole, pitching, world series, yankees

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Astros’ Verlander 1st pitcher to go 0-5 in World Series

HOUSTON (AP) — All of Justin Verlander’s illustrious accomplishments mean little right now.

Not those 225 wins, not the 3,006 regular season strikeouts, not the record 202 postseason Ks. Not the eight All-Star selections, not the 2011 Cy Young Award and Most Valuable Player prize.

Verlander dropped to 0-5 in World Series games Wednesday night as the Washington Nationals pounded the Houston Astros 12-3 for a 2-0 series lead. That skid on baseball’s biggest stage is dragging the right-hander’s reputation down like ballast sinking a ship to the bottom of the sea.

Never before has a pitcher lost his first five World Series decisions.

Well, there’s a first time for everything…..

 

QLE Posted: October 24, 2019 at 12:58 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: justin verlander, world series

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