Thoughts, lists and other compulsive bits about baseball from comedian filmmaker television producer/Red Sox fan Paul Francis Sullivan....
feel free to call him “Sully.”
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
What FOX wants... 2008 edition
Once again I find it borderline useless to try to make post season predictions. But as I did last year, I think we can accurately assess what Fox Sports wants in a World Series match up.
One of my co workers, who has a long history in sports TV, told me one of his friends is a higher up at Fox Sports. His friend was evidently crowing at the idea of the National League playoff teams being LA, Chicago, New York and Philly.
Well, it's safe to say he isn't crowing now. With no hope of a New York World Series... let's figure out what Fox is rooting for, and which match ups will send the ratings crashing more than the Dow.
Now remember I am not trying to match up which teams would provide the best baseball. I am purely talking about which World Series match ups would be the easiest to sell... the easiest to get a buzz with casual fans... the match up that would placate the people pissed that House is preempted.
With no New York Default, it will be a little tougher this year... but here we go.
1. CHICAGO CUBS vs. BOSTON RED SOX The mighty Cubs looking to cure their curse versus the formerly cursed lovable losers turned into neighborhood bully. Wrigley... Fenway... transplanted fans make road games seem like home for their teams. Plus with the Red Sox being the new Evil Empire, what better way for the cute Cuddly Cubs to rid their curse than to beat the bad guys. It's just like the Ewoks!
2. LOS ANGELES DODGERS vs. BOSTON RED SOX I know Fox wants the Cubs in this series... but there are so many subplots in this one that it could be delicious. Joe Torre back in the World Series... Manny versus the Red Sox. Nomar back in Fenway. 50th anniversary in LA could bring out tons of stars. And man it would piss off Yankees fan.
3. CHICAGO CUBS vs. LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM Besides being a match up of the 2 best teams in the game, it would allow Fox to sell "See the Cubs win for the first time 100 years" while stuffing Angels Stadium with the casts of their new shows.
4. CHICAGO CUBS vs. TAMPA BAY RAYS Lou Piniella goes back to Tampa! OK that's a tough sell. The most unlikely pennant winner EVER with the Rays! OK, also a tough sell. Basically the Cubs playing anyone is a big sell... and this Series would be a good test for that.
5. CHICAGO CUBS vs. CHICAGO WHITE SOX Fox would like to NOT have a regional World Series... as the A's/Giants in 1989 and the Yankees/Mets in 2000 didn't exactly light up he Neilsens. But again, the fascination with the Cubs would survive not having another home media market. Man, I will need to have security to rival the 1968 Democratic Convention.
6. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES vs. BOSTON RED SOX How can we get the Northeast plus lots of transplanted fans without New York? Well get the defending Champs plus a team filled with some of the best rising stars in the game. Plus the two meanest fan bases in sports... whoever loses will hear of it.
7. MILWAUKEE BREWERS vs. BOSTON RED SOX Beer and Red Sox fans! A natural combination. This is the only way Fox would be remotely happy to see the Brewers in the World Series.
8. LOS ANGELES DODGERS vs. CHICAGO WHITE SOX You get all of the Dodgers subplots (Torre, Nomar, Manny) and you get the ringless veterans of Chicago (Griffey, Thome) and get the second and third biggest media markets. It's not the Cubs or Red Sox, but it wouldn't be bad
9. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES vs. CHICAGO WHITE SOX It won't be pretty... it won't be warm... but it would resemble a slow pitch softball game and man it would be fun.
10. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES vs. LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM Lots of fun stars and no doubt some competitive games are nice. But Anaheim isn't LA and Philly isn't New York (or Boston for that matter.)
11. LOS ANGELES DODGERS vs. TAMPA BAY RAYS The entire draw is the Dodgers and their subplot. As amazing a story the Rays are, without some post season heroics, they have not translated into a national story.
12. LOS ANGELES DODGERS vs. LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM This is the series that should once and for all show that the Angels do NOT play in LA!
13. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES vs. TAMPA BAY RAYS This will be the litmus test to see if the Phillies have any drawing power. How many times have you bumped into a "transplanted Rays fan"?
14. MILWAUKEE BREWERS vs. LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM Hey! Let's revisit the drama of the 1982 ALCS!
15. MILWAUKEE BREWERS vs. CHICAGO WHITE SOX Cubs fans would be on suicide watch.
16. MILWAUKEE BREWERS vs. TAMPA BAY RAYS Fox Sports executives would be on suicide watch