Flumoxity? 'It takes one to know one-and vice versa!'

Flumoxity? ‘It takes one to know one-and vice versa!’

Flumoxity….baseball’s way of flimflamming through nearly any and all problems related to the game.

Baseball is a simple game. It is apparently for simple people.

But for the men running the game, they understand more than simple people can understand. For instance, the Band of 30 (those not so simple owners of Major League Baseball teams) occasionally join together to make policy. They have regularly scheduled meetings in AAAA resorts around the nation or the world to gather, talk, dine and make policy for America’s pastime. They have no fear of any overwhelming governmental intervention because they are immune to Monopoly.

Yet these folks, when they gather, can do some amazingly mystical things, like what happened early this year. This was the year when a new Major League Baseball Commissioner was placed on the job. Rob Manfred, succeeded Allan Huber ‘Bud’ Selig. He now sits in a big chair in MLB’s Manhattan offices on Park Avenue, not the one in Milwaukee, where the Commissioner Emeritus sits as an overviewer to allow him to collect a handsome pension, far above the one he would have earned as a used car salesman for his father’s Southside auto dealership. But one digresses because of the love of the man who brought baseball back to Milwaukee.

Alfred sez: “Today, if you ask a car dealer to let you see something for 10 grand, he’ll show you the door!”

One of his first decisions Mr. Manfred made was extraordinary. Imagine if you will, naming Barry Bonds the head of drug enforcement for the ‘good of the game’. No. That has not happened yet. Or, he could allow Pete Rose eligible for the Hall of Fame even though he confessed to betting on baseball games while he was a manager. No, that hasn’t happened yet. But beware. He could do something curious because in one of the first decisions he made when he became the new commish was to appoint New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon as the Chairman of Major League Baseball’s Finance Committee.

That is not a misprint. It is in fact truth. Rob Manfred named Fred Wilpon the overseer of MLB’s money…as the Chair of MLB’s Finance Committee.

Alfred sez: “Most people don’t act stupid: it’s the real thing!”

It is a strange choice. Wilpon was on the financial ropes after he was involved with Bernie Madoff.

His team allegedly owes hundreds of millions of dollars in debt and there is a question of whether the New York Mets franchise has been properly financed over the past half-dozen years. Fred Wilpon seems to be bad with money yet he will be in charge of counting Major League Baseball’s cash. Who would have guessed?

It takes all kinds of Brass Junk Hangers to make a decision like this and actually say ‘Public be damned. I’m the Commish!’.

And that he is.

He has to, however, in order to earn all of that annual pay, walk a high-wire act to make the bad inferences all go away. He has been handed a Selig legacy of personal friendship between the former Commissioner and his friend, Wilpon. Selig used personal relationships to build his internal baseball political power base. Favors flowed between the various owners. Selig to former Twins owner, Carl Pohlad, who lent $3 million short-term bridge loan to Selig’s Milwaukee Brewers in July 1995. Contrary to a Major League Baseball rule, the loan was not approved by other team owners at a time that Selig was serving as acting commissioner while continuing in his role as president and chief executive of the Brewers. Coincidently, Fred Wilpon of the Mets said at the time, ‘It may ruffle some feathers, but it’s inappropriate and sad that people would attack Carl and Bud on this.’ ‘Frankly, I’ve borrowed very little money in my lifetime,’ Selig said. ‘He [Pohlad] was a friend. He was a banker.’

Selig and the White Sox owner, Jerry Reinsdorf, who was more like a collusion brother where they together made a pact to keep players pay down, have had an ongoing friendship. They tried to fix free-agent pay scale. That didn’t work. But they tried.

Alfred sez: “Blood is thicker than water . . . but it makes lousy lemonade!

Fred Wilpon and his brother-in-law, Saul Katz, the Mets’ other owner, had been fighting a $1 billion lawsuit against them by the trustee for victims of the infamous Bernard L. Madoff’s fraud. The trustee, Irving Picard, accused them of using illicit profits from their Madoff accounts to fuel their sports and real estate empire. Selig was pleased that Wilpon and Katz, who said they were victims of evidence fabricated or misrepresented by the trustee, tried to sell nearly half the team to raise up to $200 million and the Commish felt it unnecessary to step in to force them to do any more.

The owners trying to get in on the inside, guaranteed high interest returns, had invested some $500 million with Bernard Madoff, the ‘Don of the Greedy’, whose Ponzi scheme collapsed in 2008. After everything unraveled, Mets ownership didn’t even get the benefit of being considered “victims” because they had made more in fictitious gains than they had lost. By 2011, Wilpon and Katz faced a $1 billion lawsuit from Irving Picard, trustee for the liquidation of Madoff Investment Securities, which accused Wilpon and his partners of being reasonably aware of Madoff’s scam while investing more money into it. Now, in 2015, the Mets owners gained a legal victory with Picard and agreed to a settlement whereas Wilpon and Katz could pay the trustee just $162 million, a fraction of the $1 billion he was seeking. Thus, the two will be liable for far less than that huge figure because it has been gradually offset by their losses as Picard continues to recoup funds lost for the Madoff fraud victims.

Alfred sez: “Who says nothing is impossible? Some people do it every day!”

The Wilpon family’s burden with the Madoff liquidation trust is down to approximately $60 million. In negotiating this down, Wilpon and Katz quietly managed to sell some 12 minority stakes in the team, 4% ownership each for $20 million apiece. One of the alleged buyers was noted hedge-fund operator Steven Cohen. This entire endeavor brought the brothers-in-law more than $200 million. They also had to then repay their $40 million loan from Bank of America and the $25 million loan from Major League baseball. All of this must have made the powers that be in the MLB feel like Wilpon was some sort of financial wizard.

But never let greed get out of sight too long. It seems, while the Madoff victims will recover 57¢ on every dollar they lost in the fraud, ESPN reported that this was good news for Wilpon and Katz. They can now deduct 57% of their Madoff losses ($178 million) from the $162 million in gains they owe the trustee thus bringing their new debt to just $60.56 million, payable in two installments in 2016 and 2017. And, that figure will likely go down again before the Mets owners need to make the first payment because Wilpon and Katz agreed to pay a guaranteed minimum of $29 million.

Ain’t it great to be an American in baseball?

Alfred sez: “A lawyer is someone who writes a 40-page document and calls it a brief!”

One can reduce a billion dollar debt down to perhaps only $29 million or, for the mathematically inclined, just 2.9% of the total originally owed.

But what legal maneuvering giveth, morality and the gods of baseball taketh away. You see the team and the cable network still carry a lot of debt, even as the owners’ debt to the Madoff trustee shrinks. Just last year, good ol’ Saul was reportedly considering selling his entire stake in the team, leaving his bro-in-law just a minority owner. While Saul may no longer be responsible for his brother-in-laws character, Wilpon was still able to get the team in legal trouble over sexual discrimination suits brought upon them by a former high level single executive. But, who’s counting?

Alfred sez: “Nowadays, the perfect crime is getting caught and selling your story to T.V.!”

They still have more money troubles than that. It is reported that the Mets still owe money to two players that haven’t played for the Mets in 20 years: Bobby Bonilla, who has $1.2 million coming to him every year until 2036 and Bret Saberhagen, who is owned $250,000 each year until 2029.

Now you can see just how good a money man this Wilpon is. The brothers-in-laws have managed to stay afloat largely by borrowing against the skyrocketing equity in their 65% investment in S.N.Y. Yes, that’s the cable home of the Mets. You see, it has been reported that they have been using the local sports television network boom to stave off bankruptcy.

It seems very logical. This Wilpon fellow really knows how to handle finances. Thus, who wouldn’t make him the Czar of all the MLB cash.

Which all begs the question: What’s he got on the Commish?

Play Ball!

Alfred sez: ‘In retrospect, it becomes clear that hindsight is definitely overrated!’.

La Petite Boule Ronde

This week our attention turned from the diamond to the jewel of Europe, Paris. In keeping within that framework, the question arises: do they play baseball in France?

In 1889, the guy who first used a fielding glove in the major leagues, traveled to France and introduced the game. A.G. Spaulding did not make many inroads. The game was strange to the French and it wasn’t until the French Baseball Union, an amateur league formed in 1912 by ex-patriots, that it enjoyed success. The game grew up in Paris and a game between Vésinet and Diepp drew 3,000 spectators. The league went on hiatus but French soldiers began to love the game as Canadians used the time between battles in WWI to practice the American pastime with allied troops. The arrival of Americans in 1918 did even more to widen the sport’s reach in France. Rouen, the capital of Normandy, became a baseball hotbed. A game between two American teams drew 20,000 fans. The popularity of the game must be credited to Major League players who were serving in the military in France such as Christy Mathewson, Grover Cleveland Alexander, George Kelly and Jonny Evers.

The game reached its peak at the conclusion of World War I and did not re-emerge until the allies liberated France in World War II. Between 1955 and 1992, Paris and Nice won 26 of 28 French Championships. In 1976, there were 21 baseball clubs in France. By 1987, there were 170.

The domestic league in France is called the French Elite League and it has eight teams: Rouen, Montpellier, Savigny, Senart, La Guerche, Toulouse, Montigny and Clermont-Ferrand. The Rouen Huskies have dominated the past decade, winning 9 of the last 10 league titles.

Joris Bert was the first French player to be drafted by a Major League team, as he was selected in the 19th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2007 first-year player draft.

So, why is this even up for discussion today?

There is a bond between the two nations that go beyond the political…the support at the earliest days of our country. Many Americans are Francophiles. Many French are Americanophile.

But today we are all French.

Play Ball!

Little Uke Music (リトルうけ音楽)

The miniature extension of the legendary Ichiro, Nori Aoki, two inches shorter than Suzuki, again hit an unusual wall in Major League Baseball. The San Francisco Giants declined to renew their option on Aoki. He had been receiving a base salary of $5.5 million. He hit .287 with 5 home runs and 14 stolen bases in 93 game (392 plate appearances). Ultimate Zone Rating for defensive play said he saved between three and four runs with his glove. It was exceptional value for any team. His strike out rate of 6.4 was the lowest in baseball. The next closet had a 7.1 rate. And, Aoki ranked third in contact percentage, connecting on 91.6% of his swings this past season.

That is called being a great contact hitter.

What a journey he has had in the Major Leagues. First, with the Milwaukee Brewers, he had to go through a multi-day hitting and fielding drill for the suits and then former manager, Roenicke, before they decided to offer a low-ball contract in the 11th hour. It was the best he could receive. Then unexpectedly, he was traded to the Kansas City Royals, after becoming one of the best lead-off hitters in the history of the team. He and his wife had a child in Milwaukee. His friend, Hall Of Fame announcer, Bob Uecker was even asked to name the child. Of course after Bob suggested ‘Uke’, the Hiragana and Katakana writing was on the wall, ‘詳細はありませんビール’.

He was traded for a guy named Smith, a fellow the then General Manager had been watching for many many hockey seasons. The trade was an absolute steal for Kansas City which uses the Milwaukee Brewers like a minor league affiliate drum as the All-Star center fielder, Lorenzo Cain, and the All-Star shortstop, Alcides Escobar, were also given to them by Milwaukee along with two others for a pitcher who was traded to the Los Angeles Marinos for a not as good shortstop. I know. You can’t make this kind of story up.

While in Kansas City, Nori led the team, along with his other former Brewer teammates, to an American League Pennant and seven games in the World Series before losing to the San Francisco Giants. Ichiro never played in a World Series game. For some reason, Kansas City did not resign Nori. So, he, his wife and Little Uke, left for Bagdad by the Bay. There he was headed to an All-Star birth when he was hit while at bat which produced a fractured fibula, taking him out of the lineup for a month. Coming back was hit in the head by a pitch in Chicago on August 9th and sustained a concussion that forced him to miss the final month of the season. Yet he still had a terrific season in only 93 games. Of course, that all has caused Little Uke and his mom and dad to seek a new experience somewhere in America for next season.

But that certainly isn’t the end of the story.

The Brewers, before the Royals and now the Giants, have made a major mistake. Not because of the great leadoff hitting Nori provides, but they are missing out on one of the great young talents in the game…the young American called Little Uke. Truth be told, there is a rumor that he has a fantastic arm. Standing only 1’9”, it is rumored (again, with no viral social media proof showing this legendary action) that he has chucked a rattle, from his play pen, around a slight bend of the wall, into the glove of his dad, some 98’ 6” away. And the smack it made hitting the glove caused the rattle to explode after reaching, some have said because no jugs gun was available, at a severe 106 mph. Dad’s hand is a little sore but there is no evidence of any concussion ailments recurring. But he does have a slight twitching of his left eye any time he attempts to close his left hand.

Dad’s interpreter said that ‘Nori was shocked to see the rattle had a slight tail coming around the corner. It reminded him of the story that was told when he was a kid, about Baby Ichiro, who, as legend has it, fired his rattle 104 mpg but only 96’6″. This is called ‘pedigree’ folks.

Now, the Milwaukee, Kansas City and San Francisco teams find themselves not in the most favorable position to sign the youngster to a ‘Futures’ contract. As Bob Uecker told a Pigsville Press reporter, ‘What a shame. Here we could have had the future ‘Leaksville Lefty’, Vinegar Bend Mizell. Sorry, I’m so upset I have to go down to Saz’s and have a brat.’ Dismay has also traveled to KC, where, when they found out about YU, attempts were being made to trade unsigned Alex Gordon for the future rights to the young phenom.

San Francisco learned about YU AFTER they declined the option on the old man (33 years of age) and quickly sent a cable car half way to the stars to have a sit down with Nori. But Nori’s intrepetor was not available as he was going along with Nori’s agent to Mattel to sign a deal for YU, securing his family fortune. Yes, they are even talking about a ’Speed Rattle’ and a ’Speed Rattle Jugs Gun’, both with the Little Uke logo and trade mark. Nori is still trying to learn the correct response to the question of ‘sweet’ or ‘sweep’. (See above)

Sometimes Major League baseball just doesn’t think things through, as right in front of them is an analytic vision in plain view. While the Yankees are considering hiring a 13-year-old phenom GM from PS 112 to head up their ‘Looksee Analytic Force’ (LAF), it was said that this kind of thing would be on their radar if they can convince the teenager to join the pinstripes in time to make an offer for YU.

It seems that the interpreter and agent for Nori have some time after the Mattel deal is finalized. Rumor has it that Mars candies is also very interested in making YU a lifetime spokesperson deal for M&Ms.

The Texas Rangers are flying to San Francisco as this is being written. Vu Darvish is jetting in from Tokyo with a cowboy hat in hand, to have an old family style Bon Odori to create a meaningful group gathering. While usually held during the summer, Prince Fielder’s kids suggested it be pushed back for this very special meeting. It is thought that Prince’s kids understand bushi and ondo, traditional Japanese folk songs. Could be Little Uke might become a Cowboy’s fan this Spring while wearing the Star of the Rangers? According to unnamed social media sources, The University of Texas is pushing through an amendment to bypass the normal procedures and offer Little Uke admission into their University (school of his choice) for next year’s Fall semester even though he is only two years of age.

What the Giants and the Royals before them and the Brewers before them has caused, will not drastically affect their future into the next decade. For the Giants and Royals, that’s really not a problem for right now. They are loaded. For the Brewers, it is not a problem because they have never really seen ultimate success of wearing a World Series ring.

Meanwhile, the number 1 song on Dallas country western radio is ‘Ichiban’…ナンバーワン.

Play Ball!


SAC Attack

Stearns/Arnold/Counsell…this is the triumvirate of the Milwaukee Brewers. They will attempt to put together a team that will do something none have done with this organization before…win a World Series. In 45 years, no combination of General Manager, Assistant General Manager and Manager have ever won a Word Series for this franchise. For those who are 45 years old, nada. For those who are 55 years old, nada for a ball club in this city. For those who are 57 years old, join the ‘never seen a World Series winning ball club in this City’ (NSAWSWBCLITC) club.

It has been a long, cold dry spell.

Now these three will go about their business devising a way which will bring a winner to this City.

What do they have? They have a catcher who can hit, but didn’t this past season because of injury and other things. Can’t really get full value from him until he proves he can hit once again. They have a first baseman who actually stayed healthy and can hit. Good time to trade him. They have a second baseman who might be able to hit but has a difficult time fielding. No trade value. There is a shortstop who has shown signs of great promise and on again, off again fielding and hitting. No real value there unless he gets hot. There is no third baseman except for Rodgers but he might be better at first. No value there.

A left fielder who can hit and hit with power but has one itsy bitsy problem. He can’t throw. The entire league takes advantage of his poor arm strength and accuracy. But teams need hitting and the American League would be a perfect place for this young, valuable bat. The Angels would always go for more hitting because they have never believed in pitching. No real center fielder that is proven. Scout the waiver wires. Center fielder who can run like the wind and hit for a team that traded away their last two who could do so, one to Kansas City and the other to Houston, would be the way you would write a help wanted ad for this position.

There is a right fielder coming back from injury, who is an emotionally tainted superstar and has a contract only a major market can afford. Are you listening, Yankees? Dodgers? Giants? Angels? White Sox? Tigers? Rangers? Sure, he’ll get boo’d in Arizona but chances are if you are an AL team, you won’t have to go there except for every sixth year. There is a back up catcher who can’t hit. A back up outfield who can’t hit. As for pitchers, we have a great young, up-and-coming pitching staff with favorable contracts. Nelson, Jungmann, Peralta, Davies, they have tremendous value. Do you dare trade any of them in a game today where pitching is more valuable than gold? There is Garza who has a contract bigger than most and cannot win any games. Not much value there. And if anyone…I mean anyone offers anything for him, they should not even think twice. Just get rid of this mess of a contract.

There is relief pitching. There is a left hander who has value because there are very few decent left-handed pitchers coming out of the pen in the Bigs. Just don’t tell anyone that he blows a few games every once in a while. He’s got value. There is a great relief pitcher who is destined to become one of the greatest all-time relievers in the game but has a bit of a problem showing up for Spring Training because…now all together, ‘he has problems getting through Venezuela’s passport procedures’ year after year. But once he gets to Arizona, he only occasionally steps on a cactus. There is that big guy, Hellweg, but he probably doesn’t have much value.

There is a third base coach who can’t hit or coach. He leads the league in bonehead plays, year after year. But he’s such a good guy, and, he’s funny. He tells jokes. Works hard. Must have something on the organization or owner because he’s still here after most of the staff was let go. He probably HAS value…to somebody.

Wait: there is a radio announcer who can’t make road trips anymore yet has more value than most of the guys on the field. A TV announcer who is on more networks than any social media surfer. He’s apparently got value. And that guy who sells the popcorn from the wagon behind home plate in the entrance lobby. He’s got value as he is the one person with salt. Then there is the real asset, Bernie. He’s got value…to somebody who wants to slide for a living. Unfortunately, the people with the most value in this organization are the ‘Racing Sausages’ but they are owned by the sausage maker. Great value…but can’t trade them.

There are those motorcycles in the gap in left center field. They have value. The Miller Park sign would fit perfectly into the man-cave of a fan with a basement big enough to house a dirigible. OK. Limited value.

So, as we stand here today, watching the Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets battle for the World Series Championship, there is this team on the Western banks of Lake Michigan, near a legendary corner of this earth known to locals as Pigsville, where the aroma of Red Star Yeast waffles through the noses of residents in Kilbourntown, Walker’s Point and Juneautown, within eyeshot of Johnston Cookies, that is headed by SAC.

What on earth will they do this winter? Maryville is just 105 days away.

Play Ball!

Like An Empty Pizza Box The Next Morning

The entirety of the old confines fell unearthly quiet. The home team’s dugout was complete with disbelief. Sitting motionless with blank stares of imminent closure was complete evidence. The manager stood on the second step of the dugout, set in a frozen stare before an ever so slight shaking of his head as if in shock.

With a 3-2 count in the top of the 1st inning on a Wednesday, October 21, 2015, there was no goat to blame…not Bartman to condemn…no rain as in the night before. Simply put, the pitcher put a pitch over the plate and a fellow named Duda smacked it out, over the vines in deep left center field to bring complete and total silence to Clark & Sheffield, where dreams continue down a path worn with grief and agony. The New York Mets defeated the home team, the Chicago Cubs on that pitch…in that instant…in that fraction it takes to smash a dream for another day…another season…another year.

The look on the young Cubbie faces were blank, searching for an answer to the more than evident answer. The long, long drought of the Chicago franchise on the North Side of the City would continue. Youth was destroyed. Pennants were banished. Blame it on Duda.

The vines began to fade along with the autumn somewhere between the 1st and 2nd inning when Duda drove in two more to make is 6-0 in 1 & 2/3rds innings of the fourth game of the NLCS. The only sound one could hear was the movement of arms-to-mouth for another sip of Old Style. And that seemed slower than usual, as the crowd was in nonbelief.

On this Fall evening, after the lights were out, the North Siders failed…again. This time it was the Metropolitans from the place where the Big Apple rises in center field who won in four straight games to win the National League Championship in 2015 with a score of 8-3.

Long live the memories of Tinkers to Evers to Chance. It didn’t happen when Baez to Castro to Rizzo played in their dreams.

Play Ball!

New Kind Of Tradition?

For many fans of the remaining 26 teams no longer playing the game that began when the pitchers and catchers reported back in February, this is the worst of bad times. All of the hopes of Spring have evaporated into listlessness of Fall. Those teams we almost hate are parading around on our television sets as if they belong in the Fall Classic. They are all pretenders.

There are teams in blue, not Dodger Blue, but some kind of blue based in the Midwest or in Canada. There are teams who rarely if ever appear in post season events, outside of baseball card shows, who are not front and center night after night. Much of the land has no team to cheer for, only against. There is no team left west of the Kansas/Missouri border or two miles south of I-70.

There are moose antlers, for goodness sake. Someone hit an apple with a home run. There are vines in an outfield, never seen before in many, many decades. And there are fans who throw Molson bottles and cans onto a field as if it were octopus after a hat trick. Everything about this year is backwards. Opposite of groundhog day, this is the nightmare of ’15, something we have never seen before.

There is a team participating where the second baseman decided to stop running for a pop fly and it proverbially, opened the gates to defeat. There is another team that hasn’t been this high since a guy named Bartman decided to become infamous.

In other words, this is one messed up season of the year as the marathon comes near its end while all of the favorites, except one, are participating in something which has become a traditional classic. There is nothing traditional about this year’s happenings.

All you have to do is look at the stands to see why this is a different type of post season. There are a lot of young people in the parks. Look at Wrigley. They have never witnessed anything like this. There are a lot of guys in the New York ballpark. Women don’t like baseball in that part of New York? Seinfeld in post season? You’ve got to be kidding? They don’t even drink regular beer in one of the parks. After all, its been 20+ years since real fall baseball appeared in Canada. Then there is the guy in Kansas City who insists on wearing an orange Marlins jersey behind home plate behind the batter’s head.

Yup. This is some kind of post season, kind of like being invited to a Thanksgiving dinner from that aunt you’ve never been invited to Thanksgiving since you were a kid and that was because it was your parents who received it and dragged you along, probably for protection rather than enjoyment.

Now all you look forward to is your aunt standing up after tapping that water-glass and saying, ‘What a lovely tradition’.


OK. Play ball.

1.1 Billion Watch Baseball On Local TV

The regular season is over. All of the battles are over before the post season begins. The National League playoffs are set as the New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers have made it to the dance. In the American League, the New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Kansas City Royals, Houston Astros and Texas Rangers are in.

For the others, the rosin bag is still behind the mound with a noiseless, dark field of potential dreams. No more balls being thrown. No more bats smacking the ball. No more fielding plays. No more hawkers hawking. Just quiet until April of 2016. It will be a long winter for these fans.

But it has been both an exciting season and for many, a disappointing marathon. But in the game of television, the season was huge. On average, on any given game day, 6,853,500 viewers watch their favorite time on local television. That accounts for approximately 1.110 billion viewers during the 162 game schedule during the summer. Toronto drew 1.43 million for a single game on local television this season.

Local teams were testament to the changing landscape of television as the ‘live’ aspect is like flies attracted to the bright light and glow of the tube, or more correctly today, digital pixels which bring the world of baseball to fans on a constant basis from April through the end of the season, some 162 games later.

This year you can see who won the television battle.

TEAM RTG CABLE PROVIDER (est viewership)
Toronto Blue Jays* (684,000 viewers) Rodgers 1.43 million top game
Kansas City Royals 12.69 (118,000 homes) FSKC (295,000)
St. Louis Cardinals 10.17 (125,000 homes) FSMidwest (312,500)
Detroit Tigers 7.68 (141,000 homes) FSDetroit (352,500)
Pittsburgh Pirates 7.61 ( 90,000 homes) Root Sports Pittsburgh (225,000)
Seattle Mariners 6.29 (114,000 homes) Root Sports NW (285,000)
Boston Red Sox 5.98 (146,000 homes) NESN (365,000)
Baltimore Orioles 5.71 ( 62,000 homes) MASN (155,000)
Cincinnati Reds 5.27 ( 46,000 homes) FS Ohio (115,000)
San Diego Padres 4.86 ( 51,000 homes) FS San Diego (127,500)
San Francisco Giants 4.86 (120,000 homes) CSN Bay Area (300,000)
Milwaukee Brewers 4.48 ( 40,000 homes) FS Wisconsin
Tampa Rays 4.29 ( 78,000 homes) Sun Sports (195,000)
Cleveland Indians 4.29 ( 63,000 homes) SportsTime Ohio (157,500)
Arizona D’Backs 4.24 ( 78,000 homes) FS Arizona (195,000)
Minnesota Twins 4.21 ( 74,000 homes) FS North (185,000)
Chicago Cubs 3.12 (111,000 homes) CSN Chicago (277,500)
Philadelphia Phillies 2.89 ( 85,000 homes) CSN Philly (212,500)
Texas Rangers 2.79 ( 73,000 homes) FS SW (182,500)
Washington Nat’s 2.78 ( 67,000 homes) MASN (167,500)
New York Yankees 2.77 (206,000 homes) YES Network (515,000)
Colorado Rockies 2.49 ( 39,000 homes) Root Sports Rocky Mountain (97,500)
New York Mets 2.43 (180,000 homes) SNY (450,000)
Atlanta Braves 2.30 ( 54,000 homes) FSSouth/SportSouth (135,000)
Miami Marlins 1.99 ( 33,000 homes) FS Florida (82,500)
Houston Astros 1.85 ( 42,000 homes) Root Sports Southwest (105,000)
Los Angeles Angels 1.52 ( 84,000 homes) FS West (210,000)
Oakland A’s 1.15 ( 29,000 homes) CSN California (72,500)
Chicago White Sox 0.82 ( 28,000 homes) CSN Chicago (70,000)
Los Angeles Dodgers 0.81( 45,000 homes) SportsNet LA (112,500)
6,853,500 MLB viewers/day on local television
* Canada measures in viewers, not in HH (households) or homes.

On an average summer evening, nearly 7 million is collectively a big audience. It is also the wand which magically weaves millions to billions of dollars to individual teams each year.

But for those 20 teams that did not make the dance, The Show has ended for this season.

But on Tuesday, for one of the 10 remaining teams in the big dance, there will be the magic of a World Series Championship.

Play Ball!

A friend of mine produced this great tribute to baseball on TV. Until next season for so many of us whose team is no longer in the dance, …