Amusing stunt highlights serious issues for MLB

(Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)
(Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

Tonight’s Game Six of the World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals could be the championship-deciding match-up. Yet it seems one fan may have missed the memo on who’s playing.

No, that’s not the orange of the Giants. That’s a Miami Marlins shirt, proudly worn by Marlins season-ticket holder Laurence Leavy. And this isn’t the first time Leavy has pulled this expensive stunt.

Leavy claims that Royals management was upset and offered to upgrade him to a suite if he would leave. The Royals have denied this, insisting instead that the team offered the Miami resident a Royals jersey, and that Leavy told them he only wore the Marlins uniform to get on TV.

And make no mistake about it, the real issue with this World Series has been the television ratings.

After a postseason of record TV ratings, this World Series has been disappointing, with game five generating a record-low 8.2 rating. Though that game was competing with a marquee NFL Packers-Saints match-up, ratings have been poor throughout this series, with game one tying 2012 for the smallest TV audience for a World Series opener. It’s safe to assume that the popularity of the Royals’ Cinderella story has worn-off, and the small market of Kansas City simply can’t sustain the ratings in the face of the heart of the NFL season and the return of the NBA and NHL.

It’s also troubling that after the end of the Royals’ 28-year postseason drought and the excitement of the Giants’ third World Series in five years, tickets for the fall classic are dropping. Tickets dropped 24 percent on the secondary market for game one.  Of course that could all change if the Royals pull out a victory tonight.


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