All-Star Game ratings up, social media activity goes bonkers

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The numbers are out for last night’s All-Star Game and they’re pretty good:

The All-Star Game telecast on Fos drew an 8.1 metered market rating according to data from Nielsen, representing a +3% increase over the 7.9 from last year’s game in Phoenix. Fox won the night in prime time, beating its nearest competitor by 47%.  St. Louis led all markets with a 20.5 rating, followed by host Kansas City which averaged an 18.7 and Detroit which delivered a 16.1.  Among the markets seeing the biggest increase in ratings over last year were Detroit (+50%), Washington (+36%), Los Angeles (+27%) and Dallas (+27%).

Not bad considering it was a crap game, competitively speaking, ending before it really started. And the 50% increase for Detroit must have been a function of that can’t-look-away-from-a-car-crash thing with respect to their boy Justin Verlander.

MLB is also touting all of the social media buzz surrounding the game. Specifically, that initiative they launched this year in which players tweeted from the ballpark after they were removed from the game:

On social media, the All-Star Game generated 807,603 total public Twitter and Facebook comments, a 257% increase over last year’s All-Star Game (226,461), based on data from Bluefin Labs.  In fact, by the end of the first inning last night there were already more social media comments than the entire 2011 All-Star Game generated.  Among 27 different All-Star related topics that trended worldwide on Twitter last night, the hashtag #ASG was used in 245,362 social media comments making it the most trended term for the telecast (30.4% of all comments).

I would guess there is some relationship — the nature of which I have no idea, but I suspect exists anyway — between social media buzz and ratings. Maybe it’s weak. Maybe it’s counterintuitive, but I bet it’s something.

The Cubs will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday

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The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.

The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.

Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.

The matchups for Tuesday’s action:

Carter Capps to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

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Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.

Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.

The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.