The ratings from last night’s Red-Pirates game are in and they’re pretty darn good. It drew a 33.7 rating in the Pittsburgh market, which is the highest rating for any baseball game since Nielsen has been measuring the local market. Viva pent-up demand, I guess.
Nationally the game did a 3.4 rating, which is up 3% from last year’s NL Wild Card game. A big part of this, one can assume, was that it took place mid-week and was the only game on last night whereas last year’s Wild Card games took place in the form of a Friday night doubleheader.
The biggest takeaway here, though, is what I’ve been saying for a long time: baseball is local.
Last night’s Angels-Astros game was a long affair with a bunch of homers and the use of 11 pitchers in all. The Angels used six pitchers and all of that business led to plenty of conferences. Six, in fact, which is their allotment under the new rule capping mound visits. As far as I can tell, that makes the Angels the first team to use up all of their mound visits since the advent of the rule.
Sadly, they did not try to go for a seventh, thereby testing the currently unknown limits of the rule. Umpires have been instructed to not allow additional mound visits, but they cannot issue balls or tackle anyone or anything to enforce it. Presumably, if Maldonado had walked out to talk to Cam Bedrosian about the weather or where he was going to dinner after the game, the home plate umpire would’ve simply done the old Robin Williams English policeman’s bit of yelling “Stop! . . . or I shall yell ‘Stop!’ again!” Maybe a fine would issue later, but we’ll never know.
At least until someone breaks the limit. And we know someone will, right? We should have a betting pool on who does it.