As a baseball fan I know it’s silly to get wrapped up in ratings comparisons to other sports–baseball is dying! blah, blah, blah–but as a Minnesotan who actually went to a bar Monday night to watch the 1-4 Vikings and 0-6 Giants play what has to be one of the worst Monday Night Football games of all time … well, this made me sad:
I can’t imagine sticking through more than like 15 minutes of the MNF game if you weren’t a Minnesotan or a New Yorker, and even my group of Vikings fans at the bar pretty much gave up paying attention by the third quarter. And yet … more people watched than tuned in for Game 1 of the friggin World Series. Oh well.
UPDATE: So apparently those initial reports were a bit off. I’m now told that Game 1 averaged 14.4 million viewers, compared to 13.2 million for MNF. Doesn’t really change my overall point a ton, but it’s less sigh-inducing if nothing else.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.