Craig Calcaterra

Billy Joel2

Billy Joel to sing the National Anthem for Game 3


I didn’t know that person who sang the Anthem last night. I don’t know who is singing it tonight yet but I probably won’t know them either. This is all on me, of course, as I am old and out of touch with most things after, oh, 2001 or so.

So thank goodness for this: Billy Joel will sing the National Anthem prior to Game 3 Friday night.

Not that I’m big Billy Joel fan, really. But familiarity is nice with such things. And no matter what else you can say about Billy Joel, he’s not likely to use it as an opportunity to show off like some new pop flavors of the month do. He’s Billy Joel. He really doesn’t have anything to prove to us.

Joel is a huge Mets fan, of course:

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Um, never mind that. He’s totally a Mets fan. And this season the Mets played “Piano Man” as a sing-along in the middle of the 8th inning. Which is weird as, at bottom, it’s a song about a guy being in a depressive rut while trying to figure out what to do next with his life. Maybe that’s more Mets than “Sweet Caroline.” I dunno.

This is not Joel’s first rodeo at the World Series. He sang the anthem at Game 1 of the 2000 World Series between the Mets and Yankees. Indeed, if the Martians ever invade New York and demand that the city provide it with an official minstrel to sing as the citizens are ushered off to the Martian POW camps, Joel will probably be the one they send out. He’ll do a couple verses of “New York State of Mind” while everyone waits for the Avengers to come save the day or what have you.

Game 1 was the highest-rated World Series game since 2009


People complain about sports networks favoring teams from big east coast cities, but it’s not unreasonable that they do given that every time teams from large east coast cities are in the World Series, the ratings spike.

Fox just announced that Game 1 posted a 10.5/18 overnight household rating, which is a 31% increase over last year’s Giants-Royals Game 1. Indeed, it was the best rating for Game 1 of the World Series since 2009. Which just so happened to be the last time a New York team was in the series. And a Philly team to boot. Not that this was purely a New York-driven thing. Kansas City’s local rating for the game was a 57.3, which is the highest single-market Game 1 rating since at least 1996.

Fox further notes that the game’s rating was the network’s best performance for programming of any kind on a Tuesday night since February 2012. Which shows you why networks still pay a ton for baseball rights even if they don’t sniff football ratings or the ratings baseball itself used to get back in the day. Programming is programming and baseball delivers.

Not too bad for a dying sport. And imagine how good the ratings would’ve been if they never fixed their technical glitch and viewers were treated to Matt Vasgersian and John Smoltz instead of Joe Buck, Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci.

Power hitting first baseman Byung-ho Park to be posted by his KBO team

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The Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization have announced that they will post first baseman Byung-ho Park.

Park was a teammate of Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang. He’s 29 and hit 52 homers over 128 games in 2014 and posted a Bondisan line of.343/.436/.714 with 53 home runs and 146 RBI over 140 games this season. Now, to be sure, KBO is an extremely hitter-friendly environment — Kang hit 40 homers himself in 2014 — but that’s some serious power all the same.

Park will be posted on November 2, and bidding will remain open until 5 p.m. ET on November 6. At that point Nexen will decide if they will accept the top bid. If the bid is accepted, the winning team will have 30 days to work out a deal with Park.