Craig Calcaterra


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

Korea Flag

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.

World Series Reset: How does Game 2 follow THAT act?

Jacob deGrom

KANSAS CITY — Game 1 had a little of everything. Game 2 is probably guaranteed to have less, if only we count the fact that several of the pitchers who played in the marathon that just ended won’t be available or quite as effective tonight. But after that epic opening act, anything is possible I suppose.

The Game: New York Mets vs. Kansas City Royals
The Time: 8:07 PM Eastern.
The Place: Kauffman Stadium
The Channel: Fox
The StartersJacob deGrom vs. Johnny Cueto
The Upshot:  The Royals used six relievers over eight innings last night, including three from the guy who is, for lack of anyone better to fill that role, their long man, in Chris Young. The Mets used five relievers over seven innings and change, including their own long man in Bartolo Colon. That puts a lot on Johnny Cueto and Jacob deGrom’s shoulders in Game 2. Both have shown, of course, that they’re capable of being the sort of horses their teammates can ride to victory.

Cueto has been uneven to say the least, but he pitched eight innings in his ALDS performance against the Astros which shows that he hasn’t totally forgotten what the Royals expected him to be. deGrom is 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in three postseason outings, with a couple of seven inning starts. At least one of those came when he didn’t necessarily have his best stuff and he still managed to emerge victorious. Last night was a tight game as every game in this series will likely be, but tonight gives us our best shot at a true pitchers duel.

To ensure that, though, the defenses will have to be a bit tauter than the were last night. While there were gems on each side — Curtis Granderson, Mike Moustakas, Wilmer Flores and Alcides Escobar all came up big from time to time — Eric Hosmer‘s error at first base and Yoenis Cespedes‘ non-error error to allow Escobar’s inside-the-park home run were difference-makers.

If this one is half as good as the last one, we’re in for a treat.