For the second straight season FOX has hired Ozzie Guillen as a World Series analyst.
According to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune the White Sox manager “will work the pregame and postgame shows with Chris Rose and Eric Karros” and also “join Joe Buck and Tim McCarver as an analyst for late-inning strategy.”
I’m a huge Guillen fan and anything that leads to McCarver doing less of the analysis can’t be a bad thing, but my guess is that Ozzie joining Buck and McCarver “for late-inning strategy” talk is something that sounds a lot better in theory than in practice.
I’ve already seen a lot of grumbling from various media members on Twitter about how the Giants-Rangers matchup is going to be a ratings nightmare for FOX. That may turn out to be true, but it won’t be because the markets involved are small ones.
J.C. Bradbury of Sabernomics notes that Nielson ranks Dallas and San Francisco as the fifth- and sixth-largest television markets in the country, respectively.
For comparison, here’s the top 10:
1. New York
2. Los Angeles
6. San Francisco
9. Washington, D.C.
No one would be predicting ratings nightmares for, say, a Phillies-Red Sox matchup, but based on market size that’s basically the same as Giants-Rangers. Instead, what the people worried about ratings are really saying is that the World Series matchup is devoid of East Coast teams and thus unlikely to attract significant interest from the No. 1 market, New York.
And that’s probably true, but the No. 5 and No. 6 markets are going to be glued to their television sets and my guess is that the No. 2 (Los Angeles) and No. 10 (Houston) markets will also be more likely to watch than usual. Plus, if you’re not a FOX television employee or Bud Selig should you really care about TV ratings?
Giants versus Rangers is an extremely compelling matchup featuring two of the elite pitchers in baseball, the potential MVP in the AL, and two franchises that are very hungry for a championship. You can be certain that hardcore baseball fans will be watching, and if some casual fans on the East Coast decide not to tune into the games … well, that’s their loss.