There is much surprise and discussion among the commetariat that Game 4 of the World Series topped Sunday Night Football last night. Preliminary results have baseball drawing a 10.1 in the ratings, the Saints-Colts an 8.2.*
But before we get lost in jocularity, let me just say that if the ratings didn’t matter when baseball was routinely getting beat — which I truly believed to be the case — they shouldn’t matter simply because baseball beat football on one random occasion. Especially given that the football game was out of hand before the end of the first quarter. I mean, I realize that the NFL is popular and everything, but a rerun of the “What’s Goin’ Down” episode of “That’s My Mama” could have won last night.
But the bigger point is that it doesn’t matter. It’s still apples and oranges even if the fruits change roles on occasion. Baseball gets better ratings when a series builds like this one is building. People’s tolerance for football does have its limits even if we rarely reach it. There is no real meaning here. It’s just a thing that happened.
*Full disclosure: I have no idea what the ratings points mean. I used to know before everything got converted to Euros, but now it’s all a mystery to me. Let’s say that those numbers measure hectares. Yes, I like that. The baseball game rated 10.1 hectares.
Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Trump on Monday. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor to “individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
Babe Ruth was posthumously awarded the medal last year. Yogi Berra got it posthumously in 2015, and Willie Mays and Vin Scully were also awarded it the same year.
Trump and Rivera are close. Rivera, who is from Panama, has been criticized for his relationship with Trump. Defending that relationship, Rivera said on Fox & Friends in July, “Mr. President Trump to me, he was a friend of mine before he became president. So, because he’s president I will turn my back on him? No. I respect him. I respect what he does and I believe he’s doing the best for the United States of America.”
Rivera, 49, served on Trump’s Opioid and Drug Abuse Commission in 2017. In 2018, Rivera co-chaired Trump’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition. Rivera also co-hosted a fundraiser dinner for the America First Action PAC, which supports Trump and was also hosted by Donald Trump Jr. and Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle.
This past January, Rivera became the first player ever inducted into the Hall of Fame unanimously. He is the all-time leader in saves with 652 as well as adjusted ERA (also known as ERA+) at 205. He retired with a 2.21 ERA and 1,173 strikeouts across 1,283 2/3 innings, spanning 19 seasons with the Yankees.