What World Series?
by Josh Spence

Yeah, that’s right, it’s over.  Did you watch?  Did you even know it was on?  Do you even care?  Surprisingly, to me it seems that most people don’t care.  Ratings for this year's World Series were as poor as ever and I want to know why. 

The World Series talk may be all over ESPN and the other sports outlets, but around here you don’t hear too much about it.  It’s not like there is a shortage of stories to follow.  Neither of New York’s high priced franchises were a part, but two teams that nearly everyone wrote off were. 

You have Detroit, the Cinderella of baseball, this year.  A team that at the beginning of the year no one thought even had a chance at making the playoffs, much less the World Series. 

Then you have the Cardinals who ran into the buzz saw that was the ’04 Red Sox last time they were in the series. They turned this year's classic into their own, only after limping into the postseason.  And of course the series featured the most feared hitter in baseball, Albert Pujols, who had a solid postseason. 

There was even a little controversy mixed in, or maybe I should say dabbed onto, the hand of Tigers pitcher Kenny Rogers, who has been a story in himself.  Well, besides that whole pine tar issue.  The guy had some of the worst stats for any pitcher in postseason history, but comes in this postseason at 41 and dominates to the tune of 23 innings without allowing a single run.  I guess the Tigers could have used a little more of his magic, or whatever that was on his hand.

The stories are there, and you can’t tell me that there are no baseball fans in this area.  With East Carolina, the Carolina League champion Kinston Indians, great high school baseball and a baseball tradition that boasts some pretty famous names, this area is rich not only with baseball fans, but with baseball tradition. 

So, baseball fans, where are you?  Would you rather have watched the Yankees?  Does it take a so-called major market team to get you to watch, or do you just tune out when your team is eliminated?

Don’t get me wrong, I get it.  It’s football season.  Long gone are the days of “America’s Pastime”.  I think few would disagree that it’s football that has supplanted “the ole ball game” as America’s favorite sport.  With East Carolina playing well, the Panthers, and the recent success of the Carolina Hurricanes, you can see how baseball, even the playoffs, can get lost in the shuffle.

My question:  Will baseball ever come back?  Have we seen the sport collectively peak and start on a downward path, never to return?  Or will baseball someday once again be considered America’s favorite spectator sport?  With no salary cap, I say no.  Allowing teams like the Yankees to buy their lineup (although it hasn’t panned out recently) is hurting the game.  Bud Selig and company should take a hard look at how the sport is run during the offseason. But what do you think?  Can baseball make a comeback?  Do you even care?  We want to hear from you.  Feel free to send your response to the email address posted below, or call our listener line at 439-3281 to make your opinions heard today.

Josh Spence