Probably not because team was unwatchably flaccid in 2012
The Phillies were not just the NL East and Game One of the NLDS champions in 2011, they were the grand champions of the television ratings as well. Something about a talented team playing nearly flawless baseball and winning 102 of their games makes people want to tune in.
And in the same vein, something about a squad of fourth string forever-prospects filling in for physically destroyed heroes, getting in and out of its own way, leaving the bases loaded and surrendering six-run leads makes people say, “You know what? Game of Thrones isn’t going to re-re-watch itself.”
Which is exactly what we can discern from the TV numbers that just came back from Sports Business Daily. The Phillies’ TV viwers fell 39% from the number one spot last year, to 5.61–good enough for seventh place amongst all MLB teams.
Now, obviously, there are some questions involved. “What does 5.61 mean?” Well, no one knows. It’s one of those mysteries of the digital age that is literally impossible to figure out, no matter how many people shake their heads oddly and say “No, it’s actually quite simple. Here, let me explain.”
The important part is that Phillies fans just weren’t tuning in. Which begs the question, were they ever Phillies fans in the first place?
Well, yes. The team just wasn’t a whole lot of fun to watch this season. It’s a fact. I mean, there’s Michael Martinez, right there. I’m already pissed off.
But the silver lining here is that the Phillies still led all of baseball in game attendance, which means that the Phillies have one of those fanbases that is willing to get up and take the Broad Street Line to the park to watch a meaningless game, but not willing to reach that one or two extra inches to reach the remote.
Well, you can’t tailgate a game in your living room. I mean, you can, but it’s very smoky, and the dog keeps eating the bean bags from Baggo, and when your friends barf they have no bushes to do it in, and then you realize that’s just barfed-up Baggo beans anyway.
This was to be expected, really, though I had assumed the dramatic drop in attendance would be at the gate take, not from the recliners. But here we are, at Game 162, hoping to finish above .500, and still leading the league in eyeballs while remaining in the top ten in televisions. That’s saying something.
And whatever it’s saying is better than what your family says when they get home and find you passed out from smoke inhalation, with the TV showing the Phillies losing 6-2 in the fifth, and the dog contemplating going in for seconds.