Popularity that knows no bounds

Designing the Yankee Stadium patches
Giambi praises the Cap'n

Early on Friday morning, Bryan Hoch tossed up a brief post on the Yanks’ early spring TV ratings. Usually, no one outside a few suits at YES would care much about those numbers, but take a look at what Hoch had to say:

Yesterday’s YES Network telecast of the Rays-Yankees Spring Training game (1:00 pm) generated a 1.19 average TV household rating (88,000 TV households), making it the highest-rated weekday daytime Spring Training telecast ever on YES. The previous high was YES’ telecast of the Yankees’ game against Virginia Tech on March 18, 2008, which drew a 1.17 average TV household rating (86,000 TV households).

Keep in mind that this record-setting draw was for a mid-afternoon game on a Thursday in February, 39 days before Opening Day. While Phil Hughes started, he threw just two innings, and for the most part, a bunch of no-names destined for AAA or worse fought it out against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Of course New Yorkers wanted their first on-screen exposure to A-Rod since this whole steroid fiasco. Of course they wanted a glimpse of Mark Teixeira in those slimming pinstripes. Beyond that, though, 88,000 viewers on Day 2 of Spring Training in the New York area just shows a team that is popular beyond our conceptions of it.

This year, the Yankees are opening a new stadium, and they have the weight of baseball expectations surrounding them. They signed three of the top free agents this winter and are primed to make a run at October after missing the playoffs for the first time since 1995.

People might hate the Yankees. They met resent the success and the spending. They might boo A-Rod. But while one game does not a trend make, it seems as though 2009 will be the Year of the Yankees in New York City. Everyone will watch; everyone will talk about it; and 53,000 fans a night will actually get to be there to see it all go down, obstructed view and all.

As the toast of the town, the Yanks will find it good to be top. I just hope they can fulfill the lofty expectations as people take the time now in February to turn on the Grapefruit League in record numbers.

Designing the Yankee Stadium patches
Giambi praises the Cap'n
  • yankeefan91 Arod fan

    i sure was one of those viewerssssss

  • 50

    “it seems as though 2009 will be the Year of the Yankees in New York City.”

    das was up

    • steve (different one)

      if Johan is seriously hurt, it sure will be…

  • Januz

    The Yankees will be the talk of baseball (What I hope is their difficult schedule (36 games with Boston & Tampa), will toughen them up for the playoffs (Like my Steelers did on their way to the Super Bowl)).

  • Rich

    I hope the ratings aren’t a function of the higher levels of unemployment.

    • Ace

      I watched the game because I am currently unemployed. It’s sad but your statement might ring of truth.

    • http://kikojones5.blogspot.com Kiko Jones

      Probably.

  • Drew

    Man, I’ve been a major proponent for Melkman and against Gardner, but I’m lookin at his stats in the minors. He improved after spending part of a season in each level. Maybe it will be the same in the majors.

    AA (2006) 352 to (2007) 392 OBP
    AAA (2007)343 to (2008) 415 OBP

    • http://statspeak.net dan

      That’s been the book on him his whole career, even before AA.

    • Ace

      Any chance if Gardner works out that AJax will play LF next year or vice versa?

      • Al

        I dunno, Ace. If there is an OF of AJax, Gardner, and Nady/Swish…. thats pretty pathetic offensively. They would probably leave AJax down in AAA for another year and see if Gardner can be the starting CF and lead-off hitter on a championship caliber team. If he can maintain high levels of performance, it will make a tough decision for the Yanks. I just don’t see both AJax and Gardner playing in the same OF.

  • JeffG

    I wonder if DVR might have something to do with it?

    • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe TV ratings do not take DVR viewers into account (i.e. only live viewers are considered).

      • Ace

        Starting Dec. 26, 2005 all programs and networks will now receive 3 separate ratings:

        * Live Ratings – Those who view programs at the time they initially are aired, excluding any DVR playback.
        * Live+Same Day (SD) Ratings – Viewers watching live, as well as those who played back programs on a DVR on the same day of the initial airing.
        * Live+7 Day Ratings – Viewers watching live, as well as those who played back programs on a DVR within a week of the initial airing.

        So I’m assuming the number Ben is reporting is the Live Rating.

  • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    “Keep in mind that this record-setting draw was for a mid-afternoon game on a Thursday in February, 39 days before Opening Day. While Phil Hughes started, he threw just two innings, and for the most part, a bunch of no-names destined for AAA or worse fought it out against the Tampa Bay Rays.”

    But, hold on… It’s a record-setting spring training game. The fact that it was a game in February, with a bunch of no-names playing, doesn’t really matter, does it? It’s not like we’re comparing ratings for this game to ratings for a regular season game, we’re comparing these ratings to other spring training games (other games in February/March with no-names participating).

  • SamVA

    Question- Do any of you guys have a fantasy league that hasn’t drafted yet?
    I’m trying to play with people I “know” instead of the random people MLB.com has had me with the last couple of years. thanks