No Surprise: A-Rod’s return nets season-high ratings for YES Network

Like it or not, A-Rod is back and the Yankees need him
Shaky rotation and disappearing depth could be the final nail in the playoff race coffin

Via Sweeny Murti: Alex Rodriguez‘s return to the Yankees last night netted the YES Network its best ratings of the season. They averaged 393k total viewers for the game and topped out at 756k from 8:30-8:45pm ET, right around when Alex came to the plate for the first time. In terms of Neilsen ratings, YES was at 4.34 for the game compared to a season average of 2.52, which is down almost 40% from last year (4.17) and 50% from 2009 (4.72).

Obviously ticket sales and television ratings are way down this year, that’s no secret, but A-Rod‘s return will definitely help on the business side of things as well as on the field. He’s a car wreck and people can’t look away — most watch because they hate him and some watch because they actually like him. The important thing is people watch. Brian Cashman recently called the A-Rod trade his best not only because he was awesome on the field, but also because he helped increase ticket sales and cable subscribers. The Yankees seem to truly hate A-Rod and want him gone as soon as possible, but I’m guessing they’ll have no trouble taking in all that extra revenue while waiting for his appeal.

Like it or not, A-Rod is back and the Yankees need him
Shaky rotation and disappearing depth could be the final nail in the playoff race coffin
  • Matt :: Sec110

    this is funny, even when you knew it would happen.

    As long as he gets banned for the 2014 season, I don’t care if he comes back or not. Save that 29 million in ’14, which opens up room for 1 or 2 FAs and the luxury tax still resets.

  • PED’s

    We Love You Alex!!

  • yankeeparrothead

    While I know Cashman hates A-Rod and wants him gone, I am still not convinced the Steinbrenner borhters feel the same way. They haven’t commented one way or the other through all of this, but I do know that Cashman often speaks for himself and not them.

  • fat jeter

    All I know is that big George would have loved this shit. Controversy sells

    • Dirk Diggler

      George wouldn’t have let things get to this point in terms of a roster. Not saying they’d have a great team but no way in hell he’d have allowed the roster we’ve seen take the field as everyday players for majority of the season. He’d have called out the fat slob Joba when he acted like a hillbilly in Kansas City, he’d have made A-Rod so miserable for being a complete failure (remember the Boss had a what have you done for me now stance on players performance) the last couple of postseasons, and he’d have fired Kevin Long by now as well as Brian Cashman if this was how the minor league system would be “rebuilt” under his guidance.

      As for A-Rod, the “look at the freak” factor will fade as they see the team is still awful/boring and A-Rod is just another broken down old part of the debacle of a roster.

      Mike Axisa sure seems to love to write about this crap everyday and while it seems to entertain him and keep his interest in an otherwise awful season–only thing I’m looking for rest of year is Mariano’s last pitches—because this team is unwatchable, unlikeable, and boring–A-Rod or not.

      • Mister D

        Right, because Long is the reason guys like Vernon Wells can’t hit.

  • RetroRob

    My guess is he won’t be banned for 2014, only a portion of it. Just can’t see the arbitrator upholding the decision when comparing it to past decisions and the rulings on Braun and Melky.

    • Coolerking101

      MLB went for the 200+ ban for exactly the reasons you mention. They are expecting it to be reduced. I expect it to end up being a full year ban.

      • RetroRob

        If it does turn out to be a full-year ban, then he will miss all of 2014 as the ruling probably won’t happen to late September if not November if Weiner is correct.

    • I’m One

      I can see the arbitrator reducing the suspension from 211 games. 162 would be just fine, beginning with game 1 of the 2014 season.

  • Pseudoyanks

    …and since Hank’s motives all along when he offered the extension were business related (ratings included), in some warped way….Hank Didn’t Fail. Ugh. We need Steinbrothers to learn from this mistake.

    • Jobu

      The issue of course is not that they tendered A-Rod a new contract, that made sense (both baseball and business) based on the facts on hand at the time. The issue is the contract they tendered. I equate it to pulling up to a car dealership, looking at a hot new sports car, the salesman telling you the price (market value in this case) is $200K, and immediately offering to buy the car for $600K.

      • Pseudoyanks

        Jobu, Yes, I agree and believe that is obvious. I think a 5 Yr $150 Million contract extension would have been fine (and probably still overpaying).

  • Vern Sneaker

    Last night’s rating and maybe the next few night’s will be a blip as the losing continues and the novelty wears off, unless A-Rod gets super hot which he probably won’t. Michael Kay is unlistenable, what bloviating! Call the game, for God’s sake, pitch-by-pitch with analysis, and save us from the non-stop radio sports talk. Last night I muted him for good in the second inning. Sterling and Waldman are a (bad) joke, so you can’t hit mute, watch, and listen to them instead.

    • RetroRob

      If he is going to remain the Yankees attack dog against A-Rod (and, yes, I do believe his “reporting” on ESPN and YES is influenced by his tie to the Yankees) throughout the entire season, then I will have to mute him, too.

  • jokes

    Wanna test I know.

  • yankeeparrothead

    I am thinking he will be suspended between 50 and 100 games which seems in line with the other penalties which have been levied

    • I’m One

      I can see it being substantially more than anyone else if they have evidence of attempting to interfere with the investigaion and of working to bring in new clients. No way he gets only 50 games. I’d say 100 is the minimum, with 162 (or above) being much more likely.

      • Jobu

        I agree. In my mind the biggest difference is the recruiting other players to take steroids aspect of the story. I think this, as opposed to interfering with the investigation, is the reason MLB can support the big suspension. Incidentally, I was also expecting this to be the basis for a lifetime ban if said ban was actually used.

        • I’m One

          I was also expecting this to be the basis for a lifetime ban if said ban was actually used.

          Makes sense. Seems this could be used to support a lifetime ban being “in the best interest of the game”.

        • yankeeparrothead

          They never mentioned the recruiting in the statement of why they were suspending him. I am curious as to what that actually is since all we have is what MLB leaked. If “recruiting” is giving the name of the clinic to a teammate/friend who asked that is very different than going to find people who were innocent babes and convincing them to start juicing. My gut says it was probably the former, but we have to see what evidence they actually have. I am very skeptical that their evidence is as strong as they have been leaking. If that was the case they would never have fought so long and so hard to keep the players from appealing. They would have announced the suspensions and let the chips fall where they may.

  • Mister D

    most watch because they hate him and some watch because they actually like him. The important thing is people watch

    There’s a 3rd group (which I belong to) that watches because they hate the people who hate him and want those people to be unhappy.

    • I’m One

      Not sure which group I belong to (don’t hate him, but don’t actually like him), but I’ll watch whenever I can. Guess I’m just a plain old Yankee fan, hoping he can help the team.

    • Jobu

      This is getting complicated. So what you are saying is that there are three groups of fans:

      A – like ARod
      B – hate ARod
      C – hate group B

      So in your scenario: A watches the game and basks in the glory of the CentWAR, B is watching out of spite for ARoid, and C is watching out of spite for B. To take further:

      B dislikes A because they are urinating on the purity of baseball
      A dislikes B because they won’t support the uniform
      C dislikes everyone because they are bitter, unhappy people
      B and C agree that there is a place for hate in baseball but disagree about the target
      A would like C to just calm down and have a beer
      C is really pissed at A because the people in group A are just soft
      A might be blond and muscular
      B gets very angry because they hate ARod and those jerks in C keep heckling them
      C is frustrated because nobody is really paying attention to them and that ruins their fun
      A is just tired of this whole situation and just wants to go home

      Ok, that all makes sense.

      • I’m One


  • Short Porch

    Do you think A-Rod is thinking for one second about his team mates, putting them through this crap? Is this the way Mo is going to go out, overshadowed by this narcissist’s constant dramas? Do you think Andy Pettitte was running out to the mound last night knowing No-Rod was in the lineup that night? Nice send off for Andy too!

    If Jeter is lucky, when he returns from his third stint on the DL, A-Rod will be gone and Jeter will never have had to play a single inning along side him ever again. Then they can try to finish the season with a shred of dignity and a bit of heart. This has been a brutal year. Let’s just finish with our heads up, mostly healthy, and distraction free.

    • Captain

      you want to see Mo pitch more before he retires? Arod is needed then.

      Andy had a nice sendoff in the 3rd inning against the 2nd worst offensive team in baseball. Arod wasn’t the one embarrassing himself out there last night.

    • mitch

      I agree that the players probably don’t like Arod and the baggage he brings, but I think dealing with him is a price they’d all pay for not having Adams, Nix, Cruz, etc playing 3B.

  • dasani

    Be it what it may, this team is done, stick a fork in them.

    • Captain Turbo

      More like a spork. They don’t rate a fork.

  • OldYanksFan

    Everyone knows that ANY publicity is GOOD publicity.

    • I’m One

      George certainly knew that.

  • Ken

    Yeah-Rod! I am glad he is back, wish him well, and support him all the way.


    pitch-forks ?! oh shit !!

  • Duh Injuries

    Wow isn’t cool that a broken down hasbeen steroids cheat is FINALLY playing?


    • Captain Turbo

      I’ll take a whole team of A-Rods over the losers and has-beens they’ve been trotting out for the last four months.

  • Brian Strawman

    This. This is the biggest Yankees story of the year 40-50% drop in TV ratings

    • Steinbrenner’s Ghost

      Not surprising, if you look at the long run.

      Attendance in the fabled 1998 season was 3 million. In 2000, when the Yanks won their 4 title in 5 years it was still only 3 million (37,000 per game).

      After ARod’s arrival attendance jumped to 3.8 million in 2004. In the final years of old yankee stadium, attendance hit 4.3 million for 2007 and 2008 (53,000 per game). By 2008 they had gone 8 years without a title but yet business was never better, with ticket sales increasing 43% over their championship years.

      So what accounts for this. Why were they selling 43% more tickets in off years than they were during their magical years?

      Well, the Yankees had become an event. People didn’t want to come because there was a game, but rather to be apart of a show and see famous and glamorous people like ARod and Jeter.

      This year, now that the fame has faded and event has return to being just a competitive game, interest has returned to the mean (39,900 per game).

      It’s kind of like when a new stadium opens. Attendance spikes for a few years as everyone wants to see the new attraction for themselves, then after the event status fades, attendance returns to the mean.