World Series – Games 3-5 – Ending on a techicality brings high ratings; Ortiz batting .733 and playing a position should bring end to DH


The best argument ever for the abolition of the designated hitter is a 37-year-old nightclub owner from the Dominican Republic with 431 career home runs, most of them as a DH.

By Andrew J. Pridgen

…But more on that in a minute.

First, the ratings:

Game three, the first World Series game to end on an obstruction call, (which is basically the equivalent of your younger brother getting frustrated enough to throw the Monopoly board and declare himself the winner even though the only thing he owned was Baltic Avenue) was a ratings bonanza.

Fox benefited from the back-and-forth of that game and upped its viewership 19 percent over last year’s game three (or, it could’ve been because last year’s game three was in San Francisco and everyone hates San Francisco because it’s in San Francisco.)

Fox also took the prime time win for game three and averaged more than 13.4 million viewers, up 15 percent from last year and the highest since 2010.

Game four Saturday continued that momentum, drawing 16 million to the network that gave you Man vs. Beast and The Swan.

The most-watched baseball game since game seven of the 2011 series, bumped the overall ratings through the first four games to an 8.4 household share making it the highest-rated World Series since 2009.

The ’09 World Series was between the Phillies and the Yankees, which means all the East Coast got to tune in, enjoy its native sons, then stay up to catch Sportscenter about the Red Sox’s initial offseason moves, perfect (btw, has anyone else completely forgotten that Matsui was the MVP of that World Series, that’s like Peter Criss being the MVP of KISS. Actually, maybe Peter Criss is the MVP of KISS.)

Though there was no end of game on an interference call or hidden ball trick or plucky short stop Tanner Boyle from the Chico’s Bail Bonds Bears scurrying around the field because he wasn’t done with his exhibition game yet, game five did feature the end of the discussion of whether there should ever be a DH in any league.

There shouldn’t.

The Red Sox proved this for the third-straight game on the away court of Busch stadium. They took down the Cards in a 3-1 victory as routine as a fly to shallow left and are taking it back to the land of Carla, Coach and Cliff to lock up the franchise’s hopeful eighth world championship at home.

BoSox ace Jon Lester Monday kept the Cards’ bats in check for the second time this series Series, giving up a single home run to Matt Holliday, the only red bird who decided to bring his bat home from Boston.

Lester went seven and two-thirds and was backed like The Boss by the big man, David Ortiz who continued his Perryian post-season roar at the plate.

Starting at first on the road, Ortiz collected three more hits in Game 5, including a run-scoring double, as his Series batting average swelled to a softball-guy-supersized .733.

.733 — playing a position.

(It’s an oft-noted baseball theory that players who are dialed in at the plate will do better to stay fielding a position, see: 2012 World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval who stayed at third in Detroit even though he could’ve lumbered off the bench away.)

…Ortiz, who has gotten nothing, if not more locked and loaded outside the friendly confines of Fenway, extended his streak of reaching safely in nine plate appearances, tying Billy Hatcher, who did it with the Reds in the ’90 World Series.

Papi also has a pair of home runs in the series, where he’s spent most of it in the field, posting an otherworldly slugging percentage of 2.017 en route to an MVP of his own should Boston wrap at home Wednesday.

“I was born for this,” Ortiz said postgame, though he didn’t specify whether “this” meant actually playing a position, being in the NL or fueling the argument for firing the forty-year-old baseball equivalent of prohibition: Rule 6.10.

Course, MLB’s own Annie Wilkes (sorry, it’s Halloween week) Bud Selig was the lone vote for the DH in ’72, the year before its adoption, so it’s still in place until his contract expires in January, 2015.

But if Sox manager John Farrell decides to cool Big P on the bench like a cup of Dunkin’ Original Blend Wednesday and Thursday, you can bet the would-be MVP erstwhile-first-baseman-back-to-DH will be in grave risk of braking that glass slipper and watching the away gang take two in his house and make way with the WS trophy.