The PR people at Fox must be scratching their heads on how they can build an audience for the upcoming World Series.
Should the Indians eliminate the Red Sox, Fox would be left with two smaller market teams playing for baseball’s grand prize. Already gone are the New Yorks, Philadelphia, Los Angeles/Anaheim and Chicago. Neither the Arizona Diamondbacks or Colorado Rockies have large national followings. If Boston goes, you basically lose much of the densely populated East Coast. The result, probably the smallest World Series TV audience in recent times.
The other problem is a potential match-up between cold weather locales Cleveland and Denver, home of the Colorado Rockies. Unless this “Indian” summer continues well into the fall Fox could be facing a few snow outs. Since neither team has a domed stadium the series could run well into November. How exciting would that be?
Imagine infielders trying to pick-up grounders in 20 degree weather, pitchers attempting breaking balls when they can barely put their bare fingers on the horsehide, and hitters so bundled up they can barely swing the bat through the strike zone. Parkas and blankets will be the fans’ dress of the day.
Either way Fox, never short on self-promotion, is bound to roll out its armada of stars to publicize their own line-up of shows. But perhaps they can spice it up a little.
American Idol’s Simon Cowell can sit in the front row and critique whomever sings the national anthem. “Dear Lord, you call that music? Maybe you didn’t get the message that you’d be singing in front of a national audience. Next time try practicing before you take an engagement like this.”
Idol host Paul Abdul can be on-hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Imagine her slipping on a dugout step, tripping on a foul line and falling down on her face after she tosses the ball ten feet. Her handlers will claim she was “exhausted” and blame it on her busy travel schedule.
Chef Gordon Ramsey from “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Kitchen Nightmares” could take a crew around the stadium to inspect the kitchen facilities. He could look for rats and insects then yell and curse at food managers. Pity the poor hot dog vendor who serves Ramsey a slightly undercooked weiner or stale bun.
Hugh Laurie, Dr. House on “House”, could oversee the stadium’s first aid room. A camera crew could watch Laurie make fun of fans who turn ankles navigating stadium walkways or who get heartburn from eating too many peanuts.
Kiefer Sutherland of “24” fame could lead a group of fans taking part in the spin around the bat and sprint the bases contest held at many ballparks between innings.
In keeping with the proper promotion Sutherland could twirl around the bat 24 times. Then he could become loopy as if he were playing himself in real life.
Finally to promote the new Fox Business Channel, play-by-play man Joe Buck will interview the channel’s financial experts on investment advice. “Well Joe, I’m shorting Chinese Technology companies right now and buying ore mining firms in Alaska. How’s your portfolio shaping up?”
“Yeah, well, I’m a little heavy in cyclicals. Probably could shuffle some money into bonds.”
Sounds like a great way to enjoy baseball’s crown jewel, doesn’t it?