NEW YORK (CAP) - Fox Sports has reportedly struck a deal with both the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers to play their own World Series as a more exciting alternative to the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants. The best of five series will air in all markets except San Francisco.
"Research shows that even in Kansas City, they would rather watch two other teams than what happened to the Royals in game one," said Fox Sports CEO Peter Rice. "In fact, 76% of those polled said they would rather watch a two hour infomercial with Sally Struthers crying through her mascara."
Fox officials say they wish they had thought of it sooner, because pulling together two off-season teams on such short notice proved to be quite the challenge. As a result, the network had to coax Ron Cey and Graig Nettles out of retirement just to field entire teams.
"If only Tommy Lasorda were still around, it would be like 1978 all over again," said CAP News sports editor Herm Winningham. "You know, except for the steroids, the outrageous salaries, and the ridiculously elongated playoff format."
Rice told CAP News they even considered airing the 1985 World Series between the Royals and St. Louis Cardinals in place of this year's in the Kansas City television market, figuring no one would notice the difference.
"Except for Bret Saberhagen being on the mound," he noted. "I wonder what he's up to right now? The Royals could definitely use him in game five."
For their part, Major League Baseball supports the idea because they say it will increase fan engagement by involving "a couple of teams people actually care about." If the pilot alternate World Series works out well, the league may look to expand it to a half-dozen World Series matchups next year.
"Imagine the massive increase in revenue if a dozen large market teams were playing in the World Series," said MLB Commissioner-Elect Rob Manfred. "I meant fan involvement. Imagine the fan involvement.
"It's all about the fans," Manfred added. "Yep. All about the fans."
- CAP News Staff