Brog: Nats’ Radio Ratings Less Than Park Crowds

Paul Farhi of the WASHINGTON POST reports Washington Nationals’ radio broadcasts this season featuring Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler, “attracted a cumulative weekly audience of about 26,500 from May through July, the most recent period measured by Arbitron.

Washington Nationals Radio Broadcast

(We now join a Nationals Radio Broadcast, already in progress)

That means the Nats have the “unusual distinction of being a team that has far more people watching its games in person (average attendance has been 29,990 per game) than listening to them on radio.

The scary part? Farhi writes that the owner of the radio stations broadcasting the games says the ratings numbers are probably a little high:

Bonneville Int’l VP/News & Programming Jim Farley, whose company owns the stations, conceded that the “actual radio audience for the Nationals is ‘probably lower’ than the average reported by Arbitron.”

Farley added, “There’s no storyline for this season. Who’s the hero? Who’s the big star? Even the (famously terrible) ‘62 Mets had Marv Throneberry. The Nats don’t have a character like that.

Lastings Milledge Myspace Page Photos

The Nats don’t have a character? Apparently Mr. Farley is unaware of Lastings Milledge’s Myspace page.

From The Basement Nationals Radio Ratings

(Great hed from WaPo - had to cap it)

The worst part of all of this is that Slowes and Jageler are being associated with those stinkbomb numbers. I worked as a MLB and minor league radio announcer for nearly ten years, and I can tell you that the contract status of broadcasters is often (inexplicably) tied to the success of the team.

I know of two cases in which the jobs of baseball announcers were probably saved by their team winning the World Series. One was the 2002 Angels, which featured the duo of Rory Markas and Terry Smith. Both are good guys (I worked with Terry on AAA Columbus broadcasts have met Rory a couple times), but were hired by the Disney regime. Rory and Terry had barely been on the job when Arte Moreno bought the club and as we all know, it isn’t uncommon for new ownership to come in and clean house.

But when the Angels won the Series, Rory and Terry were forever tied to that championship. Both remain with the club to this day. I’m not saying they definitely would’ve been let go when Disney sold the club, but from what I heard at the time, it was a possibility.

Another example was the ‘96 Yankees. I was working in the organization at the time as one of the club’s announcers for the AAA Columbus Clippers. There were rumblings around that time that John Sterling’s job status was less than rock-solid. But just as Sterling’s slippage was starting to be whispered about in broadcast circles, the Yankees won the ‘96 Series - and then began their championship run. And now Sterling is a Yankee for life.

John Sterling ice cream

(John Sterling, still a Yankees employee. Just be sure to not get behind him in the dessert line.)

I’m not saying any of the aforementioned deserved the pipe. I’m merely pointing out how the radio and TV broadcast biz really works. Besides a precious few, there’s no untouchables.

Today I’m starting a regular feature. Spotlighting the hottest sports ticket of the day.

For that, I’ve turned to the ultimate inside source, the largest ticker broker on the west coast, My Boy Barry: “The Dodgers disembark in D.C. to face off against the Nationals. With Manny Ramirez coming to town, maybe Nats fans will finally show up at their spiffy new ballpark for once. Also tonight, the Red Sox & Yankees renew their rivalry in the Bronx, much to ESPN’s relief. And Toronto hopes that Roy Halladay can sway the Jays to victor-ay over the Rays. Oy vey!

When I heard about Jenna Jameson’s “shock” over being pregnant, this is all I could think about (real media file).

Scarface Michelle Pfeiffer

Scarface fans know where I’m going with this. Listen to the end of the clip if you can’t figure it out.

Bill Reiter has an amusing piece in the KANSAS CITY STAR that should’ve been written 10 years ago. Reiter on Chiefs Prez & GM Carl Peterson this season: “How the team performs will determine whether he keeps his job.

The insufferably patronizing Peterson has this gem in response: “I’ve never had anybody come up and say, ‘Boy, you’re on the hot seat and you’re going to get fired this year if you guys don’t win four games or five or six games.’ Nobody’s said it to me. Including [Chiefs Chair] Clark Hunt.

Right. Four games. That’s the benchmark. dumbass

KC Wolf leaping on intruding fan

(Chiefs fans probably hope KC Wolf could crush Carl in this way)

Peterson has preyed on the fraility (literally) of the late Lamar Hunt over the past decade, getting away with fielding consistently mediocre teams without any accountability. Hunt’s son Clark will give Peterson just enough rope to …. you know.

Bryan Curtis of the NEW YORK TIMES on legacy of WFAN-AM’s “Mike and the Mad Dog” show: “(In the age of) highly theatrical, ESPN-style shouting, we will perhaps never again have such a theater for real angst and aggression, for small moments of joy followed by gratuitous insult.

Chris Russo isn’t a shouter? What’s the difference between what he does and ESPN-style shouting? Russo was the original sports media screamer, it’s just that he’s been around forever so the media gives him a pass.

The NEW YORK POST reports that apparently Tiger Woods’ knee rehab is going well, considering he “was in Dubai yesterday to unveil the initial phase of his first golf course design, The Tiger Woods Dubai.

Tiger Woods Nike Smile

The course will be surrounded by a massive commercial development, which will feature an “amusement park called Dubailand.

An amusement park in Dubai? They’re already queueing for that IED-themed “Ride of Death.”

Barack Obama gets it right to ESPN’s Stu Scott about President Bush’s appearance at the Beijing Olympics: “When a host country is violating human rights I think we have to say something and it would have been an appropriate statement for the president to say, ‘I will not go to the Opening (Ceremony) unless we’ve seen some progress on the issue of Tibet.

Dubya Will Tap That Ass

(Dubya getting to the bottom of Beijing affairs in his own way)

The irony though is that Obama says he’d been willing to have a sitdown with the tyrants running Iran - without preconditions.

I hope I’m not alone in saying that I was disappointed that Bush attended the Olympics. In the future, when China’s countless human rights abuses are finally exposed, I don’t think history will look upon his appearance in Beijing favorably. Especially considering he acted like the whole thing was lollipops and balloons.

I’m back live on some great sports radio outlets Wednesday. At 2:30pm PT, I’ll appear on Mike Taylor’s “Sports Talk San Antonio” on Ticket 760am:

San Antonio: Mike Taylor - Ticket 760 (KTKR-AM) - 2:30pm PT

San Antonio Ticket 760 Mike Taylor Brooks

Listen Live. Taylor’s Bio Page. Taylor’s show page.

And at 1pm PT I join Matt Perrault on Big Sports 590 in Omaha:

Omaha: Matt Perrault - Big Sports 590 (KXSP-AM) - 1pm PT

Omaha Big Sports 590 Matt Perreault Brooks

Perrault’s Bio Page. Perrault’s blog.

And I’ll guest on 790 The Ticket with Jorge Sedano at 11:45am PT:

Miami: Jorge Sedano - 790 The Ticket (WAXY-AM) - 2:45p PT

790 The Ticket Brooks Joins Jorge Sedana

Listen Live. Sedano’s Audio Page. Sedano’s blog.

More shows and stations to come later this week! Want me on your show? Book an appearance here.

New photo of new SbB Girl Dorothy:

SbB Girl Dorothy