Watch the Game?

Is America's favorite pastime past its time?

By Colin Allen, published on October 1, 2002 - last reviewed on June 9, 2016

America's favorite pastime was profoundly ignored on television
screens across the nation during this year's World Series, as the Anaheim
Angles and San Francisco Giants played some of the least watched games in
baseball history. The season now officially over, many are wondering why
it ended not with a bang, but a whimper.

Game three in the series, played on Wednesday, October 23, was
overshadowed by the popularity of the fourth episode of the dating show,
"The Bachelor." Many are predicting that when the numbers are crunched
later this week, the 2002 World Series will rank as either the least- or
second least-watched ever. The 2000 series between New York's Mets and
Yankees currently holds the least popular record.

Some factors in poor fanfare may include regionalism (since both
teams hail from the same state) and the fact that the games were
broadcast at too late an hour for Central and East Coast viewers. There
is also a sense that the sport is going through a general lull in
popularity. "It occurs to me that baseball has lost some of its appeal
because it is less personal," says Daniel Kirschenbaum, Ph.D., a sports
psychologist from Northwestern University Medical School. "Players keep
moving and there is less ability to identify with a team."

The Anaheim Angles beat the San Francisco Giants four games to