This is a disclaimer: Anything and everything can happen in an LCS. Just ask the 2004 Boston Red Sox. Now, with that out of the way, get ready. The End is near.
Of course, this is the voice of television coming at you. This isn't what the die-hard baseball fan is saying; far from it. But, if the Rays are even a shadow of what they were in games 3 and 4 of the ALCS, and Cole Hamels is as good as he's been in the NLCS, well... prepare for a Phillies/Rays World Series.
If that happens, and anyone watching the games will tell you that the odds are for just that, then get ready to see the lowest World Series ratings in history. That's right. You heard me correctly. A Phillies/Rays World Series will garner numbers below the 2006 World Series between the Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals. That five game series drew an average of 11,282,000 households, and 15,812,000 viewers. Compare that to last year's World Series between the Red Sox and Rockies that drew 11,994,000 average households and an average of 17,123,000 viewers but over four games.
Plainly put, America relates to big market teams with high brand recognition. Well, that and the fact that ESPN, FOX, and TBS have fed the nation on a steady diet of Red Sox/Yankees tilts, but I digress.
They also want the key story lines. That's why everyone at FOX is on their hands and knees for a Red Sox/Dodgers matchup. Torre and Manny. Big markets with big history.
And, here's what could really drive the ratings into the ground. So far, there hasn't been a decisive game played in any of the postseason matchups. If a Phillies/Rays series goes five games, or worse, four, then the ratings drop will make that '06 World Series look like a Red Sox/Yankees World Series, if there ever was a way to play one.