Monday, October 29, 2007

31% Commercials and Varitekiewicz

Those Fox Commercials.  For those who have complained all October about Fox Sports's reliance on a heavy dose of commercials, I timed the commercial breaks (and on-air ads and promos) for the first two-and-a-half innings in last night's game four of the World Series.  Advertising made up 31% of the total broadcast time.  That's not much different from prime-time network sitcoms, which traditionally have eight minutes of commercials (plus additional promos during the end credits) for a 30-minute show, i.e., 27%.  The complaints appear overblown.

Does Varitek Pull a Mientkiewicz?  After the final strike-out by Jonathan Papelbon, I watched the ball carefully -- mindful of Doug Mientkiewicz's steal at the end of the 2004 World Series.  Jason Varitek deliberately transferred the ball from catcher's mitt to his right hand and then shoved the final out ball into his back pocket while running to the mound to jump into Papelbon's arms.  Replays confirmed this -- as did the front-page photo on today's Boston Globe, in which you can easily see the ball bulging out of Varitek's right back pocket.  I wonder if Varitekiewicz is keeping the ball for his retirement nest egg, or if he instead walked it straight over to hand it to the Red Sox Museum curators. reports that he plans to hand the ball over to the team archivist...  but no sign that it has actually happened:  "Varitek said he had stored the ball in a safe place."

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