Gracious Kingman, ’73 Redux, Radio Ratings

Gracious Kingman, ’73 Redux, Radio Ratings

Gracious Kingman, ’73 Redux, Radio Ratings

I never saw Dave Kingman play, but heard stories about his mammoth homers, as well as his dour personality. Everyone knows the story about how he sent a dead rat to a reporter in the mail. This Sunday, the Stockton Ports brought Kingman in as part of a Fathers Day promotion. This version of “King Kong” appears to be gracious to reporters and fans. He talks fondly about his career, and believes that collusion by the owners cost him a chance at 500 home runs. It sounds like he’s gained an appreciation for his career after all these years in retirement. This is probably a version of Kingman that surprises many who followed and covered him during his time in baseball.

If he achieved the 500 home run milestone, it could be argued that his numbers would be viewed in a similar way to some those who played in the steroid era when it comes to the Hall of Fame. Not that he wasn’t clean, but rather his one dimensional play and dour personality would keep him out. The BBWAA created these arbitrary milestones, so they would have at least owed it to Kingman to consider him strongly when he was eligible. Don’t be surprised the alleged collusion on Kingman was an attempt by the game to save them from having to deal with that scenario. For the record, I don’t believe Kingman is a Hall of Fame player. Except for that one season in Chicago (1979) where he hit 48 homers and drove in 115 runs, he basically was a one dimensional home run hitter. He didn’t walk and struck out way too much. Of course, I don’t use arbitrary milestones like the BBWAA for Hall of Fame selection.

I realize the A’s come to New York every year to play the Yankees. They were also at Shea Stadium back in 2007 (the Mets swept them back then), but seeing their green and gold uniforms yesterday gave me the itch to see if there is any video from the 1973 World Series.

Here is one that highlights Reggie Jackson’s big home run in Game 7. His antics running around the bases sure could use a high and inside response the next time up. Before there was Willie Randolph blowing a post season series with his decision making, another former Yankee turned Mets manager did it in 1973. Anyone I talk to who was watching the team at the time never seems impressed with Yogi Berra in the dugout. Was starting Seaver in Game 6 on short rest the wrong thing to do?

Bill Simmons new website, Grantland, appears to have some interesting content. Unfortunately, the suits at ESPN forgot to renew the domain the other day and it was shut down for a bit. I receive emails when any of my internet products are about to expire. I am sure there could be some sort of email alert to the person responsible for renewing the myriad of domains the company owns. Good thing people were unaware and didn’t try to swoop in and purchase it in the interim. That would have been funny.


I have been critical of radio ratings in the past. Why? Because you take a small sample of listeners, ask them to fill out their tendency, and then extrapolate it across a wider scale. These “assumptions” are then used to charge companies rates for advertising. Since I have been mentioned on the radio a few times, I know the internet traffic that comes with the mention; hint: it’s not the explosion that you would think. As a matter of fact, it was disappointing. Makes you question the “millions” of people they claim to be listening, and the “thousands” of callers on hold that the producer of the Boomer & Carton show, Al Dukes, touts.

Where am I going with this? While driving home from the Cyclones game Monday night I turned on WFAN to listen to Adam the Bull. Apparently, a caller had questioned the validity of radio ratings earlier in the night, which prompted someone that participated in the survey to call in and vouch that it’s indeed real and not rigged. He explained that he received a book (along with $1) to fill out what he listened to throughout the day. Back in the late nineties I did something similar for Nielsen with television, so I know what he is talking about.

To Adam’s credit he answered the situation in the most fair and balanced way. He acknowledged that ratings are indeed a real sample of people’s tendency, but that it’s fair to question how far their reach really is. That response gained a ton of credibility in my book. The guy in the afternoon, who justifies his entire existence in this world to these arbitrary ratings, talks most days like CBS and NBC branded him in the rear-end.

How do we know if they are extrapolating these ratings correctly? In an era of unprecedented corporate dishonesty, would it be crazy for the industry to beef up the reach of said ratings to maintain advertising dollars? Is it crazy to think the founder of NASDAQ would run a company based on fictitious profits? What makes you think people are filling out these books accurately? I can tell you I threw some stuff in mine just to fill it out. I am sure that’s happening. Also, how come I have never been called on to be part of the panel? How do we know this is a fair sample of the public? Lots of questions, no answers, and it’s something that every company should ask themselves before they pluck down big money to advertise on WFAN, or any other radio station. In other words, negotiate those ratings. You aren’t getting what you really think.

Internet traffic can be measured far more accurately than anything in television or radio. I know exactly who is on, how many, and where they are from. I know what they read and how long they spend on the site. Now, I also know you can rig your Google Ranking and traffic (there are services that help you with that), but if you really want to be honest with yourself and content, it’s fair to say the internet has a better grasp on success than radio or television.

By Mike Silva
Wednesday, 22 Jun 2011

1973 World Series, Chicago Cubs, Dave Kingman, New York Mets, Oakland Athletics, Reggie Jackson, Shea Stadium, Tom Seaver, Willie Randolph, Yogi Berra


Login or register to post comments
Share |