La Russa, Freese Make Late-Night Talk Show Rounds Following World Series Win
Members of the MLB Cardinals are beginning to hit the talk-show circuit following the team winning the World Series Friday. Tony La Russa, who announced his retirement as Cardinals manager yesterday, appeared on CBS’ “Late Show” last night and host David Letterman said, "I know baseball can really take a toll on a guy -- all of those games, Spring Training and the playoffs, night after night after night. Are you serious about retiring?” La Russa: “It's time to get somebody else a shot at that great St. Louis job. It got to where I was taking things personally. We had a strategy that I took a little personally, but it was effective. The players just get so far ahead you couldn't screw it up and it worked, but I thought this is not really the place I should be.” Letterman brought up the fact La Russa brought in the wrong pitcher during Game Five of the World Series and asked him, “Have you ever brought in two guys to pitch to one batter?” La Russa called the move "probably the most embarrassing moment" due to the time and place. He said, "I made so many excuses to cover my butt at that time that I forget exactly which one.” Letterman: “That would have followed you around for quite a long time if you had not won the Series and then retire and then that's all people would have wanted to talk about” (“Late Show,” CBS, 10/31). Meanwhile, Cardinals 3B and World Series MVP David Freese appeared on NBC’s “The Tonight Show” last night. Freese came on-stage with the MVP trophy and handed it to Leno, who asked, “How hard was it to get this through security with all of these sharp edges?" Freese: “Apparently pretty tough since I missed my flight.” Leno: “We were like panicking. ‘What time does he land? He's not on the plane? Where the hell is he?’ What happened?” Freese: “I just missed my flight.” Leno asked, “Were you partying last night?” Freese: “No, no, I was trying to get a good night's rest, but just try to make it a little more exciting” (“The Tonight Show,” NBC, 10/31).
CANADIAN RECORD FOR WORLD SERIES: Sportsnet saw its biggest World Series audience ever with an average of 1.1 million viewers tuning into Game Seven on Friday. That number broke the net's previous World Series high of 913,000 viewers for Game Four of the '04 Red Sox-Cardinals World Series. Sportsnet averaged 688,000 viewers over all seven games for this year's World Series, marking an 11% increase over last year's 622,000. This year's Series was the third most-watched World Series on Sportsnet, behind Yankees-Phillies in '09 (749,000) and Red Sox-Cardinals (742,000) (Sportsnet).
EVERYBODY LOVES A PARADE: The coverage of the Cardinals' World Series parade through downtown St. Louis and subsequent celebration at Busch Stadium "drew a number that rivaled what the decisive Game 5 of the first-round playoff series against Philadelphia generated." Nielsen reported that 26.7 percent of homes with a TV in the market "tuned in to the coverage, spread across four outlets, on Sunday." That was "better than all the Cards' regular-season contests and all first-round playoff games other than the finale." The parade coverage drew a 15.0 rating on KTVI-Fox, 9.9 on KSDK-NBC, 1.0 on FS Midwest and 0.8 on KPLR-CW (STLTODAY.com, 10/31).