The Boston Red Sox television ratings plummeted in 2020, down 54% in a season that saw the Red Sox go 24-36 after losing franchise cornerstone Mookie Betts.
The Boston Red Sox were a tough watch in 2020 and now, the ratings officially show it.
And there are a lot of different factors that could have led to this drastic drop.
For one, the Red Sox were a terrible team. They finished in the bottom five of the league standing, were nearly handed a season sweep by the New York Yankees, and scored just 4.87 runs per game. That’s nearly a full run less than the 5.56 they scored in 2019.
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And on the pitching side, the Red Sox lost Chris Sale to Tommy John surgery, David Price to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Eduardo Rodriguez to Covid-19 related health issues. That led to a team ERA of 5.58 and 5.85 runs allowed per game.
So yea, the Red Sox were really bad. But that might not be the thing that infuriated the fanbase the most.
If I were a Red Sox fan, I would be livid at the Mookie Betts trade. An MVP caliber player and franchise cornerstone traded to a perennial contender for some admittedly nice prospects and salary relief. That is not what Red Sox fans expect from their organization. They expect that Red Sox ownership will spend whatever it takes to keep a generational talent like Betts with the organization. Especially, when that franchise player led the 2018 Red Sox to a championship.
The Red Sox are not the Oakland A’s or the Tampa Bay Rays. They’re known for using their deep pockets to stay in perennial championship contention. And they wouldn’t even use those deep pockets to keep a beloved MVP in Boston. That’d be enough to get me to tune out of a brutal, drastically shortened season.
Or maybe the Boston television market got caught up in the Boston Celtics. After all, the NBA playoffs kicked off during the 2020 MLB season and the Celtics were heavily involved. Maybe the people of Boston decided that it was more worth it to tune into a winning team than watch one of the worst seasons in Red Sox history.
Whatever it was, the numbers don’t lie. The Boston Red Sox were an unwatchable product for many New England television viewers.