Sports | March 31, 2018 5:00 am

The Yankees Being Consistently Good Means Great Things for Baseball

When the New York team is doing well, their fans tune in.

Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees is welcomed by manager Aaron Boone #17 and teammates during pre-game introductions on Opening Day before the start of MLB game. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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The Yankees rarely have an off year. For the MLB’s flagship franchise, their lowest point since the early 1990s came two years ago, when they were off to an 8-16 start and were never really a factor in the AL East race. They were irrelevant and had no star attraction. But then in August, Gary Sanchez started hitting home runs, Arron Judge was called up and broke out in 2017 and the team returned to the postseason. The Yankees are back to what they think is their deserved location: the center of the baseball universe. ESPN writes that the Yankees will always be baseball’s ultimate foil, and that’s a good thing for the sport overall. More people pay attention when the Yankees are in the postseason than when they aren’t, and there are numbers to back that up. Game 7 of last year’s American League Championship Series because the Yankees and Astros was the highest-rated program in the four-year history of FS1. Sports ratings, in general, may be declining, but that game was the most-watched LCS matchup since the 2019 NLCS, which appeared on Fox. In 2009, when the Yankees were in the World Series, viewership increased 6.2 million per game from the year before. The next year, when the Yankees weren’t in it, there were 5.1 million viewers per game. The Yankees bring in more casual fans across the country as well, both on TV and at the ballpark. They draw well on the road. You can root against the team with every ounce of strength you have, but still, pay attention to them.