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People stopped watching the Tigers this year and we have no idea why

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Surely this must be a mistake.

Cleveland Indians v Detroit Tigers Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

The folks at Forbes made a terrible mistake today in their reporting on the ratings for Major League Baseball. How else can we explain the numbers posted regarding Detroit Tigers viewership numbers?

According to Forbes, while the Tigers continue to rank in the top 10 for most-watched teams, they fell from third to sixth this season and lost a whopping 38% of their viewership.

38%.

I mean, surely that can’t be right, can it? The Bless You Boys staff collectively put our heads together, we revisited all 162 games of the season, and we can’t make sense of it. How could a team that was relatively the same as the one on the field in 2016 lose almost 40% of its at-home viewing audience?

More people must have been going to the games in person!

However, when I put this to the test, it seems this wasn’t the case either. In 2017, 2,321,599 fans attended Tigers games, averaging 28,661 a game. 16th in the MLB. Last season the Tigers ranked 13th, with total attendance at 2,493,859. An average of 31,173.

That’s 172,260 fewer people attending games. And the Tigers played one more home game this year.

Huh.

All right, so not that, then. Did fans know how to find the games on Fox Sports? We asked several fans about their viewing habits.

“I tried to watch it, but they kept changing the guys in the booth, and I got confused about who was talking. Now I just watch Big Bang Theory reruns instead,” said Maurice Jessep from Dearborn. “Have you seen that show? That Sheldon is so funny.”

Carla Sims from Marquette had a different take on it. “The games were too [expletive deleted] long. Some of us have jobs, you know.”

And one Detroit resident who asked to remain anonymous said, “The Tigers are the football team, right? Well, of course I didn’t watch those games this summer, football isn’t on. Do I look stupid?”

Maybe it really was a mistake by Forbes, after all, because nothing we saw could indicate that a 38% drop was realistic or even possible. I mean, the team won some games and everything.

Forbes, when asked for a comment on their methodology replied, “You work where?”

Stumped for any obvious explanations, we decided to take the question right to the Tigers staff.

Tigers general manager briefly spoke with the press today, while trying to carry a stack of roughly seven thousand applications for the new manager position. “I don't know what to tell you. I wrote season ticket holders that nice letter asking them to come to games. I got rid of all the Justins and one Martinez to make it easier to remember players’ names. I can’t imagine what else people want.”

We found departing manager Brad Ausmus packing up his office and asked what he thought about the incredible drop in fan ratings.

“I guess I agree with them,” Ausmus said. “I mean, I didn't watch the games either.”