That sound you heard is Nielsen ratings hitting the floor. Not exactly a sexy match-up with the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers playing for Major League Baseball’s top prize.

Chances are the executives at Fox are angry.


They almost got a rematch of titans in this year’s World Series but instead were left with one team that hasn’t won the Fall Classic in 56 years and another that had never won a postseason series until this year.


That sound you heard is Nielsen ratings hitting the floor. Not exactly a sexy match-up with the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers playing for Major League Baseball’s top prize.


Despite this World Series having the potential to be a ratings disaster, there’s a very good chance it could be one of the best we’ve seen in awhile.


Take the Game 1 pitchers, for example, with two-time reigning NL?Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum going against crafty southpaw Cliff Lee. In what many have called “The Year of the Pitcher,”?it’s fitting those two would hook up in the World Series opener.


The series also has its share of colorful characters. On the Giants alone you have the long-haired Lincecum and closer Brian Wilson and his magnificent beard. Texas has Nolan Ryan in the front office, Ron Washington on its bench managing and players like Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Elvis Andrus and Michael Young, who are fun to watch.


For years Texas had a strong lineup, but little or no pitching. Slowly they have built a good staff, and while they may not mash the same way they used to in the late 1990s, they are far more balanced.


San Francisco has been pitching-rich in recent years but could never score enough runs to compete with heavy-hitting National League teams. The Giants’ offense still lacks punch, but like Texas, they have struck a good balance and have had great luck with finding players off the scrap heap like Cody Ross, Juan Uribe and Pat Burrell, among others, who have contributed in a big way.


The Giants can be fun because of the different personalities and the camaraderie the team has seemingly developed because there are so many cast-offs playing so well at the same time.


Meanwhile, Texas has a young team that can hit the ball out of the ballpark — 17 home runs in 11 postseason games so far — and be aggressive on the bases with Andrus at the top and even guys like Hamilton, Cruz and Kinsler.


Texas has also stolen 15 bases and been caught only twice. Andrus has seven of those steals, but Hamilton — apparently all healed from his broken ribs suffered last month — is running more, too. The slugging lefty stole only eight bases during the regular season, but he has four in the playoffs.


The Giants have benefitted from great starting pitching and excellent work out of the bullpen, but unsung heroes have played a role. A weak offense has managed to score just enough runs thanks to Ross coming out of nowhere to win the NLCS?MVP or rookie Buster Posey quickly turning into a star on the biggest stage, and a veteran like Aubrey Huff, used to playing for a lot of bad teams in his career, showing that he knows how to be a winner.


Also, who couldn’t feel good for Hamilton??Coming back from alcohol and drug addictions and having a ginger ale celebration with his teammates and seeing him shine in the ALCS is a wonderful story.


Or how about Washington? The Rangers’ manager admitted before the season to using cocaine, and the team stuck with him - and he rewarded them with the greatest season in franchise history.


Plus guys like Huff or Young, who played so well for so long, yet never had been in the postseason, and now have a chance to win a World Series ring.


Also, don’t forget the story of Benjie Molina. The Rangers’ catcher is guaranteed to get a ring and World Series share since he started the year with the Giants and was traded to Texas.


This World Series may not have the cache of a Yankees-Phillies match-up that will bring lots of eyeballs to the TV sets, but it could be just as competitive, if not more so, and should provide plenty of great theater.


Prediction: Rangers in seven games.