Siberian Baseball

Monday, April 20, 2009

Show that man "The Crazy"

It seems that Lin Brehmer is getting his way so far this year.

Now I'm wondering if the term "out of left field" really comes from the Cubs' past. The geography certainly lines up right.

(And I know the Rube Waddell story is accepted as fact, even if it seems a little hard to believe at times.)

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

What does MLB have to lose by lifting blackout restrictions?

Like most baseball fans, I am not independently wealthy. This means that I am forced to spend large chunks of my time on this earth working to pay for all sorts of things like food, shelter and Xbox games.

Why must I do this without live baseball being streamed directly to my laptop?

As I understand it, the big reason behind blackouts is to push fans to the games (The Bill Wirtz Theory of Fan Aliention), to punish a fan base for failing to get off their lazy asses and buy tickets (we're looking at you, Minnesota Vikings fans) and to drive fans crazy by denying them a few moments of peace by watching an inning or two of the home team while they eat lunch at work.

There are certain instances - especially regarding technology - where policies that once made a lot of sense are suddenly made less sensible. This seems to be one of those cases.

While the easiest solution would be to find a fan in a town you have zero interest in (like Toronto) and swap logins with them, I question why the league hasn't lifted blackouts on the web. I can watch both Cubs and White Sox games (home and away) at home, but I'm guessing that hauling in a TV to my desk might raise a few eyebrows.

No one in their right mind is going to opt for a streamed ballgame above high def or going to a game in person. This is pretty much a last, best option for those of us stuck at work during day games or forced to stay late from time to time.

When I don't see the local teams on the MLB Extra Innings package, it makes sense - the games are on local TV anyways. When I can't see them on a web broadcast, it just makes me think MLB doesn't want to be my friend anymore.

Does anyone have an explaination for these odd blackout rules?


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Oh, Canada... How could you?

I know that baseball probably isn't much of a draw in Canada, but there have to be a few fans scattered throughout the country, right?

I bring this up because the following appears in the line items for's online streaming package:

All live Toronto Blue Jays games are blacked out throughout the entire country of Canada.

Ouch. Sucks to be a fan of the Jays.


Monday, April 06, 2009

Play Ball

In observance of Opening Day for the Cubs and Sox, the Tribune posted a photo album of famous first pitchers through the years.

(They missed my favorite honoree, Chewbacca because that was at Fenway. Also, I never knew Chewy was a lefty.)

The album raises a few questions for fans with a discerning eye and a secret hope that they may some day be asked to throw out a first pitch for being the best lawn and garden salesman at Sears or the bestest blogger ever.

Like, mitt or no mitt? You won't need to catch a damn thing, so why bring the leather? Jersey open or closed? For that matter, should you have your own name on the jersey? Because Michael Jordan wore a Sammy Sosa jersey when he took the mound at Wrigley.

I think the balance falls between looking like you're trying too hard and looking like you really don't care in case you suck. I think the open jersey look says, "I'm here to do this, but I'm a celebrity, so I'm far too cool and busy to practice tossing a ball beforehand."

On the other side of the fence is the desire to really suit up - some in their astronaut suits - before they take the field. I'm not sure how far people can push the envelope in this regard, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't lose a little respect for Will Ferrell when he opted out on the baseball pants and spikes combo.

That's an outfit to give Chewbacca a run for his money.

(Image from: The Boston Globe)


Wednesday, April 01, 2009 shows it has a sense of humor

It's the usual storyline, but for some reason, the headline struck me as funny tonight. (I'd like to point out that this likely the 100th anniversary of the first Cubs fan saying, "This is the year.")

Tonight, as the third story on the home page was the headline, "Once again, this could be the year."

It seems like even might be sick of its own hype. Just look at the monster they've created.

* Maybe they want to re-evaluate running commercials with Dontrelle Willis in them for right now? Just let the poor guy lay low for a few weeks until he feels a bit better?

* God, how I've missed the wit and wisdom of Mark Grace. On the pre-season replay MLB Network is running right now, there was just a 30-second conversation about how he was not a "stats" guy.

To kill time, Grace was being asked if he would be following and of a host of categories from WHIP to BABIP. After each stat listed, Grace would just utter a "nope" or a "nuh-uh."

Preseason baseball is the best, especially when the announcers just assume no one is listening anyways. It's like a real life Harry DOyle, but with a little less alcohol.