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#10081

tgrfan23

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Posted Mar 28, 2012 @ 3:22 PM

I guess it's because they are playing in Japan, but isn't it about a week too early for real games?

Yes. Opening Day for the remainder of the league is next Wednesday. Personally, I miss the fact that it used to coincide with the NCAA Men's Basketball National Title game, but somebody somewhere apparently decided that was too much going on for one day.
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#10082

whee whee piggy

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Posted Mar 31, 2012 @ 5:00 PM

My cable service didn't sign a contract with my team's channel, so I've been forced to watch MLB for my fix.

It's an opportunity to see a bunch of teams I'm not familiar with unless they make the weekly national games or the playoffs. (Which means I've seen a lot of Sox, Yanks, Cardinals and Braves, all teams I hate except the Red Sox, who I tolerate.)

Unfortunately, it means hearing a lot of the team announcers. Am currently suffering with the Cubs' staff. How can a storied franchise like this team have such idiots? So far there's been a long discussion of wearing long sleeves under a jersey, how stupid the double-sided batting helmets look, and why the decal is missing from a player's helmet.

I'm also intrigued by the job MLB does to promote the game on their channel. They have these Fan Cave ads that are driving me crazy. So far, they're making me dislike Matt Kemp, a player I've always liked from what little I've seen of him. But him going on and on creepily about Beast Mode? Whatever. And only Ricky Henderson gets to talk about himself in the 3rd person.

Hearing Batista whine about being this nobody for so long until he suddenly became this fabulous player only makes me assume he's juiced, which I'm sure wasn't MLB's intention.

I appreciate that they're really showcasing the African-American players in these ads, but they make Brandon Phillips into a jerk--"I love being the center of attention," and don't bother to identify the young man from Chicago whose parents were teachers and that somehow makes him a better ball player. I consider myself pretty familiar with most of the famous players and I have no idea who this guy is. Please just put his name and team somewhere in his clip!

ETA: Had to change the channel. Cubs announcer explaining what a Replacement Level Player is very slowly as though explaining Quantum Physics, and btw, wrong. Something tells me that having a stathead running the Cubs is going to be very hard on these barstool lumps.

Edited by whee whee piggy, Mar 31, 2012 @ 5:14 PM.

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#10083

smittykins

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Posted Mar 31, 2012 @ 6:54 PM

and don't bother to identify the young man from Chicago whose parents were teachers and that somehow makes him a better ball player. I consider myself pretty familiar with most of the famous players and I have no idea who this guy is. Please just put his name and team somewhere in his clip!


I think that's Curtis Granderson(Yankees outfielder).
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#10084

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Posted Mar 31, 2012 @ 10:00 PM

I went to the Braves game at Disney today, versus the Tigers, and even though I was there to root for the Braves it was a total thrill seeing Justin Verlander on the mound for Detroit. The game was called due to rain (a deluge, actually) at the end of the sixth inning and the Braves lost, 2-1.

It's pretty cool that in the three random spring games I attended (all in different parks) I got to see the defending World Champion Cardinals in game one, Stephen Strasburg in game two, and Justin Verlander today.
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#10085

MittenGirl

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Posted Apr 1, 2012 @ 12:30 AM

Smittykins, you are correct. That is Curtis Granderson talking about his parents. I guess MLBN figures since he is a Yankee (gag) everyone would recognize him, since they show about 200 Yankee games a year. You can bet if he was still a Tiger they would have identified him. Actually, they probably wouldn't have used him in the first place.

There seem to be very few "other team" announcers that are listen-able. I guess the babbling about inane topics can be mildly more entertaining when it is your team's announcers do it. I tried to sit through a game the Red Sox announcers were doing and Holy Crap were they awful. Nattering on for at least two innings about their new shirts. I am not sure whether they were even aware of the game going on in front of them. (I only watched because they were playing the Tigers.)

My opinion is that non-announcer special guests should only be on the air on pre- and post-game shows. When you add a guest the announcers seem to lose focus on the game. The Tigers announcers had Dave Dombrowski in the booth today and it was driving me nuts. The guests never seem to be sure how to not disrupt the flow of the game and the announcers seem afraid to interrupt the guest to actually mention what is going on on the field.

Of course, my unpopular opinion is that Harry Caray sucked as an announcer because he seemed to prefer to babble about everything but the game. Sending greetings to some nun on her 86th birthday, saying hello to a fouth grade class, yakking about last night's dinner. Gah! Talk about the damn game, you moron!

Edited by MittenGirl, Apr 1, 2012 @ 12:33 AM.

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#10086

whee whee piggy

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Posted Apr 1, 2012 @ 5:28 AM

Thanks guys, you're right, it is Granderson. It's funny how you can't recognize a player out of uniform and without the cap/helmet. He looks so much leaner in uniform. It's just odd, compared to the other ads, that there's no identification on him at all! If he wasn't doing so well, I'd be worried if I were him that the Yankees were planning on trading him this season and MLB wants to be able to keep using the ads.

There seem to be very few "other team" announcers that are listen-able. I guess the babbling about inane topics can be mildly more entertaining when it is your team's announcers do it.


I think you're right. My NL team is the Giants, and I can listen to John Miller natter on for hours. I'll never forget the time he and his Junior Reporter went on for about four innings about some unusual bird outside the announcing booth. They finally went on google to identify it...Serious, the whole thing was a work of art. But if I wasn't a fan...Maybe not.

But as a Mariners fan, I consider the remaining announcers pretty bad since Dave Neihaus passed away, yet when I listen to these other yahoos...
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#10087

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 9:16 AM

whee whee piggy: Hearing Batista whine about being this nobody for so long until he suddenly became this fabulous player only makes me assume he's juiced, which I'm sure wasn't MLB's intention.

I think the same thing every time that commercial comes on. Ugh.
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#10088

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Posted Apr 2, 2012 @ 8:06 PM

I just caught the last 15 minutes of Game 162, which is about the the incredible events on the last day of the 2011 season. I thought it was well done, and will be looking forward to seeing the whole thing. My favorite parts were the shots of the guys in the MLB studio losing their shit as the night went on.
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#10089

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Posted Apr 3, 2012 @ 5:51 AM

Sounds like must-see TV to me. Who is airing it, MLBN?

Sports Illustrated ran a terrific article about game 162 toward the end of the year. Too bad they were only a couple of months late in being timely.
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#10090

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Posted Apr 3, 2012 @ 11:39 AM

I'd like to watch that too. I just did a quick search and it looks like the next showing is on ESPN2 on Wednesday at 2PM (I think that's Eastern time).
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#10091

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Posted Apr 3, 2012 @ 1:06 PM

That's the only time I see it showing as well. I don't have a DVR, so it's disappointing that it won't be running when I can watch it. One thing I liked about it was that the producers were smart enough to let the story tell itself. The part I saw consisted mostly of game clips arranged in chronological order (with a couple of shots of Harold Reynolds literally bouncing off the walls at the MLB studio). Occasionally they would superimpose the time or win probability (when Papelbon took the mound Boston was a 95 percent favorite to win).


It just seems strange that they would bury a good documentary about one of the most incredible days in the history of sports.

Edited by xaxat, Apr 3, 2012 @ 1:06 PM.

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#10092

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Posted Apr 3, 2012 @ 7:16 PM

No DVR for me either and I'm at work during the daay so, well, crap.
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#10093

smittykins

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Posted Apr 4, 2012 @ 5:47 PM

I *have* a DVR and I missed it! Sheee-it!

Weird setup MLB has this year--the Cards and Marlins play tonight, some other teams start tomorrow, but the Yanks don't play until Friday...
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#10094

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Posted Apr 5, 2012 @ 9:23 AM

I think it's weird that the Cards and Marlins are only playing that one game, then it's a day off for the Cards and then a 3 game set in Milwaukee. Weird. I guess the WS Champs and the team with the new stadium get the pleasure of participating in the first game?

And while I didn't watch the whole game, I thought the ESPN crew did a pretty good job of commentating.

Some of the camera angles were a little weird to me, though. In that near-double play (shoot, I don't remember what inning that was) where Berkman was convinced that he'd gotten the guy out at first and was nearly off the field before he realized the ump had called him safe, ESPN showed a replay and the players were barely in frame for a lot of the play.

But that's my only complaint, based on what I saw.

Also, I did manage to catch the Game 162 documentary. I agree that it was well done. It's worth watching, if you can manage to catch it.
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#10095

LT

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Posted Apr 5, 2012 @ 10:25 AM

I guess the babbling about inane topics can be mildly more entertaining when it is your team's announcers do it. I tried to sit through a game the Red Sox announcers were doing and Holy Crap were they awful. Nattering on for at least two innings about their new shirts.

One of my favorite segments on Intentional Talk is "Baseball Announcers Filling Time" because it is funny to hear all the nothing the announcers talk about. Rose and Millar said yesterday that the Red Sox announcing team were the best for giving them crap to fill the segment. Of course that is a sixty-second bit--I wouldn't be able to sit through innings of it.

Edited by LT, Apr 5, 2012 @ 10:26 AM.

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#10096

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Posted Apr 5, 2012 @ 2:12 PM

I need to watch Intentional Talk more often since I heart Kevin Millar.
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#10097

livinggreen

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Posted Apr 6, 2012 @ 10:30 AM

WTH?! What was the point in rolling out Mohammed Ali to do the "first pitch" at the Marlins new BB stadium? Clearly he is in no physical shape to do anything. It was a freakin side show and (imo) uncalled for.
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#10098

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Posted Apr 6, 2012 @ 11:09 AM

The slow roll out of opening day really detracts from how exciting and fun it used to be. Except for fans of the two teams, no one really cared about the official opening day in Japan. A few more people probably cared about the the Marlins game, but the season really didn't feel like it started until yesterday.

I agree livinggreen, that was painful to watch. I was also pissed at the amount of positive coverage Jeff Loria received during the game. Now that McCourt is out, he's regained his spot as the biggest con artist in baseball.
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#10099

Perfect Xero

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Posted Apr 6, 2012 @ 10:00 PM

WTH?! What was the point in rolling out Mohammed Ali to do the "first pitch" at the Marlins new BB stadium?


Why did the defending WS champs have to go on the road to open the season in Miami, even though they weren't even playing an actual series with each other?
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#10100

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Posted Apr 7, 2012 @ 11:54 PM

Great trivia question and answer on the Colorado broadcast: Jamie Moyer has faced 8.9% of all hitters, ever.
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#10101

ikar

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Posted Apr 9, 2012 @ 9:12 PM

Jamie Moyer has faced 8.9% of all hitters, ever.

Wow. What a stat! Is Rivera the 2nd oldest pitcher to Moyer? I wonder what his percentage is.

Well, I'll ignore the Red Sox bad start so far, and chalk it up to "small sample size." But it's good to know that in game 4 tonight, I was able to see Dustin Pedroia hit one to La Luna! If it's gonna be a long year, I'll be needing Don and Jerry to keep bringing the funny.
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#10102

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 6:09 AM

That is a great stat! If it was flipped to the batter's perspective I wonder what was the percentage of pitchers Julio Franco hit over his very long career.
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#10103

clare 32

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Posted Apr 11, 2012 @ 6:16 PM

Alrighty then! The Red Sox have started the season with no more beer and chicken in the clubhouse as per new manager Valentine. But, the same old crap as last September. No clutch hitting again. The left fielder is awol because of his thumb and probably will be as ineffective as last year too, no matter what the owner and/or manager do to coddle him. Very bad signing. As bad as J.D. Drew!

Last Saturday's Fox Game of the Week was an embarrassment.

It's going to be a long year!

Edited by clare 32, Apr 11, 2012 @ 6:18 PM.

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#10104

ikar

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Posted Apr 11, 2012 @ 6:33 PM

Speaking of the Fox Game of the Week... I'm kind of curious about the black-out rules and how other baseball fans across the country feel. The stupidity of the black-out rules in this day/age etc just pisses me off to no end, considering I pay for Extra Innings. I lurk on the Red Sox/ Sons of Sam Horn board (SOSH) and there is talk about "how to end the black-outs." If a petition/ boycott of advertisers is able to get MLB/ Fox to wake up and join the 21st Century, would twoppers sign such an initiative? Nothing's really rolled out yet; although the season just started.

How do you stand?
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#10105

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Posted Apr 12, 2012 @ 5:47 AM

Being that I don't live in a major league market I guess I'm not sure about the reasoning behind the blackouts. Is it if the home game doesn't sell out? Or is it the local team broadcaster has rights over the national one?
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#10106

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Posted Apr 12, 2012 @ 12:25 PM

Thanks for that SOSH link. Good posts over there.

I always thought blackouts were because the team owners didn't want the home team televised if there were empty seats. Their way to get the fans to go to the ballpark to fill the seats if they wanted to see the game.
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#10107

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Posted Apr 12, 2012 @ 12:34 PM

I'm not a baseball fan but NFL blackouts are basically a team's way to try and force people in that city to buy a ticket and I assume that's the same for MLB teams. The theory is, "You like us and want to see us play? Then you better make sure you buy a ticket to a game because if we don't sell out you won't be able to see us play on tv".
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#10108

ikar

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Posted Apr 12, 2012 @ 1:49 PM

No, baseball blackouts are different from the NFL "seat percentage sold" blackout rules. There's always a bigger issue with the NFL and home games and their fans since they only get 8 regular season games on their home turf, vs the 81 games in baseball.

MLB sells their Extra Innings package... and STILL restricts what games you can see.

I read through the wikipedia entry, and it seems dead on for the various rules:

Game broadcasts of a major league team in its home market are blacked out in that area if the same game is on the Extra Innings schedule. In most cases, these games can be seen locally on a broadcast or cable/satellite network. (If both feeds are available, as noted above, they are both blacked out.)

Nationally-broadcast games on Fox or ESPN are not made available on Extra Innings. Chicago Cubs and White Sox games broadcasted nationally on WGN America are also blacked out occasionally.

Fox has exclusive broadcasting rights for Saturday afternoon games starting 3 hours prior to first pitch of their scheduled game through 3 hours after the start of their scheduled first pitch. For the majority of the 2010 season, an MLB on Fox telecast is scheduled to start at 4:10pm ET. Any games starting prior to 1:10pm ET and after 7:05pm ET will be shown on MLB Extra Innings.

ESPN has exclusive broadcast rights for Sunday evening games. Any game starting after 5:00 PM Eastern time on Sundays will not be broadcast on MLB Extra Innings. ESPN also televises a number of other games throughout the week. These, however, are not blacked out.


There are various problems as well, with MLB having "maps" of restrictions, that where you live determines what games you can see, even if you live hundreds of miles away from the cities. Read this article about what it takes to see games if you live in North Carolina. If I lived there, I would have gone postal and done something dangerous to Bud Sellg by now. And it's maddening, and MLB has done NOTHING about this. And they complain that there are fewer people watching games, or getting kids interested?

Major League Baseball simply does not care enough about this issue to take any action, and it's a black mark against everyone in the commissioner's office that they continue to actively discourage people from being able to enjoy a significant portion of their product. Or, you know, MLB could actually fix these anti-fan, anti-growth-of-the-sport, anti-revenue-production, anti-logic rules once and for all. We want to watch baseball. We will pay for the right to do so. Just let us.


So what that SOSH thread theoretically is about, is to boycott the advertisers who support MLB and their ridiculous blackouts. Because if you tell Scott's that you won't buy their seeds for your lawns, or tell Chevrolet, Lexus, Jeep and Hyundai that you won't buy one of their cars (that's what I decided to do, and I've been calling the auto reps this week) perhaps MLB will do something about it if we hurt their advertisers. It's tough to talk to a rep at a company like I did yesterday. She wasn't even a baseball fan, let alone follow a team or know anything about these rules. But I did get across to her, that I wouldn't be buying their product any more, and why. She seemed very concerned about THAT, let me tell you.

Of course, petitions and social media work better. I'll let you know if something else like that starts up.

Edited by ikar, Apr 12, 2012 @ 1:54 PM.

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#10109

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Posted Apr 12, 2012 @ 3:13 PM

Bravo, thanks for the great post. I knew about Fox and ESPN having exclusive broadcast rights on Saturday and Sunday but being that I don't live in a major league market and I'm hundreds of miles away from my favorite team, so I wouldn't get their games anyway, I've never personally been impacted by a blackout. That being said it sucks for those who are so count me in as helping to fight the good fight.
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#10110

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Posted Apr 13, 2012 @ 2:11 AM

Blackouts in baseball are more about the team broadcasts, not attendance (like in the NFL). I subscribe to Extra Innings because I'm a Rockies fan that lives in the Bay Area. When the Rockies are playing the Giants, the Extra Innings game is blacked out and I have to watch the Giants broadcast (the same is true for MLB.tv subscribers). Even though I'd rather see my team's broadcast if possible, I understand wanting to preserve viewership and ratings of the local broadcast (and many teams do get very good tv ratings--that's probably why they haven't been more motivated to fix it). That's a huge source of revenue for most teams, and it makes sense to promote that.

So I don't have a problem with blackouts in theory, as long as a team's games are actually available locally in the blackout area. The real problem is the map in some cases is totally nonsensical and outdated. I know there are some parts of the country where teams are blacked out even though their broadcasts aren't available and haven't been for years. I think that's the biggest issue. If a team wants to claim a territory, their broadcasts need to actually be available. If they are, I don't have an issue with blacking out Extra Innings or MLB.tv. If they aren't, you're essentially providing viewers zero options for watching a given team, and that's a big problem.

The Saturday Fox blackouts and Sunday night ESPN blackouts are a different issue. The Sunday one doesn't seem like a huge problem, because I think most teams would rather play Sunday afternoon anyway. The Saturday Fox blackouts have two potential problems, both of which crop up a handful of times every season: (1) Fox has a handful of games each Saturday, and which one is shown varies by market. If the home team is in one of them, that will always be shown. But I've had days where the Rockies were playing in a Saturday Fox game but I got stuck with some other game (not even always a Giants game) and no way to watch my team. Sometimes the game shown in a market (if not the local team) doesn't even make much sense to me. Why should I care about the Mets/Phillies, for example, if there's an important divisional game between the Rockies/Dodgers that actually effects the local team? (2) Most often teams that aren't part of one of the Fox games play before or after the blackout window and it isn't an issue. But every once in awhile Fox either drops a game relatively last minute or a team just decides they want to have a game during that time and the game ends up available to nobody anywhere. This is really frustrating. Sometimes I blame the team itself (why purposely schedule a game during a time when you know ahead of time nobody can watch?), but sometimes a team gets caught being flexed out by Fox and they have no choice (I also had a makeup game fall into this window once, but that was an unusual and unintended circumstance). I get that Fox wants flexibility to have the most compelling games, but teams should either be given enough notice that they could reasonably change the game time, or they should be allowed to break the blackout.

(Sorry so long. I've had these kinds of discussions multiple times over the past few seasons on the Rockies blog I belong to.)

Edited by redpencil, Apr 13, 2012 @ 2:18 AM.

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