Wait until next year

Putting off what could be done tomorrow, today

Tag: mlb

Spring days spent listening to the Mets on the radio

earphonesOne fantastic aspect of my new job is that I sit in the sort of office where they really don’t mind if you wear earphones all day. Even better, half the people there already do, so as the new boy I don’t feel out-of-place plugging myself in and letting the day whiz by. Read the rest of this entry »

Baseball’s Opening Day (with bonus MLB predictions)

Food and drink at the baseballTonight, the 2010 baseball season begins, with the returning World Series champions facing their perennial rivals, the Boston Red Sox. Much like a new year, a new season offers all sort of promise, expectation and uncertainty. Will it be a good one or a disappointing one? Will the surprises inevitably thrown up be welcome or unwanted? Read the rest of this entry »

MLB.TV – What shall I buy? And when? (My Baseball Winter #5)

It’s getting to be that time. Spring Training isn’t so far off, and I need to start thinking of just how I’m going to go about watching baseball in 2010. MLB.TV is the obvious option. Access to every single game, from the first pitch of the first exhibition game, to the last out in the last game of the World Series.

But what option should I choose?

The past couple of seasons I’ve gone with the bog-standard MLB.TV option, and it’s been fine for me. I’m not a heavy user of this particular drug, and if the picture gets a little grainy at times I don’t mind. With the dreadful speakers on my laptop to match I can just squint and pretend I’m watching it on a cool old portable TV in a log cabin in 1976. Seems more authentic that way. I just need to be sitting in a wifebeater sucking on a cheap beer, howling at the screen. Or something. Well, it has been known.

But then again, I’ve always been a sucker for shiny advertising and clever payment options, where is only *just that little bit more* to upgrade. So, what do I get for my extra dough? Choice of home or away broadcast. Nice, but not essential. DVR controls to pause and rewind live. Now we’re talking. That could be good for when I drift off, or miss that key play as I reach for the pretzels. Multi-game view. I’d probably use it now and again, just to get a different feel for the game. Not essential though.

Well, thanks for talking me through that, dear reader. It sounds like the basic package will be just fine. Unless I feel a little flush and light-headed when I order. Feel free to convince me otherwise.

The price? According to my online currency converter findings, it’s £62 for cheap MLB.TV, and £74 for shiny, flashy MLB.TV. See what I mean about *just that little bit more*? Hmm. Damn them and their fine pricing policy.

I think it’s a little bit more than last year, and I’m no financial whiz, but maybe the exchange rate doesn’t help. Say, if you can predict the financial future let me know when I should buy. I’m not looking to fleece the worldwide markets. I just want my baseball a little cheaper so I can spend that money on, I dunno, takeaway curry, or something nice for the flat, you know?

MLB play-offs braindump #1

It’s probably high time for a disclaimer. I don’t profess to be a baseball expert. Thinking about it, I don’t profess to be an expert in anything. I’m just another voice in the crowd, yelling the first thing that comes into my head. The power of blogging, eh?

Still reading? Wow.

I’d thought about putting up some sort of play-offs predictions/preview post earlier this week. However, I figured that there were already plenty of good, and plenty of bad, posts of that nature already floating around the ether. And who needed another one?

I also think the New York Yankees are probably going to win it all. And as a New York Mets fan, I couldn’t bring myself to dedicate a whole post to that.

So, I thought I’d just assemble some random ramblings on the baseball and see where it takes us. This could be ongoing over the course of the play-offs, or could sit lonely in the archive, a #1 without a #2, let alone a #3, for company.

Finally, here’s what you’ve been waiting for – some ill-thought-out thoughts from a self-professed non-expert. And fan of hyphens, if the last sentence is anything to go by.

Throwing logic out the window, let’s start with something from before the play-offs – that amazing Twins/Tigers game from the other night. What struck me in the aftermath was the fantastic sportsmanship of the Detroit Tigers. They had just lost an epic, classic battle. There had been suspect calls that would have changed the course of the game in their favour. They’d thrown away a three game lead with four games to play. Yet, somehow, they were able to take the loss in the proper sporting way. No sour grapes here.

I was struck by Brandon Inge’s comment, “No matter what we did, it seems like it wasn’t to be. This is the best game, by far, that I’ve ever played in no matter the outcome.” If only everyone in sport could be that dignified when losing…

OK, onwards and upwards to last night, the first night of the play-offs. I was pleased to see that bog-standard normal mlb.tv has returned for international viewers catching the game online. I’m not sure where I’m going to find the time to watch all the games, so the condensed game, while very much second best, is a handy substitute when time isn’t on my side.

No real surprises in the Phillies/Rockies game. The Phillies do look vulnerable in the later innings of games, but the Rockies need to still be in the game for that to be a factor. No chance of that last night.

The Yankees looked very strong. My first thought was who can actually beat them? My second thought was perhaps the Twins made them look good, as the Twins had been on the booze after their win against the Tigers, and then on an overnight flight to New York. I doubt that is the best way to prepare for any game.

The Dodgers looked promising, beating the Cardinals without too much strain, but I very much doubt this series is finished yet. Both teams finished the season badly, but have been amongst the best over the course of the year, so a bit of a weird situation. Who will get good again first? The Dodgers, by last night’s evidence, I guess.

The other play-off starts tonight with the Angels against the Red Sox. I think this is too close to call. Oh dear. The insight has dried up before it started. More tomorrow! Maybe!

In the meantime I’m not ignoring other sports, I just think it’s worth concentrating on the fun stuff. And I’m finding the baseball a lot of fun at the moment. But I’ll try and get some other non-baseball odds and sods up soon. Maybe even more man-crushes? Wait, don’t leave me…

Twins beat the Tigers to reach the play-offs in an epic

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162 regular season games couldn’t separate them. Neither could the regulation nine innings of their one-off game for the final play-off spot. They kept playing and playing, until finally in the bottom of the twelfth inning the Twins scored, with Alexi Casilla hitting a single, to send home Carlos Gomez from second base.

It was a horrible, horrible way for the Detroit Tigers’ season to end, particularly as they had led their division for so long. Before the Minnesota Twins made their late-season push, this was their 17th win in 21 games, the Tigers looked a safe bet for the play-offs.

But what an incredible prelude to the post-season for the neutral, like myself.

The Twins now face a massive challenge. Tonight they start a series against the New York Yankees, just 20-odd hours after last night’s win. The Yankees are arguably the strongest side in the play-offs, and very much the bookie’s favourite. To make matters worse for Minnesota, the Yankees beat the Twins on each of the seven occasions the teams met during the regular season.

I enjoyed last night’s game via mlb.tv, but was greeted TBS HotCorner, rather than the standard mlb.tv I’m used to. So, instead of the feed from one of the main broadcasters, I had the option of watching from one of eight cameras stationed around the stadium. There was also the option to watch two or four camera feeds at once.

It was a strangely disorienting experience, and made me realise how used I am to being led by a television director. It was interesting in the unlikely moments, such as focusing on the catcher between pitches, or on the hitter watching as he popped a ball up.

However, I’m not sure I want this feature for the whole of the post-season. It could be infuriating as it wasn’t always clear where the ball had gone, or what was happening elsewhere on the pitch. I wouldn’t mind using it for the odd inning, but it could be a little much game after game.

But baseball is baseball, I’ll take what I can get!