Tagged: MLB.com

Happy Birthday? We’re still playing Baseball

I probably won’t win any award from Mr. Newman for this one, but Happy Birthday MLBlogs. Here’s a cake with one candle on it. Make a wish, blow it out, move on to next year. I’m not saying that a one-year isn’t a big deal, (just ask the ball and chain,) but still, it’s only an anniversary – the best part is what’s yet to come. Let’s celebrate the past, but keep your eyes on the prize and look ahead. I mean, I’m not really sure what to make of it. However, I refuse to make a special Happy Birthday post just to get some run, or have a posting party and make 7 posts to grab some more run from the Update list. This day is like any other on BHGM, so if you do something stupid I’ll still call you out on it. Tonight I may write something highlighting some favorite posts I’ve made, just because that’s something I’ve wanted to do for awhile. Or I’ll go all out and release that post on BHGM’s Birthday, which happens to be the day after my Mother’s. (Happy Birthday Mom.) Our first real post here was made at 5pm on April 29th, 2005. That’s only 11 days after the first ever post, which has got to make me one of the first guys here on the scene.

I don’t really remember what the Blogosphere was like back then. I know there was a "Look who’s blogging now" panel, but if I recall correctly it might not have even had a scroll bar. There was a recently updated thing as well but I’m pretty sure that if you updated, you’d be on that list for a couple days. I know no one left me any comments. I know that I had no clue who Mark Newman was. There was certainly no MLBlogosphere blog, nor were there any Spheroids, those are really new. Two games from yesterday I’m gonna hit on today, White Sox v. Royals and Tigers v. Indians.

White Sox v. Royals, 4-17-06
Jose_contreras
Well, the final score says it all. White Sox win, 9-0. Royals get 1 hit, Sox get 12. Contreras allowed only 1 hit and 1 walk in his 7 innings, using only 101 shots. He even had a no hitter going through most of the game, until he gave up a double – the only Royals hit all day – to Mark "We won’t be a bad team this year, but if we are, we’re gonna battle all season long" Grudzielanek. Well, the Royals are gonna have to fight World War III if they want to avoid being a ‘bad team’ this season. Even then, my money is on PFC Grudzielanek failing. That said, I’m still trying to figure out the puzzle that is Jose Contreras. He’s been on fire lately, winning his last 10 decisions in a row. Now, a lot of this is because he was/is playing for a good team. A lot of it’s luck. However, the old Contreras (left) doesn’t win 10 straight if his life depended on it. It used to be a coin flip with this guy; he’d either go out and tear you up and make you look like a fool, or he’d give up 7 runs in 1.2IP and be out of the game. Who knows, but the White Sox are better than the Royals.

Tigers v. Indians, 4-17-06
10-2. I’m embarrassed. Robertson had a (really) bad outing, Shelton homered. End of story. I hope.

Oh yeah. I was bummin around John’s ‘Rays from across the Pond‘ blog and saw that the Rays swept the Royals. Heck, I had no idea they were playing each other – honestly. Maybe us Yankee fans were giving each other chest bumps and high fives when the we swept the Royals, but I’m going to ignore that. I’ll never miss a chance to kick a team when they’re down, so I have to say something here – The Rays are bad. The Royals are much worse.

 

Check out yesterday’s ‘things that won’t happen this year.’ Judging from the comments (0) no one read it. I’m encouraging you to do so, because I actually thought it was pretty good. Also, so I don’t forget, we’ve added the Philippines and Portugal to the Visitor list. We also added  Aruba, Singapore, and Burkina Faso to the list earlier.

We’re back!

Finally resolved the MLB.TV issue! Here’s the story:

I was starting to get really upset with MLB.TV. Say you’re on the FAQ, and you want to know the answer to the question, "How do I access my MLB All Access Subscription?" The answer?

All Access has several features including MLB.TV, Gameday Audio, Condensed
Games, Baseball’s Best and much more! Please click on the link below to learn
more.

The link takes you here -a page with the 2005 World Series archives. Great. Out of three emails sent to tech support, (two of them where sent four weeks ago,) a total of zero have received responses. I suggest a new slogan – "MLB.com. Where baseball is always on… most of the time."

But! The problem is solved! I tried to watch again this afternoon around 5p – after spending the day calling tech support and getting a busy signal – and see a message telling me that, "If you’re a 2005 subscriber and got an auto-renewal notice but cannot access your subscription, please note that your credit card could not be processed. You will have to order again. You will not be charged twice." Heck, my statement tells me that my order was definitely processed on the 2nd of April, 2006, when MLB.com billed my Discover card $99.99. But whatever, I’ll give it a try. I figure that if they do charge me twice, (which they most certainly will,) I have a year to try to get through and convince them to drop the charge. Then again, when I was unable to access my blog for a week, they did try to convince me that I hadn’t paid since last April… oh well. Now it works again, fantastic.

Right now all that’s on is the Padres v. Marlins, which is probably the last game I would ever choose to watch. A team that won their ‘division‘ after a hot finish put them two games above .500 v. a team that started the season with two of their eight position players with more than 100 MLB AB’s. What a joke. Also, can someone tell the crowd and the team that this is the Marlin’s home opener, not Spring Training? The stadium is silent and half-full, and the players look like a poltergeist is holding a gun to their heads.

What does this mean? It means that we’re gonna start talking baseball on here again. No more rambling, bitter, and distraught posts. We’re back to good again. See you guys again tonight. Also, two comments for the last four posts? I know they were bad, but they weren’t that bad. C’mon you guys.

What the heck is going on here?

I haven’t made any posts so far today because:

1) I’ve been playing Sim City 2000, because
2) MLB.TV isn’t working.

Uh, why not? It seems I go to watch the game, and it tells me I need to purchase an MLB.TV subscription package. Well, according to my credit card statement, I definitely paid $100 for the All Access Package a few days ago. So stop lying to me and give me my Baseball.

Appreciate all the comments, folks.

White Sox, Pujols, Barry, and geography

I’ve been hoping to post a lot more in the last few days than I have been. But, alas, I have real responsibilities. However, I did have a chance to watch the Cleveland v. Chicago game yesterday afternoon as I wrote a calculus paper. A calc paper? Those are never good. Here are some thoughts on that game and more.

Indians v. White Sox – April 5th, 2006: Indians Win, 4-3 in 11 innings
Tribe05x200_1
One series doesn’t tell you jack about a team. But in this game, the Sox had plenty of chances to win and didn’t cash in on any of them. That said, I wasn’t able to watch the game that close so I’m going to limit my comments to things I really know about.
Cliff Lee had a solid outing… sorta. He was cruising until the 6th inning, when, as I recall, he basically let Ben Broussard and Victor Martinez collide while shooting for the same pop-up, hit two batters, and walked another. In other words, the Sox got on base because Lee let them. They ended up scoring two runs that inning, which is the only reason they were even in the game. Lee only had 1K but allowed only 4 hits and a walk, plus the 2 HBP. I think this was a cause of the beginning of the season jitters/not physically ready thing. The rest of the Cleveland bullpen held down the Sox without allowing one run in 5.2IP – in fact, they only allowed 4 hits. Apparently, things aren’t as advertised. Cleveland’s bullpen isn’t terrible, (duh,) and the Sox offense isn’t invincible. Chicago, you had your run, now it’s time to wait again. See the previous post for the Cubs No World Series Thing.

Pedro is gonna get slapped around tonight
Here’s another bold prediction. Pedro isn’t ready to pitch. If it wasn’t Pedro, and it wasn’t at Shea Stadium – which no one seems to notice is a pretty solid pitchers park – there’s no way you start your guy with 7 innings pitched during Spring Training. It helps that it’s also against the Nationals, which are as much of a mess the Devil Rays or Marlins. Pedro is heading down, people. And apparently, they’re finally replacing Shea. Why? From what I’ve heard, you have cement pillars obstructing the sight lines, incoming aircraft, and no reasonable dining options. On the other hand, you have green grass, white lines, and brown dirt. But so does a park.

Pujols v. Lidle
I’m ‘watching’ the Phillies v. Cardinals game right now. I say ‘watching’ because Albion has a bit of an internet bandwidth problem. Seems the word ‘streaming’ is actually more like, ‘slow as molasses.’ If you’ve ever tried watching a baseball game at the speed of .25 frames a second, and really sketchy sound.. that’s kind of what it’s like. Just, try blindfolding yourself and turning on a vacuum cleaner. The only time you can see is when you can peek through the blindfold, and the only time you can hear is when the vacuum is going backwards. It’s no fun. Anyway, back to Pujols. Lidle threw him a breaking ball that pretty much skidded through the dirt before the plate and Pujols took a monster swing. He thought he was gonna take that pitch 500ft out. Pujols missed by about a yard. Anyway, he turns at nods at Lidle, basically telling him "I’m a boy, you’re a man." That said, Pujols can mash better than just about anyone else out there.

Barry in San Francisco
T1_bonds
I switched to the Braves v. Giants game, because it’s on TBS and I want to really watch a game. Well, Bonds steps up to the plate with 1 out and runners on 2nd on 3rd. A couple interesting things then happened. 1) The fans gave him a standing ovation and shouted his praises, even holding up signs telling him they loved him. 2) Bonds ignored them. 3) Bonds received another intentional walk. 4) My roommate said that was dumb, and I responded by saying that even though there was only one out, there were 2 runners on, if someone besides Moises Alou was batting behind Bonds this wouldn’t happen. 5) Moises Alou grounded into a double play.
This is, again, one of those NL West phenomenon-type things. It’s never ok to go from 1 out, 2 runners on with Barry Bonds up to ‘grab my mitt, rookie’ without scoring a run. Give Bonds some protection, please! I might hate the guy, but I’m a baseball fan before everything else.
Noah Lowry just exited the game due to injury. He was replaced by the 43-year-old Jeff Fassero. I hear that people are predicting the Giants to win the NL West. If this is the team that’s supposed to win a division, I’m going to e-mail Bud Selig and tell him why this can’t keep happening. Or, just check it out here. Sorry for getting so upset, but I can’t let this happen again.

Geography lesson
World0
We added Spain, Nigeria, and Benin to the visitor’s list today. Add that to Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Croatia, UK, Canada, Israel, Honduras, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, France, Germany, South Africa, Uruguay, Germany, Finland, El Salvador, New Zealand, Cote D’ivoire, Ghana, The Netherlands, Panama, Ireland, and Malaysia. That’s 29 countries (counting the US,) and there are 193 countries in the world. That’s 15%. Keep spreading the word! We’ll see some more solid baseball related posts in a couple days. Until then, what’s up with the "Greatest Play of All Time?" Apparently that post has become something of a thing on the internet. Apparently it’s being linked on message boards all over the net, and now there’s some e-mail circulating around with a link in it. Wow. Thanks. It also helps that we’ve added video to that post, so now you can actually see Manny cutting off Johnny. It’s nuts.

Some random thoughts before the season…

Wow. We only have about 30 hours to wait before the first pitch of the 2006 season. How amazing is that? Right now I’m watching Red Sox @ Phillies, because I want to know about the Phillies, the game is being played at Citizen’s Bank Park, and it was the only good one that started at 1.05. I’m gonna read Sports Illustrated Baseball Preview after I post this, and then we’ll get more Baseball thoughts. Until then, some website and MLB.com related business.

We’ve added a few countries to our visitor list. New Zealand, Cote D’ivoire, Ghana, The Netherlands, Taiwan, and Panama, I believe. This is adding to our previous visitors from Mexico, Venezuela, Honduras, Korea, El Salvador, France, UK, Canada, Ireland, Dominican Republic, and Croatia. I believe that’s it.

Furthermore… I added my first RSS Feed yesterday. "Bleeding Pinstripes" had the honor. For the last year or so, I’ve been skeptical about this whole RSS thing. About two weeks ago, I switched over to Mozzila’s Firefox from Internet Explorer, and I’m crazy about it. I encourage you to check it out as well.  In any case, Firefox makes it very easy to ‘subscribe’ or whatever you call it, to web pages. If a ‘live feed’ is available, all you have to do is click the little orange button on the right side of the address bar, and it adds it just like a bookmark. When you try to select the website as a bookmark, it shows you the last 10 posts made, so you can check for a new one I guess. I’m still working on understanding the whole idea.

On that note, the new site – baseballradioshow.com – is finally up. I wouldn’t say it’s running… but it’s online.

Furthermore, the new MLB.TV media player seems to be up and running. One question though. Why is there an ad for MLB.TV on the bottom of the player? Unless this has something to do with Spring Training being free, then I’m not sure I understand the reasoning. I mean.. if you go to see a movie at the theaters, you don’t expect to see a trailer for the movie you’re about to watch, do you? I was watching part of yesterday’s Cleveland v. Detroit game when the show went to commercials. Thing is, anyone who watches MLB.TV knows that a lot of times – especially with networks such as NESN, YES, and the like – that ‘commercial’ really means ‘lets listen to the broadcasters without them knowing it.’ But I’ve never heard anything this good:

Roll the opener! Roll the ******* open! Where’s the ****** open! Prep to roll VT23… *******, where’s VT23! Rollin… *******!

How long was that Perez interview? It seemed like an hour… did you get at least 6 minutes? Good.

[Robotic Voice] Speak up or move closer to the microphone please.

[Robotic Voice] The dog you’re about to hear should appear to come from the right loudspeaker only… Woof!

[Homer Simpson] Hurry up and lose so we can get out of here!

Ambulance Emergency line, do you have an emergency?
Yeah, yeah I need a fambulance. This is Joe, I’m in a mutha*** phone booth…
[Download this here. This story is hilarious – the guy gets attacked by a deer he thought was dead and so he put in his car. Funniest thing I’ve heard in my life.]

Here’s the pitch!… just a bit outside! Here’s the pitch!… oh ****.

Yup, that last one was an S-Bomb. And about the Ambulance call, they replayed this for the next three breaks (and counting) and each time the announcers repeated the guy like little kids. The way I understand it, the Indians just started their own team broadcasting network, similar to NESN and YES. This is called STO. Stow. No idea what it stands for. Super Television Organization? This isn’t the way you want to launch a new network, guys, so clean it up. One area I have to hand it to them in is their shrewd analysis of the Tigers Organization. They noted that the Tigers scored the 11th most runs in the League last year, but it seemed like midway through the season they just quit, and somehow it cost Alan Trammel his job. Uh, welcome to Detroit Baseball. And by the way, any self-respecting Tigers fan knows Alan Trammel was used. Ownership knew they weren’t gonna win squat in the next three years, so they signed a cheap hometown favorite. He got managing experience, and the Tigers got a cheap fix while they rebuilt. And, yes, I know that the difference between the worst Manager in the game and the best is about 1/10 of your worst player’s salary, but trust me, I’m right. The Tigers didn’t sign Trammel to win baseball games.

Back to STO. With all the advertising MLB.com does, how are these the only guys in the world who don’t know about MLB.TV? How? Also, I have a problem with them saying 1st base isn’t as easy as most people think. That’s not true. Far and away, it’s the easiest position on the diamond and physically the least demanding. Open up your glove and make a target for the throw. And don’t say the outfield is easier, because I’ve never seen a 1B whip out a cannon and gun someone doThanks for reading. I’ll post some more baseball thoughts after I read the Baseball Preview in SI.

PS: Check this out now. Welcome to April.

Glanzcrack_2

Jeff Bagwell and some fun stuff

I try to run a blog that hits on a variety of topics. There are variousschools of thought on this; some people think that if you focus on one
thing, (i.e., the Yankees,) you can develop a hardcore fan base, one
that’s ‘loyal’ and comes back to read your interesting thoughts every
day. People have had success with this method. I haven’t seen many
people do what I do, which is write about all sorts of teams and
players with no commonalities. I guess this leaves people confused as
to where my personal loyalties are. I’ve never properly
introduced myself, (besides my about page, which nobody reads,) so let
me, briefly, explain where I stand in the baseball world. A little
baseball litmus test, if you will.

My favorite team is the New York Yankees. I don’t live in New York,
I’ve only been there twice, and I don’t plan on ever moving there. The
Tigers are my hometown team and I frequently overlook their
organizational missteps because of the Home Team Rule. It’s kind of how
you love your kids no matter what they do. I want to live in Chicago, but I don’t particularly like the White Sox
or the Cubs. My favorite divisions are the AL East, Central, and NL
Central. I prefer the AL to the NL because it’s so much better. I
support the DH rule. Besides the Tigers and Yankees, I like the
Cardinals, A’s, Indians, Braves, Angels, Blue Jays, and Rangers, in
that order. I love baseball and the many nuances of the games. Once the season starts, we’ll be
seeing a lot more player/game/team strength analysis, especially after I
get out of school in early May. Hopefully coverage that blends with what we’re seeing now.

That said, there hasn’t been a whole lot going on lately that’s of
value. So I planned some fun time for us today. Let’s proceed with business.

Bagwell tries to earn his pay

Gguuncbl
I’m not sure what to make of this whole Jeff Bagwell thing. For some
reason, his contract has him getting paid $17 million this year, which
is ridiculous seeing as he turns 38 in May. If he undergoes this
surgery, he takes himself out for the season, and likely won’t play
again. The Astros are currently trying to recover $15.6 million of the
$17 million they owe him through an insurance policy, but in order for
that to happen he needs to sit out the whole year – which would be
guaranteed if he has the surgery. I get that he needs the surgery, but
seeing as the club holds his option for 2007, it seems like there is
more to the story. Think about it – the Astros recover their jack, and
Jeff gets his shoulder fixed. There’s a very slim chance he’ll be able
to recover and play again. He’ll be 39 by then anyway, and will have to
convince the club to exercise their option on him, which could be
tough. At least Bagwell went out and tried to make the club so he could
actually earn his paycheck, but it looks like he’s through. 99% chance
he won’t come back next year.

I saw a cat fall 80 feet from a tree.
Check this out. It’s unbelievable.

MLB.TV
A lot of people have been finding my site by google-ing "MLB.TV 5
minute limit." Well here’s the story. If you’re watching an archived
game on the same day as the game was played, it will stop every 5
minutes. So basically, with MLB.TV you can watch games live or archived
next-day. Also, people have been searching for news on the new media
player. To see that, go here and click on the link in the bottom right, where it says ‘click here for a sneak preview.’ Exciting?

Thanks for reading.

FINALLY

It’s about time. I know I promised to post a lot during my Spring Break, but MLBlogs didn’t cooperate. Basically, when I log in to MLBlogs I log in, it takes me to a product offer page instead of my account page, so I click on the register- log in link, and then click on a link in my favorites that will take me to my account. Without that favorites link, I can’t log in to access my account. Well, I forgot to bring that address home with me… and MLBlogs couldn’t fix the problem, all week. So, I couldn’t blog. In the process of trying to fix the problem, I ran into others experiencing the same problem. For those of you reading who have that problem, try using this link after you log in and get to the product offer page.
https://mlblogs.mlb.com/t/app/weblog
That should work, and it should be the same for everyone. The second time I contact customer support by phone (they never responded to my emails,) they told me to direct anyone else having this problem to them as well. I would suggest the above link first. In any case, enough ranting about MLBlog’s service.
More good news: Kevin and I have purchased a website, baseballradioshow.com, which should be fully up and running in about a month, I hope. Anyone interested in contributing can contact me; my email can be found on the left side of the page, at the very top.
Anyway, I just got back to school, and after I unpack and everything, I’ll have some more comments regarding the past week in baseball. I didn’t have as much time to follow as I had hoped, but I did get to watch a very exciting Dominica v. Cuba game. I have thoughts on that, if anyone still cares. Check back soon. Until then, thanks for reading.