One takeaway is that you-know-who, Rogers Communications, "already holds a license in Canada for an all-baseball-all-the-time diginet, but they haven't moved on it." Please hold off the Rogers-bashing -- please don't say that greatest oxymoron going in corporate Canada is "Rogers Communications" -- and say that one hopes that this gets picked up by the bigger media outlets and that Rogers does move on this in time for the network's Jan. 1, 2009 debut. As The Tao notes, Rogers recently made College Sports Television (CSTV) available to digital subscribers (those ratings to watch Pac-10 women's volleyball must be sky-high in Guelph and Kitchener).
The NFL Network, which as Bob McCown has harped on, is "unwatchable," is on basic digital packages. Soccer fans have GolTV and Setanta Sports. MLSE has its Leafs TV and Raptors NBA TV offerings. True, some of those channels are struggling, which might be why Rogers is reluctant to add carriage.
The hardcore Seamheads, a niche audience but a desired niche audience, are only right if they want to pay a little more to get something outside the traditional Jays-focused coverage, where people who believe Russ Adams would make a quality designated hitter are not only humoured but taken seriously.
So, just to add to the Seamhead echo chamber: "I want my MLBTV."
(Quick, photo of Matt Stairs coaching hockey or the latest about Madonna and A-Rod, what turns your crank more? There is no wrong answer, or right one.)
Let Ken Slate enjoy his turkey, dammit!
It's a bit of gas -- you have to understand, people who grow up outside Bath, Ontario maintain a very low amusement quotient -- to read Hindustan Times piece about R&D, the Pittsburgh Pirates' Indian pitching prospects Dinesh Patel and Rinku Singh.
Both have been signed by five-time World Series Champion club Pittsburgh Pirates for an undisclosed sum that may be in crores of rupees, their families indicated, and in doing so have sparked a remarkable interest in the hitherto unknown American sport of baseball in their backward, dusty Uttar Pradesh villages.The biggest difference between sports writing in North America and South Asia is probably seeing "World Series Champion" and "Pittsburgh Pirates" in the same sentence. The article says Patel has inspired a "baseball mania" in his village, which one hopes makes the New Jersey sportswriter who slammed the signing as "outsourcing" choke on his turkey, just for a second.
The other amusing part is that Singh, back home, was considered a "loafer" for being a jock. A loafer? Does that not evoke John Kruk's famous, "I ain't an athlete, I'm a ballplayer" line?
Damn, the Jays
- Big League Stew's 101 things to be thankful for include Dan Shulman and The Tao of Stieb.
- Our sportsnet.ca columnist Scott Carson would obviously know this better than some ass-talker, but is Mike Mussina really "the least favourite human being" of Cito Gaston's? Time forgives, and Cito's supposed to be a class act ... but anyway, this deserved to have some soy sauce slathered over it:
"So the debate now begins, whether or not 'The Moose' belongs among the greats of the game in the Hall of Fame. I say NO. His career win total only ranks him 33rd all-time and if Bert Blyleven with 287 wins and 3,701 strikeouts (fifth all-time) can't get in with his numbers then Mussina's doesn't quite cut it either. Plus, in my 16 seasons on the baseball beat, I never came across a more condescending athlete than Mussina. I witnessed him talking down to many sportswriters and broadcasters."Thank god "talking down" to people doesn't get one disqualified from other honours -- we'd have no Golden Globes or Academy Awards, or serious literary prizes. Carson's main blurbage was a piece on the Jays, that frankly, was seven kinds of crazy.
Forget the fact that win totals are a poor barometer for a second. Mussina's 270 wins is fifth among pitchers whose have pitched in the era of 5-man rotations, after guys named Maddux, Clemens, Glavine and Johnson. He has the same .638 winning percentage as Jim Palmer, who wasn't exactly smiles and sunshine. Who said being nice was a prereq for a ballplayer, anyway?
- The Jays were involved in two of the five best pitching performances of last season. Remember Jesse Carlson's effort in that May game where A.J. Burnett lost it in relief?
From UP villages to US baseball fields (Anuraaq Singh, Hindustan Times)