Monday, May 17, 2021

HoraceClarke66: “I Wonder Why Nobody Likes Baseball”—Part 329

 From the mind of Hoss...

So in between the Birds hammering the B-side of our bullpen today—you know it’s a bad game when it’s a Luis Cessa game—I tried switching channels to see if the Mets could somehow take one of three against the TB Rays.


No could do. It seems that in New York, at least, the Metsies and the Anonymous Floridians were only being shown on some sort of new baseball streaming channel/service that cost extra money.


Even discovering this took sometime, thanks in part to the fact that America’s Paper of Record no longer covers sports. But the really weird thing is that, later on, I couldn’t even find a reference to the final score—not after some extensive searching. The YES Network didn’t even have it up.


This is, of course, one more part of the brilliant powers-that-be’s decission to separate and hoard information, which is to be expected now that everyone in America seems to take great pride in discovering just what a greedhead they can be.


Maybe it was always thus. And hey, how truly exercised can you get over the fact that you have to pay an extra fee to Apple-++ or HBO to the Third Power, or whoever for the pleasure of viewing a TV cable series that ended five years ago, or maybe yet another superhero movie?


But for baseball to join up with this?  Now???


Like French generals, the Lords of MLB are always fighting the last war. Back in the day—way, way back in the day—it took them years to even allow radio broadcasts of their games.


Who was going to come out to the park, they figured. when you could hear it all over the air, complete with snazzy sound effects, such as rapping a pencil on a table to simulate bat hitting ball?


Well, after only about 20 years for most of them, the owners realized that radio actually served as a great advertisement for the game. Then, they were equally reluctant about television.


And hey, who knows? The late Roger Kahn actually thought that maybe, at first, the novelty of seeing the game on TV DID keep some people at home.


Baseball responded, of course, by annihilating as many nearby minor leagues as they could, so people would have no alternative but to tune in. Hence the sad demise of the Newark Bears.


It was, of course, the Prince of Darkness himself, Walter O’Malley, who came up with the idea of how to make money not only from all the ads, but more directly. In the mid-1950s, Walter took up with a company called Skiatron, which promised to put a little metal box in your house that you would have to put a dollar in per game—like poor English coal miners paying for each degree of heat, but in this case to watch the Brooklyn Dodgers play baseball.

What could possibly go wrong with that idea? 


I mean, beyond many denizens of Brooklyn taking a baseball bat to the little tin box while yelling, “I got your dollar deposit right here!” after a less-than-satisfying effort by the Bums?


It was one of Walter’s few financial missteps. Skiatron went belly-up, and The O’Malley lost several hundred thousand dollars with it.

But that’s the kind of idea that gets you tagged as a baseball visionary by the sportswriters drinking your scotch and eating your steaks for free.


Pay-per-view baseball took a little longer. But before long, the Red Sox had moved their games to UHF, then the Braves built their own cable network. All such innovations forcing everybody to pay a little more, just to watch every game.


One would have thought the teams starting their own, immensely profitable networks would have satisfied them all. But no. Now we have extra pay channels and streaming services you have to pony up money or at least your personal data for in order to see every game.


As it now stands, anyone wishing to see every Mets game—and soon, I am sure, every Yankees game—will have to be able to get the old network channels, the new team channels, the MLB channels, a basic cable package, and all kinds of new streaming services.


Commercials plus cable fees or dish, plus special fees, and other really special pay channels or internet fees. 


Which we’ll all do, right? Because these days baseball is so incredibly exciting and invigorating? Now really is the time to milk us all for just a little bit more…


Why do I have the feeling that all of MLB could be the next Skiatron?


Carl J. Weitz said...

Horace, if you have T-Mobile, they include MLB baseball package for free.
I don't use it because I get every home/away broadcast of every major sport for free. Along with every premium station in the universe, PPV, On Demand, 60,000 movies including some currently in theaters. For free on 1 TV and for about $ 15.00/month on 5 other devices. Oh, and several thousand local ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox affiliates across the country. And hundreds of foreign channels from the UK, Canada and 20 other countries? Want to try the Beverly Hillbillies in Farsi or Polish? Then these streaming services are for you! Almost all in HD and some in 4K. Better picture quality than cable. Cut the cord, LOL!

If you or anyone else wants info, I'd be glad to help.

Dantes said...

Meh. I got rid of cable last year. I’m good with paying Amazon a couple of extra bucks a year for a handful of Yankee games, it’s still cheaper than having cable. When the games get to expensive to stream it’ll be back to the old school radio on the front porch with a beer. It all circles back

Carl J. Weitz said... can't beat free.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I feel the same way, Dantes. Whenever I see the new package that requires this or that fee, I think of all the great books I still haven't read.

And The Master's voice is all I need on a Yankees broadcast!

Anonymous said...

Baseball died today----
Stanton, being unable to bat 4 or 5 times a game and run the bases on those occasions when he did not strike out was placed on the 10 day IL with a "quad strain." What a piece if excrement!
Ku KOO Kachoo Mrs. Robinson, Jolting Joe has left and gone away

Much like the rest of me, the part that loves and enjoys baseball dies a little bit each day.

The Archangel- Faithfully awaiting the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; Babe, Lou, Mickey and Joe who will smite those who worship launch angles spin rates and uppercut golf swings

Anonymous said...

@The Archangel Amen, and let them also smite down those who worship exit velocity and those who have one swing for any situation/any count/any pitch.

The Hammer of God

Isiyku Abdulahi said...

I really want the world to know about this great man who brought back happiness into my life again after my husband left me and the kids 3 years ago for another women online when i contacted Dr Believe he cast a love spell for me within 48 hours my ex husband start calling me and begging for forgiveness for everything that have happened between us. I was so happy to have my family back together with love again here is the email of Dr Believe via a man with the great powers you can also call him or add him on Whats-app: +2348156148821
God bless you
I am very grateful for your help in my marriage.

Nitish Kumar said...

LOTTO, lottery,jackpot.
Hello all my viewers, I am very happy for sharing this great testimonies,The best thing that has ever happened in my life is how I win the lottery euro million mega jackpot. I am a Woman who believe that one day I will win the lottery. finally my dreams came through when I email and tell him I need the lottery numbers. I have spend so much money on ticket just to make sure I win. But I never know that winning was so easy until the day I meant the spell caster online which so many people has talked about that he is very great in casting lottery spell, . so I decide to give it a try.I contacted this great Dr Believe and he did a spell and he gave me the winning lottery numbers. But believe me when the draws were out I was among winners. I win 30,000 million Dollar. Dr Believe truly you are the best, all thanks to you forever