Baseball – no longer an All-American pasttime

WTF is up with these legal broadcasting restrictions?! We have a local TV station here that advertises as being the “Nationals TV Station”, yet they broadcast hardly any of their games. I had checked their calendar last week and it showed they would be broadcasting all the games this week – so over the weekend I ran out and bought a firewire TV Tuner and amplified antenna for my laptop, so I could hook it all up to our projector and watch the games on the back of my garage in “big screen” mode and pretend I was at the game (hey with kids and the cost of 4 season tickets, it’s not possible to go to all of them, although we do have an 1/8th share of season tickets). I even stocked up on Cracker Jacks and roasted peanuts for the events!! I eagerly anticipated the first gameday of the week.

So I ran out and hooked everything up at 7:20 (about 15 minutes after the game started) only to find a rerun of “Friends” on. Uh – huh?? (dumb blonde look). So I ran back in the house and checked the Titan TV listings only to find the game was not being broadcast after all. Sorely disappointed, I returned to the local tv station site (“Home of the Nationals”! bah), rechecked the calendar, and then it only showed weekend games being broadcast. So I am now sorely awaiting Friday night and back to checking the “Gameday Live” application on mlb.com which doesn’t freakin work in Safari (doesn’t auto-update) or the old version of IE that comes on Macs. Pooh.

A little Googling taught me that the owner of the Orioles has sued for TV rights to the Nationals games (this has been going on since early in the season, if not before). There is a case in court about this and a complaint and request for hearing has been filed with the FCC (I did some searching there, but couldn’t find any information on it). Apparently Comcast and satellite providers want rights to broadcast as well and the Orioles dude doesn’t want them to have it. MASN can broadcast, but only a small portion of the game (and the localy rabbit-ears station I was trying to pick up is part of the MASN network).

But TODAY! Ah yes, a 1:00 PM game today – woohoo, I planned on paying the $4 per game charge on MLB.com and watching it through Real Player at work. Yep, good plan, eh?

So I pay my $4 and eagerly click on the link for the game. The popup screen is blank. Frustrated, I close that browser (Mozilla) and try another (Firefox). Same thing – blank screen. Grr… Open IE and try again – choose Real Player as my viewer and another blank screen greets me. @#$#! close IE and switch back to Mozilla again. This time I try to login and it tells me I’m already logged in. Find the convoluted way of logging out in IE and try again. This time not taking any chances, I pick Windows (gak) Media Player. To which I’m greeted with a lovely message:

“We’re sorry! Your data indicate that you are prevented from watching this game LIVE due to the flo local or national live broadcast restrictions. Please try an MLB-TV game that doesn’t include this team…”

Why on EARTH would I want to watch another team (and what does ‘flo’ mean?)??? So I think fine, ok, I’ll just listen to the live audio since I noticed another coworker was. But no, if you pay for video, it doesn’t include audio. That’s a separate purchase and subscription!!

So I called support thinking fine, maybe they can switch me to audio or give me my money back. Nope, no refunds and it’s a separate product. “You can check your blackout market by zip code.”

I retorted, “Oh, yes, I saw that AFTER I paid and clicked on the game because it’s in small print way UNDER the game options – you people must be making a lot of money on this!”

So there you go – great American past time and hallmark of our country is now controlled by the corporate bigwigs and litigation-hungry scoundrels, and those of us who love baseball and want to watch our first childhood friend play ARE FREAKING DENIED ACCESS!!! I suppose getting some apple pie is outta the question too?!

!@%$##@

Bad Juju weekend

Spent the weekend on the boat – couldn’t get the Nationals game in at night, but sat on the dock visiting with our new “neighbors” in the marina.

The next morning we cleaned the boat and locked it up and headed home. Ate lunch and went to the Nats game. They lost. More bad juju.

My mom tried emailing Gary through the Nats website, but didn’t hear any response. So I found the address for sending fan mail to particular players and sent a letter on Friday. I doubt he got it before the game, but just in case, I did mention we’d be there at Sunday’s game and where we sit.

So he was playing during this game too – so that was exciting. In fact, he hit a foul ball that went into our section, but was caught by the guy TWO STINKING ROWS directly in front of me!!! I was so bummed – I even went and told him my story that the guy who hit it was my first friend as an infant/toddler and it would mean a lot if he would let me have that ball LOL. No way was he parting with it! Oh well – I tried.

Man, what a great Nationals game last night!

My guy played the whole game (or at least from the 4th inning, when I started watching, on)… I got to see him catch and bat. Very kewl!! My husband and I were in a bar and I was hooting and hollering, but apparently we were the only ones really watching the game cuz no one else was, and there’s no way you couldn’t when…. The bases were loaded in the 8th inning, I said to my husband, “Man, a grand slam right now would be awesome! It would button up the game for sure!” And it wasn’t looking good – 2 outs. Wilkerson stepped up to the plate… and I held my breath thinking his fly was going to be caught… but over the wall it went. WOOHOO!! GRAND SLAM!! The first for the Nats. First full game pitched by Patterson and it was a shut-out. (See, my alternate catcher guy may not be so bad!) LOL.

So I found a “fan mail” address and instructions on their website, and dashed off a letter to my “first friend” which I’m going to go drop in the mail now. It probably won’t get to him before Sunday’s game (which we have tickets to go see), but oh well. We’ll see if he responds. I think it would be really neat to meet him. I almost cracked my joke about “we slept together but don’t remember it”… but decided to save that for in person *snort*. I don’t want him to think I’m some crazy fan who just wants to get it on with a baseball player. Egads!

I would imagine he doesn’t get much fan mail, so hopefully he’ll open it quickly.

I slept with a Nationals baseball player

When we were infants/toddlers LOL.

My mom just emailed me that when she saw his name (Gary Bennett) and heard he was born in Waukegan while watching a game, so she looked up his birthday. He was born a couple months before me. So she knew who he was/is – she was best friends with his mom and her husband was friends with my bio dad. I remember seeing his name in my baby book (gonna have to look it up when I get home). My mom says they were pregnant together and she thinks his mom is my godmother (lol I can’t believe she can’t remember for sure!). We used to get put down in the same crib.

So I dug out my baby book and sure enough, one of my first gifts was a sweater set from his family, he’s listed as my first friend, and BOTH his parents are my god parents. How cool is that?? Of course, we moved from there when I was about 4 and I have no memory of them other than one potty training incident at their house lol.

Small world – how cool is that?!

I mentioned it at work, but everyone kinda scoffed and said, “the *alternate” catcher? Big deal.” Well, I still think it’s really neat-o! I can’t wait to watch a game where he plays.

Beyond Baseball – Water Sports is the new blue