When Jim and I started this blog more than four years ago, we shared a couple of fundamental principles. To wit:
1 The Devil Rays suck and will forever suck.
2 Bud Selig is evil, or at least incompetent.
Good to know at least one of those truths still shines.
Congratulations, Rays, on your first pennant of many. Congratulations, Phillies, on your World Championship, and congratulations to longtime Baseball Related Program Activities favorites Matt Stairs, Geoff Jenkins, Jamie Moyer, and So Taguchi. I’m glad Ryan Howard buck-bucking onto the dogpile didn’t kill Brad Lidge.
Double-Booked Tropicana Field Holds First Haunted House World Series
“[D]ates for the haunted house were reserved in late July, a time when the possibility of the stadium being used for the World Series did not seem realistic to anyone in the Rays’ front office.”
12:00 — Salsa, chips, and cheese — lunch of champions!
12:07 — Say what you will about TBS, I enjoy their “scorecard” graphics.
12:09 — On WGN, they’re interviewing Cubs general manager Jim Hendry, who at one point refers to baseball as “the industry,” which is just a horrible way to refer to baseball, although I’m sure it feels like it from his perspective.
12:16 — Hey, Ken Griffey Jr. is in right field for the Reds! He’s still around?
12:17 — The Reds catcher still has the old Mr. Redlegs design on his mask (well, the old new Mr. Redlegs design, without a mustache, which has now been replaced by the new old Mr. Redlegs design).
12:20 — Ah, the Midwest!
12:25 — Mrs. Owner of the Dodgers is being interviewed at hipster hangout named Barney’s Beanery in West Hollywood, where I’ve been once. Various Dodgers people went to various establishments today to watch the game with the fans. Given the game action on the TVs in the background, I can tell that this interview is not airing live.
12:32 — A woman with a loud and high-pitched voice is sitting very close to a microphone that TBS is using to capture crowd noise, and she’s cheering for Tom Gordon: “Come on, Flash!”
12:41 — At this moment, both the Braves-Phillies and Blue Jays-Tigers games are tied at 3 with 1 out in the bottom of the 9th.
12:44 — At this moment, a cat has jumped onto my lap to watch her beloved Tigers.
12:49 — Tigers and Blue Jays go into extra innings. The Braves-Phillies game already went into extra innings, while I wasn’t paying attention.
12:54 — Bud Selig is in the booth at the White Sox-Indians game. Hawk Harrelson tells him he’s the best commissioner since 1959, with the late Bowie Kuhn second. Uh-huh.
12:57 — W.B. Mason has helpfully added “Office Supplies” to their outfield wall advertising this year. Now we can assume that things there are just like they are at Dunder Mifflin, as seen on TV’s “The Office.”
When Opening Day came around a year ago, I was unemployed with no immediate prospects. Within a month, I had been hired for a full-time temp job. And by the time the World Series rolled around, I was hired as an actual employee.
So it’s clear that baseball is a force for good. Let’s see what it can do for me this year.
10:00 — Tampa Bay Devil Rays at New York Yankees (ESPN and YES)
Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies (TBS)
Toronto Blue Jays at Detroit Tigers (FSN Detroit)
Florida Marlins at Washington Nationals (MASN)
Time for everyone’s pre-produced “Opening Day” intros.
10:05 — The Tigers manage to get under way first.
10:06 — The Blue Jays have the first at-bat of the season — a walk.
10:08 — And the Blue Jays steal against Ivan Rodriguez. This season is going great for the Tigers so far.
10:09 — The Marlins steal third! Looks like this is going to be the Year of the Stolen Base, as the L.A. Times sort of predicted today.
10:11 — Carl Crawford leads off for the Devil Rays with a hit against the Yankees.
10:12 — Crawford steals second!
10:15 — Rocco Baldelli, whose name is on the back of the Devil Rays T-shirt I’m wearing, hits to the warning track. The Yankees announcers say it could have been a home run if the humidity were lower today.
10:19 — I have to go get my laundry out of the dryer. Meanwhile, things fall apart for the Devil Rays.
10:30 — The Yankees score two runs, which the YES graphics briefly award to the Devil Rays.
10:40 — Hey, it’s Adrian Fenty, the mayor of Washington, D.C., in the stands at RFK Stadium, being interviewed with a radio mike that’s not quite working properly.
10:49 — The Devil Rays get their first run of 2007. First of many, I’m sure.
10:52 — Not particularly baseball-related, but I get an automated phone call from the L.A. Times telling me that the “TV Times” section is being discontinued after next week, but I’ll still be able to get TV listings online. They don’t know I have a TiVo.
The MLB Extra Innings pay-per-view package will now be exclusively on DirecTV, because DirecTV offered a lot of money and also agreed to exclusively carry what appears to be MLB’s version of NFL Network.
I do have DirecTV, but don’t subscribe to Extra Innings (I certainly enjoy watching it on Opening Day via the free preview, but I wouldn’t watch enough games during the season to make it worth the cost). I’m a little concerned about MLB limiting its exposure like this, particularly to the all-baseball network.
In the past, DirecTV’s version of Extra Innings has only included games airing on regional sports networks carried by DirecTV — so if, say, a Phillies-Dodgers game were being carried on Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia (not available on DirecTV) and on over-the-air Channel 13 in Los Angeles (not available on DirecTV except as a local channel in the L.A. area), it wouldn’t be on Extra Innings on DirecTV. Or a Blue Jays-Devil Rays game that’s on whatever weird Canadian network the Blue Jays are on, and only available via Morse code relay in the Tampa Bay area. So I’m wondering if the new exclusive Extra Innings package these types of games — can’t wait to see, or perhaps hear, the Morse code Devil Rays games.
Actually, as it turns out, that error message is the modern equivalent of “your telephone is not compatible with the Bell System,” or something like that. I thought the problem was that the Phillies’ web site was too busy, but the problem seems to have been that their ticketing process was incompatible with Macintosh web browsers. Everything worked perfectly on my PC at work, so we now have 12th-row upper-deck seats to see the Phillies vs. Brewers at the new Citizens Bank Park.
Turns out the modern equivalent of a busy signal is the message “DTWP001E: Net.Data is unable to locate the macro file err_bad_user_init.d2w.” (I got up ridiculously early this morning and have been looking at this, online and related gibberish, for hours now.)
The first tickets have been purchased, bleacher seats for the Red Sox vs. Tigers at Fenway Park. Up next, Phillies tickets, which go on sale on Thursday the 19th. Those may end up being the only tickets we get in advance, although we’re pretty sure we can use our connections to get free Cardinals and Pirates tickets.
Hey, the Phillies tickets showed up in the mail already! We’ll actually be meeting up with my aunt and uncle at the game and our mutual friend Maura, so I’m going to mail those people’s tickets to them ASAP.
On another note, I bought Padres tickets over the weekend for a May game against the Cubs. This isn’t directly relevant to the road trip, except that both the Padres and the Phillies are going to be playing in new stadiums in 2004, so it’ll be fun to do a comparison and contrast. The Padres’ stadium, Petco Park, already gets points for being named after something warm and fuzzy (well, as warm and fuzzy as a chain store can be, i.e., much warmer and fuzzier than Wal-Mart), whereas the Phillies’ stadium, Citizens Bank Park, loses points for being yet another stadium named after a cold, impersonal bank. Actually, at least it’s a bank that still has “bank” in its corporate name, unlike its baseball stadium naming rights counterpart across Pennsylvania, PNC.
Hey, should we stay home and watch this game on TV instead?…
The newly-renovated stands at U.S. Cellular Field…
And the newly-renovated outfield…
There’s a weather vane by the Sox bullpen…
The final line…
And now, we’ve got another game to get to…