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Never Too Much

As you know, I pay mucho plenty moolah to DirecTV to get the MLB Extra Innings package. It gives me access to (almost) any baseball game, other than the games played by my local teams, the Giants and the A's. Those games are included in the basic package, so what I'm paying for are the other teams. I get my money's worth from the baseball package, even though there are a lot of games that I would be able to see without it, between ESPN and FOX and my own local stations.

So yesterday I get an email from Major League Baseball offering a special of $10.00 for the remainder of the season on their MLB.TV service. This would give me every game (except my local teams) on the computer, the iPad, and over the TV through Roku. And I can listen to radio broadcasts of all the games on my iPhone. And it has extensive news and highlights and schedules and standings and statistics and all the other things that make following baseball a fulltime job, if you choose to make it so.

For me, baseball has always been more than just something to watch idly. I've been reading box scores all my life, it seems. When I was a kid I had notebooks in which I kept my own set of statistics. I made up teams and leagues and games and kept stats for them, long before there were fantasy leagues or sabermetrics or elaborately designed reference sites on the World Wide Web. I was so far ahead of my time, it's crazy. (This also explains why I had no friends, but that's another entry.)

Why do I need both MLB Extra Innings and MLB.TV, you ask? Well, I don't, obviously. But the nearly-free sample of the latter made me curious, and I can give it a month to see which of the two I'd like to use as my baseball resource next season. I'm pretty excited about having both for a while. I can watch one game on TV and another on my iPad, simultaneously at the same time. Call me crazy (again), but I doubt I'm the only fan who does that.

Anyway, today was my first day, so it's still a honeymoon between MLB.TV and me. In a month or so, as the season is ending, I'll know more. And then I have until next spring to make a final decision. I have to make a decision, though, because if I don't, I'll be automatically renewing both at full price. That is something I don't need and can't afford. For once, I will have to be the decider.


Since the Giants didn't play today, I had to choose another game to watch. Imagine my delight to turn on the Dodgers-Rockies game just in time to see Josh Beckett's second pitch as a Dodger get hammered into the outfield seats by Colorado's leadoff hitter, Tyler Colvin. I enjoyed that so much that I watched, off and on, until the end. It was a close game until the Rockies broke it open with seven runs in the eighth and went on to win, 10-0. A Dodger loss gives me almost as much pleasure as a Giants win, and at this point in the season it's exactly as meaningful in the standings.

It's not just the Dodger loss, of course. It's the fact that a team that gave up on the season in June and has been playing out the string, experimenting with their starting pitching to the point that they are a laughing stock in Denver and everywhere else, beat up on a team that has been making headlines for the last few weeks because of a big trade that brought them a bunch of players best known for being overpaid underperformers. They want to be the scary Yankees of the West, but today they were closer to the St. Louis Browns of the twenty-first century.

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