Aahhh…

Major League Baseball is back and all is right with the world. ISIS has disbanded, the Republican party has purged itself of all anti-climate change, anti-evolution, and anti-vaccination members, and Wells Fargo has committed its mortgage-based profits to support programs for the homeless.

OK, maybe not. Nice as the thought may be, I’ll admit that baseball can’t do everything.

But at least the faithful hordes have actual games to obsess over, a definite improvement over over-analyzing off-season moves.

As I write this, I’m listening to the Orioles/Tigers game, the official first preseason game of the year. The Orioles’ radio broadcast isn’t available online (during Spring Training, MLB generally only distributes the home team’s broadcast), but it’s enough to quell the withdrawal pangs.

The pre-preseason started Sunday, when the Philadelphia Phillies took on the University of Tampa Spartans. The game was, of course, a mismatch: the Spartans won easily, 6-2. In the wake of the game, the Phillies offered to trade their entire 40 man roster for the Spartans’ starting lineup. Unfortunately, their request was denied and today they have to play their first game against an MLB opponent today with the same squad that lost Sunday. They’re playing the Yankees now, and trailing 1-0 after an inning and a half.

The Miami Marlins and Detroit Tigers reclaimed the professionals’ honor yesterday, defeating their college opponents in style (Marlins 7, Florida International University 2 and Tigers 12, Florida Southern College 2). Professional versus college games continue today, with the Diamondbacks taking on Arizona State; the Marlins facing the University of Miami; and the Red Sox, in an excess of enthusiasm, facing both Boston College and Northeastern University.

Obviously, a doubleheader this early in the spring is exhausting. The Red Sox will take tomorrow off while the Twins take on Minnesota (the university, not the entire state), and then the two MLB clubs will face off on Thursday in the first game against professional opponents for both teams.

I mentioned earlier that radio broadcasts are limited in the preseason; especially in the early going, not all games are available. The situation is even worse for television. Forget about trying to follow your favorite team.

But it hardly matters. Enjoy the sights and sounds of baseball, and remember that you’ll be able to watch more than 150 of your team’s games once the season starts.

Unless, of course, you’re a fan of the Dodgers, whose games aren’t available to almost three-quarters of the LA area. Sorry, guys. Maybe Time-Warner will cut a deal in the next month.

Oh, and as for you Phillies fans: in the wake of their embarrassment by the Spartans, Las Vegas has them at 275/1 odds to win the World Series. Time to get your bets down. Remember, at this time last year, the Giants faced 20/1 odds and the Royals were at 35/1.

2 thoughts on “Aahhh…

  1. “Aahhhh…”, indeed. Life resumes- but, how are you listening to these games? I presume some kind of online streaming? All I’ve got is KNBR, on my little clock radio, and I’m hoping they’ll be broadcasting at least some of the exhibition games.
    Btw, I’m loving the idea of playing “warmup” games with college teams. Can’t remember it this is new, and I’ve just missed it, or if it’s been going on for awhile. Great PR, plus, they get to scout the kids, in action.
    As always, thanks for the baseball columns. Look forward to many more.
    Hot diggity! Baseball’s back!

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    • Online streaming, yes. The MLB At Bat app, to be precise. $20 bucks gets you (among other things) every radio broadcast for every team in the league for the whole season. If you follow any out of town teams, it’s one of the best arguments for having a Apple or Android device–though with the data requirements, Wi-Fi is your friend.

      I’m not sure how far back the college/pro games go. I know it’s been a couple of years at least, but it doesn’t seem to have spread beyond a few MLB teams. All joking aside, I like the idea too, and would love to see it become more common. Even thought the pro players are mostly minor leaguers, it’s a great opportunity for the college players to stretch their limits by competing with older, more experienced players.

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