Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Stop the madness! DirecTv continues soul-stealing ways

That was my reaction when I heard the startling news that the evil powers in control at Major League Baseball have joined forces with the heathens at satellite giant DirecTv and, like their NFL brethren, decided to take the money and run thus screwing over their loyal fanbase for the sake of a few million bucks.

With all the things going on lately (holidays, NFL playoffs, the Barbaro saga) I somehow missed the initial announcement that MLB was selling its Extra Innings package to DirecTv for a staggering $700 million dollars over the next 7 years. What that means for transplanted fans like me is that I have to pony up for a satellite dish (and all the heartache that comes with it) if I want to watch the Sawx this year, other than the 19 times they play the Rays and the 20 times they should be on national TV now that they've got international sensation Dice-K.

So instead of watching about 145 Bosox games (including nearly every game of the magical '04 campaign) like I have for the past 4 years I will now be forced to watch an entire season of Devil Rays baseball.

There oughtta be a law...

It seems that In Demand, a service carried by cable providers all over the country, only offered MLB a mere $70 mil/year to renew their contract with MLB. The $30 mil/year difference was the deal breaker for commissioner Darth Selig & his minions who decided that they would take the upfront money and hope it will defer the certain loss of revenue they will have when they lose a good chunk of the currently 750,000 subscribers to Extra Innings.

Now baseball fans are up shit's creek just like NFL fans. And if you happen to be a major fan of both sports like myself, well then you are feeling like poor Ned Beatty after those inbred rednecks got a hold of him.
I am seriously in a state of depression over this turn of events and I am not sure how I am going to react once Opening Day rolls around and I am stuck with the 3 crummy ESPN offerings plus the D-Rays. I was already marking the calendar according to my "must-see" games:
- Mon, Apr 2nd- season opener @ KC
-Thu, Apr 5/Fri, Apr 6- probable debut of Matsuzaka
-Tues, Apr 10- Fenway opener vs. SEA
-Fri, Apr 20/Sat, Apr 21- First Stanks series @ Fenway(Sunday game will be on ESPN)
-Tues, May 28- Trot returns to Fenway w/ CLE
-Fri, Jun 8- Sox' annual Interleague ass-kicking begins @ ARI
-Fri, Jun 22- Sox East @ Sox West II (aka San Diego; LAD is Sox West I)
-Thu, Jul 12- second half starts/Beckett shuts down

The list goes on and on but you get the point. This is devastating news, the type of news that can cause a grown man to weep, or at least blog uncontrollable about the evils of modern capitalism, for my only other options are:

1.) Buy a satellite
A thought I have pondered for years now so I can sit in my house and watch the Pats instead of travelling to the local watering hole to get berated by irate FILL IN THE BLANK fans, yet one that makes no sense when you consider the fact that MY WIFE WORKS FOR BRIGHTHOUSE NETWORKS!

2.)Watch the games on MLB.com
As enticing as paying to watch a small window on my computer try to keep up with the real time action of the game sounds I just haven't been able to embrace this concept yet. Unfortunately I may have to because...

3.)Living at the sports bar is out of the question
Unless I am willing to get a divorce and go into debt over the love of my Sox this option is really not an option. I might be able to sneak a game or 2 every month in at the local watering hole, but compared to 20+/month it'll feel more like a slow torture than a savory treat.

I am now officially in depression. It's going to take a lot of squinting at my computer screen and a decent season by the Rays to get me out of this.

On second thought a satellite doesn't sound like such a bad idea.

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