Tracy Ringolsby has his regular Friday column at the News up, and the tidbits this week show the dearth of info that comes out in the middle of January. Of course, hard core fans like us will be parsing through the arbitration filings of the four eligible Rockies, and trying to figure out what their eventual salary awards will mean to the team's ability to spend later, but I've discovered of late that this is not considered polite dinner conversation among most of society. Case in point:
Me: You know, with 2 years, 140 days of service time, Cory Sullivan qualified for arbitration as a so-called Super II, meaning that among players with less than three years of major league service time, he was in the upper 17 percent.
My Mother: Don't be crass, Rox Girl, those things should not be discussed with the chateaubriand.
Me: Sorry. I won't do it again.
My Brother: I saw Mr. Glenn picking his nose today when he thought nobody was looking.
My Mother: Really? Wow. I never would have thought, was he in his garden?
See? Okay, so the above exchange was based on what could have happened if Rox Girl's family ever had Chateaubriand, and not on anything real, but still, signing or not signing Brian Lawrence or trading for Rodrigo Lopez will barely register in most of the sports world. Now, if we were trading for David Beckham...
Anyway, I read Al's take on Bleed Cubbie Blue of MLB Advanced Media's negotiations with DirecTV for exclusive rights to the Extra Innings package of games, as it seems to be completely at odds with my own opinion on the matter, so I thought it might be worth bringing up for discussion. Al says that MLBAM is shooting itself in the foot by doing this, that it will alienate more fans by limiting their options even further. Basically, I see it as an interesting business decision that has to be made soon, thanks to the next generation of home electronics that will tie computers to home theaters in ways that we haven't seen before. AppleTV is just the tip of the iceberg, the first iceberg in a sea full of them, in an ice age. Right now MLBAM doesn't have the capacity to stream top quality digital broadcasts that can compete with cable or DirecTV with its MLBTV product, but how long will it be before the technology is here to do that? Three years? Two?
If we're going to be able to quickly download high quality full length features soon, live broadcasts of sporting events will be the next to come about. There's just too much potential money sitting out there to keep the technology from catching up. Once it does, ExtraInnings becomes the inferior product, meaning it's wise for MLBAM to make as much as it can from the beast while it can. Are there kinks? Yes. Both MLBTV and ExtraInnings have their bugs, but no other sport has so seamlessly integrated content onto the net as Major League Baseball. If you don't believe me, try watching an NBA or NHL game tonight on your computer. As far as I can tell, baseball is the only one that seems to have some understanding of where things are headed.