Toronto Baseball Guys
Saturday, August 21, 2010
  Making Lemonade out of Sportsnet One
The Jays went back to school a little early last night by teaching young Jays fans, and all Red Sox fans, how to count past twelve with a 16-2 drubbing of the Red Sox. One didn’t have to look too deep to see a few more lessons:
1.) Cheaters never prosper: Put that in your syringe and smoke it David Ortiz!
2.) Jerks never prosper: That’s for throwing at Adam Lind last year, Jonathan Papelbon! Why do you think you blew that save last week? Karma’s a pain ain’t it!

This week is further proof of what a great summer it’s been for Jays’ fans. The on field product has consisted of a delightfully surprising and spunky bunch of players who are jokers on the bench and fighters on the field (not vice versa--and by “fighters” I mean with the opposition, not your own players John Gibbons.) The Jays had just pooched the series in Oakland, and were facing a team –Boston- and pitcher -Jon Lester- that had absolutely dominated the good guys throughout the season. Expectations were quite reasonably set extremely low for the game. Rather than throw in the towel like every Jays team since Alex Gonzalez (the pretty one) showed up, the Jays came out with an absolutely dominating performance in all aspects of the game.

It was pretty nice following up a casual family dinner to tune into Sportsnet to see that the Jays were up 9-0. Come to think of it, it was pretty nice tuning into Sportsnet and actually seeing a game instead of some sport themed movie used to fill the void of yet another game siphoned off to Sportsnet One. Rogers' newest money making sham is nothing but an attempt to increase company profits. Any suggestion to the contrary comes with the same genuine honesty of a debate between Roger Clemens and Pinocchio before he became a real little boy. Rogers does not care about us and does not care about us getting our sports fill, but I do think there are some positives that we can take from the newest channel in the high 300’s.

The benefits related to the new channel are based on the fact that I have no intention of paying for it.

I won’t be able to see all 162 games on television
I’m pretty sure there were a whole whack of games that weren’t shown during the ’92 season, but I’m not sure that I could have appreciated it any more, so trust me, it’s not the end of the world to lose out on some games. Frankly, some of my most exciting moments as a young Jays fan came while trying to figure out the score of a game that hadn’t been televised. We had to be resourceful back in the day:
1.) Running to the front door to find the newspaper
2.) Staring through the front window of the local Toronto Sun box on Sundays (when there was no Globe and Mail) and checking the score that was invariably listed on page one
3) Sitting in front of the TV for twenty minutes just to wait for the score to flash up on that old text based channel –you know, the red, green and blue one-
Whatever it was, Jays fans used to have to earn their information. In the same way that the iPod has taken away the joy of suddenly hearing a song on the radio that you haven’t thought of in years and the internet has rendered irrelevant the hunt for late night goodies on channels 57, 47 and the French one, technological advances in Jay broadcasts have made it too easy. Missing thirty games because they’re being shown on a channel that I don’t have access to will help revive the excitement of learning about Jays results.

Appreciate the Games I do See
162 games are too many to watch. Seeing fewer games will make me appreciate the ones I do see. One day when I’m craving some immediate results, I’ve still got some good options:
Radio: When I was a kid, games weren’t always on TV, and even when they were, sometimes I was banished to my room for bedtime, but that didn’t keep me from turning on my old Blue Jays ear piece radio. Tom and Jerry painted a wonderful picture with their voices: they set the scene, described the action and made it more exciting than it ever could have been on television. Alan Ashby helps to continue the tradition.
ESPN Game Cast: I’m not sure that anything provides a greater adrenaline rush than following the computer generated graphic of a ball, trying to determine whether it’s a popup, fly ball, base hit or homerun.

More Free Time
Let’s assume that I spend three hours motionless in front of a TV screen watching a single game. If thirty games get moved to “The Uno” that means that I now have 900 more free hours. These hours can be spent being a better parent and employee, exercising and most importantly watching “Say Yes to The Dress: Atlanta” with the Toronto Baseball Wife. I feel like I’m more efficient than George Constanza taking a vow of celibacy.

See More Games in Person
It’s not uncommon for an NFL team to “black out” coverage of a game in hopes that it will cause more fans to attend the game. Those of us who choose not to pay for the new station will effectively be blacked out, and might consider attending more games. It would be nice to see more bodies in the SkyCentre.

Pocket Change
Perhaps once Rogers is done lining it’s pockets with $100 bills it might have some left over to spend on the Jays. Wouldn’t it be sweet if this allowed the Jays to be serious players when it comes to signing expensive free agents? By “expensive”, I mean expensive and good, not expensive and crappy JP.

So there you have it. “The Uno” is coming and there’s nothing we can do about it, so let’s get ready to drink up. There are plenty of lemons to go around.

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