Skip to main content

The free preview won't go to waste after all


The television and the computer are very important to my baseball-following existence.

I don't live close to a major league stadium. The nearest ones are an all-day drive away, which would actually be a three-day journey -- one day for the trip down, one to watch the game and one for the trip back. I'm not 20 anymore. I'm not jamming all that into one day.

And the one team that I live and die for is all the way on the other side of the country, thank you very much Walter O'Malley. So, even with modern amenities, my ability to follow my favorite team is somewhat limited.

Therefore, I am the perfect candidate for MLB Extra Innings. It has Night Owl bleeding blue all over it.

But I can't afford it. I have a mortgage and a family and a car that suddenly needs brake work. I try to reconcile daily the amount of money I spend on rectangular photographs of ballplayers. I don't need to do that in two different areas.

And that is why the Free Preview of the MLB Extra Innings package is the highlight of every April. For six glorious days, I can watch my favorite team AND random teams that I'll never get to see in this Oppressive Yankees Hell without the guilt.

Yesterday, I watched the Mariners and A's. Tonight, I watched the Orioles and Rays. I will not get to see these teams again all season unless A-Rod is also prancing around the infield. And that tarnishes the whole experience.

But the best part -- usually -- is getting to see the Dodgers. Most times during the Free Preview, they're playing the Giants or the Diamondbacks. But these last few days, because of that spectacularly imbalanced schedule, they kicked off the season with the Pirates in Pittsburgh.

And for two days I was actually regretting the Free Preview. Almost cursing it. Inventing new words to hurl at it. The first game, the Dodgers gave up 11 runs. I won't even get into that. The second game was worse. Errors. Throws to the wrong base. Endless walks. My boy, Clayton Kershaw, can look like a world-beater and absolutely clueless in the same inning. Walking the pitcher twice? Calm down, son.

But today, finally, the Free Preview presented a game worth watching. Chad Billingsley was respectable. Ronnie Belliard was spectacular. Dodgers 10, Pirates 2 (I have revived the Dodger Player of the Gane on the sidebar).

By the way, why can't I get a card of Belliard in a Dodger uniform? Jim Thome was acquired by the Dodgers after Belliard and I have six cards of Thome as a Dodger, but none of Belliard. Meanwhile, Thome is now a Twin, but Belliard is still a Dodger. Topps Total, where ARE you?

Living 3,000 miles away from my favorite team is an experience that those who live close to their team may never know. Every game that I see them play -- because I see so few of them -- is like a playoff game. Simply excruciating. Even in a game played at noon in a near empty ballpark. (Plus the Dodgers slow the game down so much it seems like it's one of those mid-October plodfests).

Next, the Dodgers try to squish the fish. I'll be busy working for most of it. Sunday will be my last chance to see the Free Preview, and then it's back to a steady diet of Michael Kay and Ron Darling-Keith Hernandez.

At least I won't get an ulcer watching those teams.

Comments

Captain Canuck said…
at least PNC park is pretty...
TheBrooklynMet said…
I know how you feel, and I too love the preview. Do you really think Darling and Hernandez are that bad? I am a Met fan, so am biased, but I tend to think the trio is a pretty good one. Hernandez especially seems very fair and willing to criticize both teams and also praise both teams. I am interested to see what someone unbiased as yourself thinks.
night owl said…
Actually, they're fairly entertaining, especially Hernandez. They get a little TOO giddy at times and lose track of what's going on, but overall they're a lot better than what the Yankees have to offer.
gcrl said…
Its too bad they opened on the road so there's no vin scully wishing you a pleasant good evening wherever you may be.
Field of Cards said…
I bit the bullet and bought the Extra Innings package. It is $179 for the season. Last year I think it was $300 when I called a few weeks in (I passed).

I have never been able to watch my Orioles consistently and this team is just too exciting to miss out.

But the last three days have been intense (three 1 run games). I'm clapping and screaming and cheering. It's ridiculous. And I log onto my favorite Orioles' fan site and we all comment live as the games swing back and forth.

This is the most fun I've had being an Orioles' fan my whole life. I finally feel connected beyond boxscores and 60 seconds of highlights.
Matt Runyon said…
The preview is kinda wasted for me as well. The only Giants game I'll be able to catch is Saturday. Oh well -- the Giants and Diamondbacks are in the same division so I'll be able to catch those games. :)
Dinged Corners said…
Night, well said. Every time I visit my in-laws, I watch a LOT of superduperwidescreen baseball. I see the Mets! Makes for a good visit. We even go to Rockies games when they play the Mets. But the rarity does give each game an, um, unusual level of intensity.
dfwbuck2 said…
justin dot tv sometimes streams sporting events that are not available locally...i have caught a couple sabres games on it, its not that reliable but sometimes its better than nothing
Anonymous said…
I broke down and bought mlb.tv.. Allowing me to watch on my computer whenever and wherever. Only way I can see the Jays (unless there is the aforementioned A-Rod prancing). =\
BASEBALL DAD said…
I guess I never realized how lucky I am.You guys (and Gal)have made me stop and think about that a little. I live 1-1 1/2 hours from "The Jake" and our cable co. carries MLB.
Spiff said…
I just paid the $20 for the Gameday audio. Lets me listen to all the Rangers games. Not too bad a much cheaper than the video. Baseball is meant to be a radio game anyway if you can't get to the park.

Popular posts from this blog

Cards I'll never buy

I started thinking about the topic of this post even before I saw this image today on the Twitter page of @halocline_gg.

I immediately breathed a sigh of relief upon seeing the photo. This hobby disaster had nothing to do with me.

To run into a sign like this -- if it involved baseball -- would be deflating. And that's why I was relieved that it was targeting a product -- and collectors -- that are so far removed from the way I collect.

Here are the things that I don't care about concerning 2019-2020 Optic Mega Boxes:

1. It's Panini
2. It's basketball
3. It's basketball players on Panini cards.

There are few cards that I know I will never buy, but current basketball cards are definitely in that category.

And here's the exercise: since I have a wide variety of card interests and lots of things that I would buy, I tried to think of cards I would never buy. Ever. Not on a whim. Not on a dare. Never.

I came up with a few. Let's start with the topic du jour:



1. Current b…

Where pages go to die

One thing that I fail to do when trading in this hobby is make the best use of my PWEs and my extra pages.

When sending out a PWE, I usually pack maybe 3 or 4 cards into penny sleeves and fold some paper around it so the cards don't move around and then ship it off.

Meanwhile, people are stuffing up to 12 cards into one-third of a nine-pocket page and shipping it in that same PWE. What's wrong with me?

I don't know, I guess I don't have a lot of extra pages around right now. But that's not the main reason. The main reason is I don't think of it. And when someone sends me one of those cut-up pages, I don't keep them so I can be just as efficient when I send out PWEs.

Yup, those cut-up pages just get chucked. I'm the place where pages go to die.

I've got to stop that. I have a card room and a card desk and a card drawers full of supplies. I love my card drawer full of supplies. All I need to do is add those cut-up pages to the drawers and I'll be…

Eighties

I've been feeling a little guilty lately about neglecting my 1980s card needs.

All of my recent purchases have been related to vintage or Dodgers from the 1990s to the present. The poor '80s have been ignored.

I don't have anything against the '80s, not at all. It's pretty much my favorite decade. While I prefer the '70s for cards and the '90s for god awful situations, the '80s are the overall winner. I continue to live in them when it comes to music, recounting past girlfriends, and the best memories of all-time.

So why don't I gravitate toward the cards from the '80s?

Well, probably mostly because I have so many of them. All the Topps sets are complete. And most of the Dodgers team sets from that time were finished off long ago. My favorites from Donruss and Fleer are done, too.

That leaves the sets that aren't the greatest but do showcase the players that I grew up with, and that's why I'm still trying to complete some Fleer sets…