The Excruciating Ways to Catch Baseball
Apr 11th, 2009 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Somebody might tell you that MLB has their act together when it comes to understanding the opportunities that the Internet offers the average fan to catch their favorite team. THIS IS COMPLETE BULLSHIT. You might even hear them say that Bud Selig should be congratulated for these advancements, as if fucking Selig has ever been on the Internet in his entire life. There isn’t a single commissioner in sports doing a good job right now, but that’s another story.

Here’s a breakdown on the sheer incompetence of getting your game. (Please note that I am writing this with the perspective of a guy living in a different market than his team – I live in Colorado and only care about the Blue Jays. If you are within like 200 fucking miles of a stadium, you get to enter the world of PROXIES and various other stupid horseshit.)



So, it’s Saturday and there’s nothing I’d rather do than climb out of bed, shake about ten pounds of cat hair off me, and catch Roy Halladay vs Cliff Lee, in what should be demonstrative proof that Lee winning the Cy Young Award last year was fucking horseshit. 

Directv is offering a “preview” of MLB Extra Innings. It’s $160 for the entire year, and honestly, with how much the equivalent is for the NFL, that sounds like a great deal. (I will go ahead and assume that Directv’s NFL Ticket will break $240 in September.) 

The problem is that they don’t broadcast all the games! Are you fucking kidding me? And more – how is this game not on? This is fucking inexcusable. I know that Lee is turning back into a shitbag, but for fuck’s sake. 

More, it already takes effort to keep track of the regular game times for the Jays. I work until 7 or 8 PM, and their home games start at 5:07PM MDT. I’m not physically around to use the Directv solution, but let’s say I get out early (or the Jays are on the west coast) – I have to seriously consult Directv’s schedule as well? Fuck that. Seriously, fuck that. Again, I understand if they can’t broadcast Rockies games, but otherwise they need to seriously fuck off. 



This is $14.95 a month. And maybe it’s okay this year, but I’ve had it for the 2008 and 2007 seasons, and it’s just shit. Something about it isn’t compatible with our anti-virus software at work, which is fucking amazing, in so much that all anti-virus software has bloated themselves into some kind of security suite, and that whoever put together can’t just give you a link to a a video or audio stream. And Christ, the thing is always locking up. This is a miserable ripoff – again, maybe it gets better in like mid-July, when interest has cooled off and there are less people catching the games, but I had games locking up on me at that point as well last year. (If your experiences with it are better this year, that is awesome, and do feel free to describe what it’s like in the comments. I’m honestly curious.)



This is okay, I guess – it’s $10 for the entire year. Audio only, except – except! They will put small videos of clutch hits and such for you to watch, if you really want to. I’m fine with audio-only, as long as I can choose my own announcers, which I can with this.

The app lets you click on the box score, and see who is fielding where – it’s got lots of easy-to-implement stuff that reminds me of how the Diamond Mind baseball game is set up.

I did buy this, and I think it’s good, overall. The really maddening part is how they deal with commercials. The audio feed goes silent, but not immediately! I honestly think some asshole is sitting there with his finger on the “mute” button at the source, and he simply forgets to hit the button right away. (The most annoying commercial in the world right now is the one for Super-8 on Toronto’s the FAN station.) I’m fairly certain that the same guy forgets to consistently put the sound back on right away .



Well, yes, this would be best.


So, I don’t know. There really is no perfect solution for catching the games live. Directv is too demanding, is an enormous pain in the ass, and the iPhone app can’t get me consistent audio. The whole thing is fucked.

Apr 10th, 2009 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Just a quick note to anyone dropping by: I’m on Twitter, at

The Best You Can Do Is Make Him Laugh At Your Predicament.
Apr 1st, 2009 by Pinback

Here’s the thing about Tiger Woods: Nobody argues about it anymore. 

There was a time, if you can believe it, that there was such a thing as the “Big Four” of golf. They were: 

Tiger Woods 

Phil Mickelson 

Vijay Singh 

Ernie Els 

These were the heavyweights, and even though Tiger was winning more than his share, the others would bristle at the fact that Eldrick was always getting more press, more credit, more money, more LUV, more whatever. They were the Big Four, and they all wanted the same respect, and they all thought that if they tried hard enough, it wouldn’t always be Tiger at the top of the hearts-and-minds list. They all thought they had a chance. 

For a year or two, even, it was the Big Five — The above, plus Retief Goosen. 

This was not that long ago. In fact, this was AFTER the Tiger Slam, AFTER Tiger had begun to really start tearing into some records that had long been thought unsinkable. Even after all that, there was still a Big Four, or a Big Five, or even a Big Two, once Mickelson became the clear, consistent almost-front-runner. 

But just as recently as a year ago, maybe two, all of that seemingly just stopped. 

Not just among the writers, always prone to hyperbole and wanting to write breathless columns (like this one) about the next coming of the Lord — that had been going on since before he fired shot one as a professional, somewhere in Milwaukee. 

No, by this time, it had even stopped among his peers. A couple of semi-famous maniacs (I’m looking at you here, Ian Poulter) would occasionally find themselves in front of a camera and say hey, I’ma be #1 soon, and they’d take it as seriously as if I’d said it. But you never heard it from anyone from yesteryear’s Big Four, Big Five, Big Anybody. 

One day, they just stopped. 

One day, after too many second-place finishes to Tigs, Els stopped thinking his Big Easy swing would carry him to the promised land. 

One day, no matter how many “Tiger Who?” caps his caddy wore, Vijay realized there was no point. 

One day, after one too many oh-so-sincere, smugly self-aggrandizing smiles into the camera, Phil just gave up the dream, realizing being a legitimate, or anywhere close to legitimate #1 was not to be, in his lifetime. 

Now, nobody that matters in the sport even bothers trying. They are a generation of professional golfers subdued into being satisfied with million dollar purses, Rich-and-Famous lifestyles, and always being known as “one of the other ones”. 

Not a bad life. And certainly a more honest one, now that they’ve given up the dream, one that was destined never to be theirs, once Earl and Kultida Woods hooked up that one fateful, sweaty night, and nine-plus-six months later when the baby held a cut-off iron in his hand and tried to emulate his father’s swing. 

Nowadays, when he shows up, even if they put up a good front in the press room, behind their eyes they’re bowing down, and showing a begrudging, defeated respect. 

The smart ones — the ones with some dignity, and perspective, and humor — add in a little admiration. This is why Rocco Mediate at last year’s U.S. Open was such a wonderful story. This was a great guy, with humor and wit and joy about him, and he knew he wasn’t supposed to win, and that’s why it was so great that he almost did. 

The night before the playoff, while answering reporters’ questions in the press room, somewhere off-screen Tiger walked in to prep for his own session with the microphones. 

Rocco noticed, looked up, pointed to him faux-menacingly and said, “Hear that, pal? I’m comin’ for ya.” Then motioned to the press and added, “See, he’s scared of me.” 

Rocco got it. You can’t come for him. You can’t scare him. The best you can do is make him, and the rest of us, laugh at your predicament. 

Finally, everyone is coming around to that. 

Game over.

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