Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The scandal will not end here

And by scandal, we are referring to the fact that we as baseball fans in Canada are still unable to watch the MLB Network. So even if we had the inclination to tune into yesterday's teary-eyed revelation of what we all knew all along, we wouldn't be able to because there is no way to see the MLB Network in Canada.

(Unless you own a grey market dish. But we wouldn't advocate that. Because it is illegal. And wrong. Although maybe not as wrong as depriving baseball fans of baseball content through this long and lonely winter. One would think that if a company had some interest in a baseball team, and interest in stoking the fires of baseball fandom, then maybe they would get off their fucking duff, make use of the CRTC license that they already hold, and slot the MLB Network onto their digital dial, somewhere in between the NFL Network and CBS College Sports and the Big Ten Network...all of which are available in HD so that we can enjoy weeks old football games and women's hockey matchups between Michigan State and Nortwestern. Which must be fascinating to someone.)

Truly, this is a scandal that should shake baseball to it's pillars.

(And if anyone is thinking that launching MLB Network in time for the start of the baseball season is a cracking good idea, they should know that we baseball fans would gladly watch any old game or content or talking head gasbag forum to fill that baseball hole in our lives right now.)

And as for that other guy
The funny thing about the apology of the Slammin' Ginger is that those who called for him to come clean over the years are unlikely to be satisfied with his admission, because they never really cared if he came clean. They just wanted proof, and his word was the only thing they had to go on.

Having read the quotes (Thanks MLB Network PR folk! Convenient! And prompt!), we're actually left with a feeling that McGwire may have done more damage than good with his admission. What he said last night was as carefully scripted as his congressional non-statement, intentionally leaving lots of room for people to make excuses for his actions and rationalizations for his Hall-worthiness.

We actually liked Mark McGwire as a player, even when we suspected that he was unnaturally gifted. We liked McGwire in spite of our suspicions because - and this is easy to forget now - there were a LOT of guys who looked suddenly and suspiciously massive in that era, and we never saw the use in getting bogged down with the "who's-doing-what-with-which-results" question.

In fact, we regret even writing this, because we're certain that the comments are going to devolve into a prolonged discussion of "Values!" "Morals!" "Played the game the right way" "Cheaters!" "Rewarding criminals!" "Fair!"

But if you're so inclined, then have at it. Although we'd prefer that you spend your time worrying about how to get the MLB Network in Canada.

27 comments:

Ty said...

Seriously, how can we get the MLB Network in Canada? I assume writing to Rogers would be pointless, even if a whole bunch of us do it, but I want that channel, dag nabbit!

Anonymous said...

The "issue" here, if there even is one, is how orchestrated this whole thing is. Jeff Blair on PTS yesterday went as far as to suggest the whole thing had been scripted by Selig and all, who have a lot invested in the Next Step in steroids era "reconciliation." I think the public doesn't care anymore about specific players, and the issue is likely to flare up only when some of these guys get close to getting into the HOF. Which might be a long time from now. I think the real baseball fan has mentally rebooted the records to Aaron and Maris and Ruth and just moved on. McGwire has no chance at the HOF anyway, because his numbers don't add up and that one major achievement has been wiped away. Sosa, on the other hand, has a problem.

Selig better work something out with Rose as well or he's going to look worse.

And as others have said -- La Russa looks like the biggest tool in all of this. Smarmy, sanctimonious bullshit artist.

KC

The Ack said...

Also seriously, if I had access to the MLB network, I'd fear for my marriage.

Stedron said...

Can you guys get DirecTv up there? If so, are the channels it provides just different than ours?

eyebleaf said...

I liked McGwire too. I was all over that race back in 1998. That shit was fun. I even own a Mac jersey. Steroids schmeroids, I enjoyed "Chasing Maris." And, for some reason, I always liked McGwire more than Bonds. Even though it was all a farce, I didn't want Bonds to beat McGwire. And I'm not a racist. At least I don't think I am.

Verducci's piece at SI about Mac was great. McGwire must feel a lot lighter today. And good on him.

Also: fuck Bud Selig.

Tao of Stieb said...

@Stedron

Nope, we can't get DirectTV. We have three direct-to-home satellite companies that are regulated here and have channels approved for carriage by the CRTC.

(And before anyone gets outraged, the same thing goes the other way. Americans can't buy ExpressVu or Star Choice, no matter how badly they want to watch MenTV or Showcase Diva.)

So, it sucks. Unless you're inviting us all to come hang with you and have a picnic and watch MLB Network at your place.

Colt McCoy said...

we need MLB network here bad. I doubt it will happen with rogers control over baseball operations. I'm pretty sure you still can't get in market games on mlb.tv either

Random D-bag said...

I wonder why they wouldn't carry it. Maybe their market research tells them it wouldn't be worth it and they'd be better off using that channel to show a burning fireplace 365 days a year.

Tao of Stieb said...

I love the fireplace channel!

Ty said...

Yeah, don't rag on the fireplace channel. I don't understand how Rogers thinks it's a good idea to have a Big 10 HD channel but absolutely nothing in the way of baseball, though. That's beyond ridiculous.

eyebleaf said...

Ty, what gave you the impression that Rogers knows anything about baseball?

Hopefully Handsome Tony Viner has MLB Network high atop his to-do list.

North American Sports Fan said...

Mark McGwire reinforces my belief that white people can be elite athletes. Therefore I fully support him in all his endeavors, while I remain ambivalent toward Barry Bonds. I mildly distrust non-whites.

SP said...

Awesome Lettermanesque rant about MLB Network. They can fuck right off. And fuck their ridiculous Youtube policy too.

Tim in London said...

I may be wrong, as I often am, but was there a "no steroid" rule back then. If not, then all the holier than thou people can suck it. If it wasn't against the rules, the only thing they have to worry about is shrunken testicles. That's the choice of each individual. I loved watching Mac hit those bombs out of Fenway w/ a broken bat at the all star game.

SP said...

Well, it was illegal under US law, which should trump MLB, you'd think.

QJays said...

Entire interview was carried live on mlb.com -- it was frustrating to watch though. Anytime Costas asked McGwire if he had benefited from steroids, he responded with how talented he was (how talented God made him), and how steroids can't make you talented.

"Hmmm ... did you find you could BENCH PRESS more than before, though, Mark?" (oddly, Costas never thought to ask about the effect on actual strength)

The whole thing seemed designed for him to assure everyone that he belongs in the HoF (because steroids had no effect), but also that all he ever wanted was to be honest.

I personally think he belongs in the HoF anyway, but I think I like him a little bit less now.

Anonymous said...

I actually don't have any "moral" qualms about Clemens or the bash brothers or any of them, except that they're all fucking assholes. Say what you want about Dawson and Alomar, but they're not fucking assholes.

I have no sympathy for that one-dimensional weasel McGwire , or pathological idiot Clemens -- I mean who names their kids after strikeouts? -- or that dolt Canseco.

Fuck them.

Z Dot said...

Mark looked really weird during the interview; way younger than when he was in front of Congress in 2005. His face looked heavily botoxed and his neck looked really weird.

Just saying, is all.

Stedron said...

You guys are more then welcome to come hang out if your coming down to visit Great American Ballpark. Or if you just want to make a 7 hour drive to soak in some Harold Reynolds / Mitch Williams banter.

Maybe we can house-swap? I'm intrigued by this fireplace channel...

There was a great point made about how you guys have the Big 10, but not MLB. That's just dumb. Though I will say that the Big 10 became available to us much quicker than MLB, which maybe says something for how those networks are distributed.

SP said...

8:54 makes a good point. It'd be much easier to defend the roiders if so many of them weren't such thoroughly unlikable assholes.

Anonymous said...

MLB network is awesome, the other night they replayed Nolan ryAns no hitter vs the jays, so at least you didn't have to watch that. Although, it was cool to watch an old "labatts blue jays baseball" telecast...team needs that feel again

Anonymous said...

The BigTen network is actually half decent. Sure the teams aren't the best but you get to see some decent NCAA basketball throughout the week. Come March/April they will be showing some NCAA baseball which is also pretty good.

The Ack said...

The only thing I've ever watched on the big-10 network was some NCAA baseball....and I was underwhelmed. I dunno, maybe leading into the draft I'll watch for some of the "names".

Stedron said...

As an OSU fan, the football broadcasts are horrid. We get about 3 or 4 games a year designated to the Big 10, and the guys in the booth are awful. And heaven forbid someone runs a play-action pass. The camera will be fixed on the line of scrimmage while quarterback is out of the frame.

Stedron said...

while THE quarterback...

Anonymous said...

Still would rather watch the Big 10 network than anything other than Blue Jays baseball on Sportsnet.

Anonymous said...

酒店打工 酒店兼職
台北酒店 打工兼差 酒店工作
酒店經紀 禮服酒店
酒店 酒店上班 酒店PT 酒店兼差