April 18, 2014

This Week in Baseball: 4/13-4/18

TV Blackouts: Jeff Passan has a great article this week on MLB TV blackouts. Basically there are blackouts for one simple reason, these regional networks pay millions of dollars to broadcast these games and they don't want you losers to bypass buying cable and watching games on MLB.tv. What's interesting is that baseball is being sued over the blackouts and they're waving their anti-trust exemption in every one's face as their defense. I hope baseball loses this lawsuit and loses big.

Whoops: Eventually I'm going to need glasses. Bad eyes runs in my family. So when I'm picking out glasses one day I'm going to make sure I never pick out the glasses Al Leiter wore the other night at Yankee Stadium.

Ben Sheets!?!: Beyond the Boxscore wants you to know that Ben Sheets was really awesome when he was actually healthy. Sheets had a 7 WAR season in 2004 where he only had a 3.4 BB% which is incredible. He also induced that year 43% groundball rate making him one of the best worm burners in baseball.

The Most Valuable Pitchers: Grant Brisbee looks at the most valuable pitchers in baseball. Now valuable doesn't mean best. Verlander and Kershaw are better pitchers than Jose Fernandez right now, but Jose Fernandez doesn't make their type of money while putting up similar numbers thus making him more valuable.

Chris Sale: Jeff Passan had another good column this week, this time on White Sox pitcher Chris Sale. The column talks about draft day 2010 and the Royals reluctance to pick Sale with the 4th pick. What's amazing is that even in baseball, like football, if a pitcher doesn't throw like anyone else a team doesn't want him. The Royals thought they would be picking a reliever in Sale, ironic because they picked a reliever in Aaron Crow the year before who they thought would be a starter, and instead picked Christin Colon who looks like he'll be a utilityman if he ever gets called up.

Contract Extensions: Beyond the Boxscore looks at the next wave of players who should sign contract extensions whipping out arbitration years. The most fascinating one to my interests is definitely the Brandon Belt extension. I would love it if the Giants signed him to an extension.

George Springer!: The Astros finally called up their superstar prospect in George Springer on Wednesday night. Fangraphs profiles him and says that he is both speedy, powerful, and athletic. Basically he could be a poor man's version of Mike Trout. The one worry for Springer though is that he does swing and miss a lot but has shown patience at the plate to counterbalance that flaw.

The Best of the Weekend: A look at the best pitching matchups and games of the weekend.

Friday, Orioles at Red Sox, Tillman vs Lackey: Do you realize that Chris Tillman has a 0.84 ERA to start the year? Chris freaking Tillman! Of course his BABIP is really low and his FIP is high but enjoy him while he's good, Baltimore fans!

Saturday, Atlanta at New York, Santana vs Colon: Watch this game for the Bartolo Colon at-bats alone.

Sunday, Milwaukee at Pittsburgh, Estrada vs Cole: The Brewers were on fire and then St. Louis showed up and ruined their early season party by taking 2 out of 3 games in Milwaukee. It's still the Cardinals division. The Brewers-Pirates series will be a fight over table scraps because I don't believe either of these teams are going to beat the Cardinals this year.


  1. I didn't have to really deal with blackouts on MLB.tv until I moved to Utah and found out that I can't watch Giants/DBacks games here because of the fact that DirecTV customers in Salt Lake get Fox Sports AZ on the basic package, thereby blacking out those games online. (In fairness though, the same thing happens for Sharks/Coyotes games I want to watch, so it's not exclusive to MLB). In the nearly four years I've lived in Salt Lake, the only people I've seen that are actual Diamondback fans are tourists I see on my lunch break walking around Temple Square.

    1. You can watch the Giants/DBacks though on their channel right?

    2. No, because I have cable (Comcast) and FS AZ is not available here on Comcast, only DirecTV.

  2. There's just too much money from these local networks for MLB to ever drop the blackout rules. Same with the NBA/NHL. I'm sure MLB would love to drop the blackout rules then probably more people would buy MLB.tv but these local cable companies want all of your money.

    I'm still a believer that cable companies are going to struggle soon. That bubble is going to pop like the Blockbuster bubble soon.