Good to see MLB going in the right direction: anyone who buys MLB.tv will get the MLB app for free (iOS, most Android). Charging separately for everything (including separate iPhone/iPad apps) was ridiculous.
From an email sent today:
1. MLB.com At Bat 12, the top-ranked sports app in the Apple App Store and recent inductee into the Macworld App Hall of Fame, is now included for free with your subscription (separate purchase not required). Enjoy complete portability to iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and select Android phones and tablets. At Bat 12 is available on 2/29/12.*
Bonus: besides current AppleTV & Roku compatibility, Xbox is coming (“soon”).
Hopefully they can tackle the issue of in-market games. Even when available, like the Yankees are, as a separate purchase, it doesn’t work through MLB.tv or any of the connected devices. Blackout rules do need to be revamped, but there’s an option available and we’re still handcuffed. It makes no sense.
The New York Times has a piece about MLB’s use of DNA testing to confirm identity, as fraud and falsifying documents have been common with prospects coming from Latin America.
The use of DNA for identity isn’t debated all-too-much, but there are major concerns over what else can be learned by DNA testing. What diseases a person may be genetically-disposed could affect who is signed (and for how long and how much).
It seems pretty obvious that a team would be hesitant to sign a player who may not stay healthy, until you think of this:
Mark Rothstein, a professor of bioethics at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, said: “The funny thing about this all is that the most famous baseball player with a genetic disorder was Lou Gehrig. Would they have signed him if they knew he was predisposed to A.L.S.?”
Who wants to be the scout to take a pass on the next Lou Gehrig?
After getting shelled the first three games of the season, Chien-Ming Wang has an ERA of 34.5 in just 6 innings. 23 earned runs will get you there.
Before the season started, Wang’s career ERA was 3.79. Now it’s 4.08. That’s over a 7% increase in 6 innings of work.
If Wang pitched at 3.79 the rest of the season, he’d wind up with an ERA of over 4.5.
Wang would need two complete game shutouts to average less than one run per inning, bringing his ERA below 9.
To bring his 2009 ERA down to his ERA going into the season Wang would need to pitch 48 2/3 innings of shutout ball. That’s 5 consecutive complete game shutouts and change.
Roger Clemens’ lawyer has hired private investigators in an attempt to challenge the credibility of Brian McNamee, who has claimed to have injected Clemens with steroids, a lawyer familiar with the matter told The New York Times.
How effective can a private eye be if the whole world knows what they’re doing?
Sportsline’s fantasy analysis update for Jorge Julio:
Julio is awful. Cut him in all leagues. He is no closer to being the Marlins’ closer than you or I.
Thanks to Mike for the tip.
Blackout rules, those rules which don’t allow you to watch away broadcasts of your favorite team’s games or view them online have once again proved how useful they are for some NY Time Warner customers.
Time Warner Cable in Manhattan doesn’t have a set station for Yankees broadcasts. They have a couple of specials channels, and whenever there’s a game in HD, the channel changes from “Off Air” to the game. They generally include the pre-game and then a 7.5 hour block for the game afterwards. I’ve seen some people who are able to watch this specials channel all the time (it’s always YES), but I’m not one of them.
The Yankees and Red Sox are playing a double header today. The first game, 1pm start, was broadcast on Fox. For some reason the HD Specials channel had the game scheduled on the guide, but if you went to it, you saw nothing but a gray screen. So, even though it doesn’t look like Fox actually broadcasts the game in 720p like they do for their primetime shows, it’s still nice to watch it widescreen and I do.
Fast forward to 8pm. The second game is about to start and it’s not scheduled on the HD Specials channel - but the channel is still active from the first game, scheduled to go off at 830pm. A few seconds after my cable box blinked 830 the broadcasts freezes and the screen goes gray. I call TW and explain the situation to the person on the other end. They might have understood the situation in full at first, but after I’m put on hold and told others are calling in I know they do now. Doesn’t help any, it’s 1h20m later and the channel’s still not accessible (chances are someone just scheduled the wrong game for the specials channel).
Here’s where the blackout rules come into play: INHD has the game on. If that channel weren’t also gray right now, I’d be able to watch it, even if it’s just a simulcast of NESN HD, but MLB won’t let that happen.
I’m not completely in the dark. I do have the standard broadcast of the game, but the HD setup wasn’t free. This game is on three channels, and the two I want to watch aren’t available, one due to my cable company’s mess up, the other due to MLB “protecting” the local broadcaster (the same reason why I can’t watch the game online).
I’m not sure when these ads were made, but I just saw a 300x250 flash ad for the SlingBox - it has someone driving and holding up a phone watching a baseball game. The text is “Now there’s something more dangerous than simply talking on your phone while driving.” (I caught it on Gizmodo’s Rover TV post)
There’s a skyscraper ad that also has a baseball picture on a laptop which reads “watch your home tv on your laptop”.
Both ads, along with an additional cube, point to Sling Media.
I wonder when these were made due to a little feud between Sling and MLB and if Sling planned on going after the baseball/sports fan market a while back, or if there’s an additional little dig in there.
Sports fans have to be big potential “slingers”, especially with some of the asinine blackout rules that are in place.
I also wonder if we’ll see basketball and hockey themed ads in the fall (NFL games are pretty accessible, although the college market could be in play).
I don’t have a SlingBox, but if I did, I’d be sure to check out the mobile player. I am curious how the quality is (and I do realize it will depend on multiple network conditions), it’s a product many have been waiting a while for. You’ll notice the screenshot on the mobile player page is of a soccer game.
I guess if Sling Media stops by here, I should remind them I have a massive hockey audience they might be interested in.
Update Jun 25: Sports Law points us to a Sports Business Journal article (subscription needed) which says MLB plans on seeking licensing fees from Sling, but Sling says they haven’t heard anything yet.
Sling enables TV viewers to access their set-top or TiVo boxes from anywhere in the world via any device that connects to the Web. MLB says that’s fine, but if viewers want to watch on multiple devices, they have to pay multiple times.
MLB Advanced Media is taking issue with people paying to watch games on cable, and then watching them outside their homes.
I’m sure no one is shocked. After all, I never heard from MLB.tv after multiple complaints, have you?
It is unbelievable how anti-consumer and completely control-hungry this division of MLB seems to be. Forget about building and sustaining fanbases, it’s about getting money as quickly and frequently as possible. “Long-term” must be a theory they don’t want to test.
I am an MLB.tv subscriber, I don’t own a SlingBox. I think MLB.tv is a decent product. Quality still has a little way to go and their new MLB.tv Mosaic is truly a great step in the very cool direction (definitely still classifies as beta though). This is what’s frustrating. MLB is giving fans what they want, but with way too many strings attached.
I must have missed an announcement, or maybe there wasn’t any, but anyone using Sportsline for fantasy baseball can now get their player updates via RSS.
I was getting mine by email, but found it a bit rough to keep up with or pay attention to. Subscribing to a feed is much nicer than email updates for me as I can let them sit there a bit without cluttering my inbox.
I found it by seeing the little RSS icon appear in Firefox while browsing in my fantasy leagues’ websites. I was wondering if they offered the standard Sportsline feeds, or if it was something more. Turns out it was a little of both.
If you’re wondering what your feed for player updates is, the url would look something like this:
You can find your team id by mousing over your team name on the “Teams & Owners” page and seeing what that last number is.
Update before I even hit submit on this post: I went to my hockey league, and of course the feed is active for that too. Simply replace the word “baseball” with “hockey” in the url above and that’s it. Have an update for my football pool as well, but I’m not sure what I’d get out of that since I don’t actually pick players - it’s a big feed, perhaps it’s just a lot of them. Goes back to mid-March.
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