Tag Archives: Rogers

Rogers does something right for once

Last week, Sportsnet acquired the TV rights to the rest of the Jays games this season from TSN in exchange for the rights to Sunday Night Baseball.

Sportsnet’s got a history of screwing Jays fans by hiding the games on the Rogers Preview Channel. The network also seemingly likes to sometimes add a little spice to the screwing by running games on only one of their four networks, so those who don’t purchase the full Rogers cable package can’t watch the games.

While that might be one way for Rogers Broadcasting to earn a little more money, that money came at the expense of Rogers Baseball Operations.

As a person who’s only got basic cable — meaning the only Sportsnet I get is the Ontario channel and I do not have access to the Preview channel — I’ve been burned a number of times by the idiocy. It sucks. I know firsthand.

But last night I stumbled across a glorious little blurb of an article on The Star’s website. It’s the kind of news that Jays fans have been waiting for for a very, very long time:

Only two more games, after Monday night’s opener against the Twins, will be shuffled off to the preview channels: Wednesday night’s game in Seattle and Friday night’s in Arizona.

After that, all Jays games will be on the flagship Sportsnet channel 22.

Hallelujah! Our prayers have been answered!

Those two games that are being moved, in case anyone’s curious, are being moved because of the Memorial Cup. You could argue the merits of that decision, but it’s really a small price to pay to know that for the next four-plus months Jays fans won’t have to worry about looking for low-quality P2P feeds of the game.

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The outfield walls

I realize that Rogers runs the Blue Jays as if it were just an advertising opportunity for its cellphones. I realize the Dome is not a baseball-specific stadium and we’re unlikely to ever see the standards of real grass and actual warning tracks be part of the field. It sucks, but I’ve come to terms with those things.

Imagine Devo pulling back a home run...

Ads, ads everywhere, overpriced beer and a generally horrible atmosphere for baseball are the price to be paid for attending a baseball game in Toronto. Fine. There is one thing I’d like to see fixed though: The outfield walls.

The first issue with the walls is that, at 10 feet high, they’re too tall. GROF did a fine job on that topic a while back though, so instead of rehashing what’s already been said, I’ll just direct you to the post.

The issue I want to tackle is a very simple one: Those damn video boards that are part of the outfield walls.

Look, I’m fine with being bombarded with advertising at the Dome. I’m used to it. No problem. But when the advertising starts affecting the actual gameplay, well, I’m not so cool with that.

How do the videoboards affect the game? I’m glad you asked (even if you didn’t).

You may recall that during Saturday afternoon’s game, Fred Lewis got thrown out trying to turn a double into a triple. Did FdotLew overestimate his own speed? Was the throw an on-target missile that even Rickey Henderson could not have beat?

Why did Lewis get thrown out?

Thankfully I had my portable radio with me at the game (yes, I’m that guy) so I was fortunate enough to hear third-base coach Brian Butterfield explain to Mike Wilner why Lewis was thrown out on that play. Here, from Wilner’s blog, is the explanation:

Brian Butterfield told me that Lewis said he couldn’t really see the ball because of the videoboards on the wall in the gaps, and that that’s a pretty common thing.  Lewis didn’t know a throw was already coming.  The answer should be that if you’re not 100% sure you’ll make it into third base standing – and knowing exactly where the ball is as you hit second is a pretty important variable – you have to stay at second.

It’s the damn video boards! Wilner’s right, you should stick at second if you don’t know where the ball is, but that’s only addressing the symptom. The real problem is the fact that those video boards are out there to begin with.

Rogers, please. Make one concession to baseball fans. Fix the outfield walls. Lower the height to eight feet and get rid of the damn video boards.

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