Wednesday, October 7, 2009

October 7, 2009

When I was a kid, I remember watching the playoffs and World Series every year. Sure, it meant I was staying up later on school nights, but it was the World Series. It was great to sit with my mom and watch the games, and it built a love of baseball for me that still exists today. When I became a dad, one of the things I looked forward to the most was doing the same thing with Lucas, watching the World Series every fall. I remember when Barry Bonds broke the single-season Home Run mark in 2001, I was watching it with Lucas. Ok, so he was 6 weeks old and sleeping on my chest, but we still were there together!

The thing that has troubled me in recent years is how late these playoff games start, and not just for the World Series. With coverage starting at 8:00, and pre-game and ceremonial blah blah blah, the game doesn’t start until 8:30, and often lasts past midnight. That’s not a time that I can justify letting Lucas stay up to watch, which is very frustrating. What ever happened to 7 pm starts, and god forbid…day games? Yes, I know it’s all about TV ratings and Prime Time ad space, so don’t feel you have to explain that to me, but as a father who wants to watch the games with his son, it’s very frustrating that I can’t.

So, yesterday, there was an interesting situation. The Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins finished the regular season with identical records of 86-76 and tied for the AL Central Division Title. That means they would have to play a tiebreaker game to determine who won the division and advanced to the playoffs. Seriously, is there anything more exciting than a one-game playoff after a 162-game season? Since I had Lucas last night, I thought we could watch a couple of innings before he had to go to bed. But then I saw something amazing…the start time of the game was 5:07 pm!

Wait a minute, this means I can watch playoff baseball with my son…an entire game. I’m thrilled…this is fantastic! So, when we get home, I start flipping around to find the game. I check TSN and it’s not on there. I check The Score, and it’s not there either. Rogers Sportsnet is showing Prime Time Sports. Hmmm. CBC – nope. CTV – nope. TBS (which is now called Peachtree TV, but only “sometimes”…I don’t get it.) – nope. I then flip channel by channel to see if it’s on anywhere, and no dice. (Keep in mind I don’t have satellite or digital TV, but I have a full cable package, so I’m just flipping from channel 2 to channel 70)

I do a little investigative research and find out that Rogers Sportsnet and TBS are showing it, but not on the basic cable package. All I was getting on those two stations later was a lame old boxing match that nobody cared about, and syndicated re-runs of Law & Order: SVU. So, I can’t watch it. And to top it off, it’s a fantastic game with lead changes and extra innings and plays at the plate, and a dramatic win by the Twins to ruin the Tigers' season. In short...perfect playoff baseball.

And Lucas and I couldn’t watch it.

If it’s not one thing, it’s another.

I’m sure I’ll get to watch some playoff baseball with him when he’s in high school.


Anonymous said...

Did you really want to watch it that much? Easy solutions;

1) Spring for the extra amount for digital. Excellent packages out now that don't amount to too much more
2) Since it was an early game, why not just take Lucas and head over to a Kelsey's or some other family/sports establishment that was showing the game
3) Call up a friend (if you haven't been invited already) who has digital and head over to watch it with Lucas and a friend all together ;-)

After seeing that game last night, even though I was EXTREMELY let down, it was one of the more exciting games in baseball I've seen in years. Had you taken any of the options above I'm sure that game alone would have made any effort worthwhile.

Sean said...

You know, on paper, those seem like they would be good suggestions, but aren't really that plausible when you consider the circumstances.

At 5:45 pm when we get home and turn on the game, it doesn't seem likely that I could have:

a) called up and had them come and install the digital box immediately so I could catch the end of the game.

b) Phoned around to find a place that was playing the game and then gone out with an 8-year old. (Ok, maybe this one COULD have worked)

c) invite myself and Lucas over to someone's house.

And thanks for rubbing it taking pictures of you watching the game on your big-screen TV....that was classy.

You really should find some way to make up for the bad karma from that.

Anonymous said...

Baseball sucks anyways. Borrrring.

Anonymous said...

The only similarity between Baseball and Boring, is the first letter in each word.