You may have heard that the baseball season got underway this morning with the A’s and the Mariners squaring off in Japan, and I say “heard” because in the Bay Area there was no other option besides listening on the radio for A’s fans to follow the game.
CSN California chose not to carry the game, instead opting for infomercials.
MLB Network showed the game, but on tape delay starting at 6am.
The only live option to watch the game was ROOT Sports. Unfortunately the only live option was blacked out in the Bay Area because of the arcane rules regarding watching teams in your home market play. Apparently this is something that is unbending, even when the local cable company decides not to carry the game.
So much for the excitement of opening day. As Grant Brisbee of SB’s Baseball Nation puts it, no one cares about the A’s:
No one gives a crap about the Oakland A’s:
And I’m not writing that in the ha-ha sense. I’m including Major League Baseball in this heading. The whole reason the teams are over in Japan has nothing to do with us. I can understand that. It was to expand the game’s reach, to broaden the international markets. Teams were going to have to make sacrifices. Let’s see, we’ll bring the Mariners because of the star power of Ichiro, and … the A’s because no one gives a crap.
An Opening Day without a live broadcast is unthinkable, even if it starts at 3:00 a.m. local time. But MLB doesn’t care because it’s the A’s. And the MLB Network has no problem running the game on a tape delay after the 392nd repeat airing of 30 Clubs in 30 Days runs from 3:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. because it’s the A’s.
This reminds me of the Montreal Expos in 2000, when they didn’t have an English-language radio deal. It’s not as serious, but almost as offensive.
I can’t say that I disagree with that assessment even though I do know that there are some people that care — just not the ones that make important decisions in baseball. If the other Bay Area team was the one playing, I can guarantee this game would’ve been aired live … hell, the start time probably would have been moved to the early afternoon to start this game in the evening for West Coast fans.
As for the actual game that was played, it was a classic pitchers’ duel between Felix Hernandez and Brandon McCarthy. The Athletics’ big signing, Yoenis Cespedes, went 1-for-3 in his MLB debut with a sharp double. Ichiro Suzuki had 4 hits that got the crowd in Tokyo pumped up. It was an exciting game and a shame that baseball fans in the Bay Area didn’t have the choice to watch it.