Allow me to vent about a situation I’ve recently found myself in. I’ve been cut off from the Cardinals.
OK, maybe I’m being overly dramatic. Here’s my situation: KWKB carried all the KSDK games on TV here in Cedar Rapids, IA. I have Mediacom for cable, who has a monopoly on the cable in my area. They don’t carry Fox Sports Midwest, nor do they offer Extra Innings, so during the week I’d listen on the radio as I could, and watch the Cardinals on TV on the weekends. It wasn’t an ideal situation, but a livable one. Between KSDK and national telecasts on FOX and ESPN, I was getting by.
Well, now they’ve decided to opt for bad movies and infomercials over the Cardinals. That’s right, they dumped the Cardinals. If I could, I would turn to satellite dish or MLB.tv. Well, I can’t. I live in an apartment that won’t allow me to get a dish, and if you didn’t know, Iowa is blackout hell. The White Sox, Cubs, Twins, Royals, Brewers and Cardinals are all blacked out. The Cubs and White Sox being blacked out is understandable, they are readily available on cable no matter who your provider is. The Royals (who really cares) are available to people in the western part of the stat, the Twins to the north, and who knows why the Brewers are blacked out. I’m stuck.
I know there are ways of sneaking around the blackout restrictions, but here’s the thing…I’m a nut. I have a super-sensitive conscious and it is actually illegal to get around the system. I’m strange like that, I won’t download music illegally or park in handicapped spots. I like to think this is mostly a good quality and something that has spared me from being a jerk. And besides my conscious, I don’t really have the technical know-how, although I’m sure I can figure it out.
But I don’t think I should have to sneak around to begin with. Why in the world is Major League Baseball making it harder for fans to access their product? This would seem like an incredibly stupid way to run a business.
So that’s my gripe. I’m stuck with radio and about 20 national broadcasts this year for my Cardinals fix. Incredibly lame. I’m not about to move, either. Not for a little while, at least.
Because of the lack of baseball on TV, I’ve taken to watching the White Sox on occasion in recent years. They have a few things going for them – they’re incredibly quirky, from their GM to their manager to their TV announcers and so on. While they’ve had their moments, I don’t think of them as a particularly well run team. I think Kenny Williams has made some great moves, like Danks for McCarthy, but who trades for Juan Pierre as their starting LF, or signs Andruw Jones to DH? Ozzie Guillen is the craziest manager of his era by far. He seems to get the most of his teams, but the man has an incredible knack for attracting the wrong sort of attention. At least he keeps things entertaining, in a weird way.
They also have Mark Buehrle, a pretty good pitcher and an unabashed Cardinal fan. I grew up in the St. Charles area, we graduated high school the same years, although different schools. The school I went to had Steve Colyer, who could light up the radar guns, which led to him becoming a high pick, I think first round. He didn’t do much in the majors. I don’t remember hearing anything about Buehrle, but obviously he has gone on to have a pretty nice career in the majors so far. I’ve long been a fan and not just because he’s a local product, but his pitching style.
And I like some of their players – Jon Danks, Gordon Beckham (and Juan Pierre! JOY!). And White Sox fans and Cardinal fans share a common nemesis. It’s the “an enemy of my enemy is my friend” thing, although I’ve never been one big on rivalry, really. But I sure as heck am not going to start watching the Cubs just because they are on TV.
So, I think I’m actually going to watch some White Sox this year. Heck, I might even write about them, if not here, maybe in some other capacity. I don’t know, I haven’t really decided. I just feel compelled to write about this crazy sport, for some reason. This all just really sucks.
And while it’s still baseball, it’s depressing, because I’ve grown up on the Cardinals having lived in St. Louis as a kid. I lost the love for a while, but started following again in my early 20′s and have followed close ever since. I’ll definitely still be listening to Rooney and Shannon the radio, and I’ll watch what I can, but I need some televised baseball, and unfortunately it’s either the Sox or the Cubs, and I can only take only so much of the Cubbie lovefest that goes on those broadcasts before I want to gag. Listening on the radio can be wonderful at times, and Shannon always keeps things entertaining, but I tend to tune it out after a while if I’m not careful. Maybe I’m just a product of my generation like that.
Anyway, I know you all can’t help. Just sharing my plight. I don’t think you could beat being a fan of the Cardinals out of me, and I’m still going to follow close, but I guess I’m adopting a second team out of necessity. I thought of following the Rays on MLB.tv, but I can’t bring myself to spend the money. (Sorry RJ, Tommy and Steve, if any of you are reading).
This is just so incredibly lame.