posted by killre
Thank you, Turner Family of Networks. I just love being jerked around like you're a cadre of schoolyard bullies and I'm the weird kid who wears short pants and dark socks and --come on, you guys-- wants his bleepin' book back! Really, I do.
That had to be my opening paragraph. Its purpose is to let you know this post is about a television network playing sophomoric games with its viewers. I'll circle around to how Turner Nets pooed this particular screwch after the following, fully-acknowledged digression...
Despite the fact that I now reside in this God-forsaken, provincial cluster of cul-de-sacs known as the San Francisco Bay Area, and despite the fact that this site's Official Baseball Player, Angel "The Pagan Angel" Pagan, now plays (quite well, I might add) for the San Francisco Giants, I just can't help rooting for one John B. "Dusty" Baker.
No, it isn't because of his recent health problems. If you're looking for that kind of saccharine shinola, go to a site that doesn't use the word "impious" in its slogan. I want Baker's Cincinnati Reds to win the National League Championship for three reasons...
3. They aren't the ball club formerly known as Those Poo-holes From Saint Loo.
2. The short-term heartbreak it would cause Giants fans along the way.
1. The far deeper, more subtle, more long-term dark shadow it will leave on the psyche of the Chicago Under-achievers and Bud-lighters Society (C.U.B.S.).
Baker, you see, has had three jobs in his managerial career: the Giants, the C.U.B.S., and now the Reds.
With the Giants, he won three Manager of the Year Awards, two division titles, a League Championship, and woulda, coulda, shoulda won a World Series in 2002 if he hadn't been such a woeful tactician as to pitch to Troy Glaus --the Angel's leading hitter-- with a one-run lead and an open base in the eighth inning of Game Six... but I'm digressing from my digression.
With the Reds, he has already won two division titles in four seasons and, as of this keyboard clacking, has a two games to none lead in this year's divisional playoff-- not that the lying sacks at the Turner Family of Networks wanted me to know that... but more on them in a moment.
In between the Giants and the Reds, Baker managed the C.U.B.S. During his tenure, they managed to win a division title and even --Holy Cow!-- more games than they lost two whole seasons in a row-- a franchise watershed that dated back more than three decades at that time. One has to feel that if Baker now wins a pennant with Cincy, Cubs Nation will have to once again mutter to itself, "Dude, maybe there really is a curse..."
So I'm rooting for Dusty.
As much as I like National League baseball, though, I have other things to do and even I have to admit that even playoff baseball can be wonder-inducingly slow at times. No problem-- I have a DVR. Oh sure, it's a cheap, place-your-bets DVR, prone to suddenly dropping picture for 42-second stints with frightening regularity, deciding I don't want to watch Jon Stewart or Tina Fey after all, or that I do want to watch pro football even when I don't... but hey, it's better than not having a DVR.
So come Sunday morn I programmed a couple of recordings and went... um... out. I... was... doing something... provincial, okay? I was doing something provincial. In my defense, it involved a ride on a choo-choo train, so... yeah.
Having returned home, I settled in to watch my recording of Washington at Saint Loo. Throughout the telecast, TBS kept telling me the Yankees' game might be delayed by rain, but if/when it got underway, it would be on their sister network, TNT.
Fine by me. I was avoiding the Yankees' game anyway, and if it was on TNT, like they said, it wouldn't interfere with my recording of the Reds-Giants game.
Imagine my surprise, then, when upon switching to my recording of the Reds and Giants on TBS, I found the Yankees instead. Well, I told myself, maybe they decided to fore-go the usual pregame see-you-b.s. of milquetoast announcers asking idiot ex-jock analysts stupid questions and listening to them babble babble babble boo; they'll cover ten minutes or so of high-humidity american league ball, then transport us through the magic of satellite signals and signal switchers to the Game They Promised Us.
Wrong. By the time I figured out that the preempting prevaricators were drilling me like their names were Black & Decker and mine was Spruce "Pine" Fir, I'd missed four --the most crucial four-- innings. Not only had I missed all of the Reds early scoring (they didn't need much, it turned out), I missed more than half of Bronson Arroyo pitching a one-hitter through seven.
See, I can't even write that sentence the way it should have been written. I should have been able to say, "...pitching a perfect game into the fifth," but I can't honestly do that because I spent most of that time down in a figurative Pulp Fiction cellar being almost casually Ving-Rhamed by people who get a small percentage of my cable bill!
Why could they not simply move the Yankees game to TNT and leave it there? Because they didn't want to preempt their mini-marathon of six-year-old Law & Order episodes.
So thank you TBS, TNT and especially you Michael Wright, President of Programming. On behalf of fans in the greater New York, Baltimore, Cincinnati and San Francisco markets, as well as fans of playoff baseball everywhere, thank you for jerking us around. I guess it was silly to think that since you paid 2.4 billion dollars over eight years for the right to broadcast the early rounds of the MLB playoffs, you'd actually want people to watch the early rounds of the MLB playoffs. Clearly, I don't understand the business you're in, Mr. Wright.
"Listen, the last thing in the world I want to have to do is scroll a banner across the bottom of the screen telling those 32 hard-core Law & Order fans out there that if they want to watch episodes 213 through 218 for the 17th time, they're gonna have to wait until Tuesday.
"After all, we made promises to those people."
P.S... Bud "Nobody Kills Anyone In My Store 'cept Me and Zed" Selig must go.