Monday, April 03, 2006


Opening Day: Hour 1

And away we go (times listed are Pacific Daylight Time)...

10:00 -- Washington Nationals at New York Mets (ESPN and, in theory, SportsNet New York)
10:00 -- DirecTV has the channel space set aside for the Mets' new network, SportsNet New York, but I don't think they've actually signed the contract yet. They have the game listed to be on Channel 744 -- a listing that wasn't there yesterday -- but that channel is still showing the DirecTV logo and playing classic rock. So instead I have to listen to Chris Berman on ESPN.
10:04 -- Opening Day is "built by The Home Depot." I guess we can't have TV shows sponsored or brought to us anymore, and ESPN has been in the vanguard of that; "Monday Night Countdown," for example, is "delivered by UPS."
10:05 -- Could be worse. Opening Day could be "erected by Levitra."
10:09 -- First technical flub of the new season: ESPN forgets to turn up the volume when they start running a clip of Mets manager Willie Randolph talking about something or other.
10:12 -- Tom Glavine? Isn't he about 120 years old?
10:12 -- Rookie Brandon Watson of the Nationals wears number 00. I like him already.
10:13 -- Watson flies out to center, so perhaps 000 would be a better uniform number at this point.
10:17 -- Middle of the first inning, and still just the DirecTV logo on the SportsNet New York channel.
10:18 -- ESPN's promo for games coming later today has a disclaimer at the bottom of the screen that I don't think I've ever seen on a promo: "Major League Baseball trademarks used with permission." You'd think it would be implied that if you're paying for the rights to broadcast the games, you can use video of baseball players in uniform without such a disclaimer. No wonder people hate lawyers!
10:20 -- The bottom-of-the-screen ticker reminds us that Dmitri Young of the Tigers hit three home runs back on Opening Day 2005. I remember (but he's still no Tuffy).
10:24 -- End of the first inning, and still just the DirecTV logo on the SportsNet New York channel. Probably both sides of the negotiations were thinking the pressure would really be on once the game started.
10:25 -- Must be summer, if it's time for a commercial for weed killer!
10:31 -- Paul LoDuca fails to throw out a runner when he drops the ball and his glove. He's no Mike Piazza!
10:32 -- Chris Berman identifes a certain Nationals player as "Royce-a-Roni Clayton, the San Francisco treat." Groan.
10:37 -- Middle of the second inning. The good news is that, currently accompanying the DirecTV logo on the SportsNet New York channel, the music is "Touch Me," my favorite Doors song. Whatever commercials are running on ESPN, they can't possibly be better than "Touch Me."
10:40 -- Stronger than dirt.
10:42 -- Livan Hernandez is throwing pitches similar to Bugs Bunny's perplexing slow pitches -- Chris Berman contends "I drive faster than that pitch," and thinks the Juggs gun can't go that low -- but since we don't have cartoon physics in the real world, the Mets are only able to swing once at each pitch.
10:44 -- End of the second inning. I wonder how many disgruntled DirecTV subscribers/Mets fans are burning up the phone lines to complain about the SportsNet New York situation, since I assume ESPN is blacked out in the New York area.
10:48 -- There are two mentions of baseball on today's L.A. Times comics page: "Heathcliff" ("He's been chosen to eat the ceremonial first hot dog") and "Sally Forth" ("Wanna play catch out back?" "Sorry, Dad. I'm gonna go listen to music with Faye.") But "In the Bleachers" is about basketball, and "Marmaduke" mentions water polo, of all things. Obviously, I'm not devoting my complete attention to the baseball game on TV right this second.
10:52 -- Middle of the third inning. I have now figured out that what's accompanying the DirecTV logo is XM radio's "Top Tracks" channel, which is currently playing Yes's "And You and I: Cord of Life/Eclipse/The Preacher the Teacher/Apocalypse" -- yes, that's apparently an example of a song that XM considers eligible to be on "Top Tracks," as opposed to their other classic rock channel, "Deep Tracks." Who needs Howard Stern?
10:58 -- Tom Glavine gets a hit! Pretty good for a 130-year-old. Actually, Livan Hernandez got a hit, too, probably while I was reading the newspaper.

Imagine some classic rock music playing, and you'll get the general idea of what SportsNet New York was like today...

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should i know what a juggs cannon is?
Should only be one "G," as it turns out Jugs is a brand name of radar gun.
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