We’ve turned the calendars to 2012 and for baseball fans we have hit the home stretch of the off-season. There are only 41 days until College Baseball starts, (Feb 17th) which I estimate to be the same day Major League Teams begin full squad work-outs. For the Royals, Cactus League play opens up on March 4th. If you’re scoring at home you’ll notice that’s also the last day of the College Basketball Regular Season. Isn’t it nice how that works out?
Through out the years I’ve found this part of the calendar extremely frustrating. We’re so close, yet so far away from baseball season. There are other sports, and other activities to occupy my mind. However, if you’re reading this you are probably like me and own a shirt that has a baseball prominently displayed and says “Life Begins When The Season Starts”. If you don’t own this shirt, you’ve probably thought it a time or seven.
Because of this mind set I consume as much baseball programming as possible in the midst of a sports media landscape filled with College Basketball, and Beating-A-Dead-Horse-So-Bad-PETA-Is-Protesting-Super Bowl Coverage. This year I have the benefit of the MLB Network, but there is only so much of that you can watch before it gets stale. In our home we have the TV package that allows us to watch most of the Regional Sports Networks (known as RSN’s for the duration of this blog entry) from around the country. In preparation and promotion of the coming season the RSN’s that have TV contracts with Major League teams will show “Classic Games” from previous seasons. Sometimes these are blacked out, sometimes not. Either way, if I see one on the program guide I click on it regardless of who’s playing. Pirates, Rockies, I don’t care. Most of the time I don’t know the outcome of the game so it’s like watching a live game. Except they condense the telecast into two hours.
A lot times the Royals are playing. Unfortunately said channel is not FS Kansas City. That means the Royals were the opponent, and I’m about to watch something I probably don’t want to see. One afternoon last winter I counted eight “Classic” baseball games being shown on my program guide. The Royals were playing in six of them. Not much the Royals can do about it now. That’s just another symptom of the Royals’ deplorable aught decade.
I was ranting about this a few nights ago on Twitter. FS Kansas City responded and said they will be airing Royals “Classic” games from the 2011 season this March, but the schedule has yet to be determined. To me once March gets here it’s too late to be showing “Classic” games. College Baseball is in full swing, there are spring training games, and let’s not forget March Madness. I prefer my “Classic” games early and often in the winter.
I’m not sure how hard it is to sell advertising for a “Classic” game. Add this television oddity to the list of public relations problems that fielding a winning team will solve. A ninety win season provides more opportunity for a network to condense “Classic” games and get them on the air. It also provides less opportunity for the Royals opponents to show the Royals in the wrong kind of classic.