The greatest bane of the Major League Baseball fan in existence is not high ticket prices, competitive imbalance or rainy days. It is the dreadfully antiquated blackout policies of Major League Baseball on television. Drawn up long before the internet, national cable networks and Extra Innings packages, they, as they are currently drawn up, do little to benefit the teams they are meant to and do everything to annoy, enrage and inconvenience fans. It’s so bad, in fact, that some people are suing MLB over it.
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News item: TBS will air the two Wild Card play-in games. In addition, MLB Network will air two games of the Division Series.
Comment: Besides the fact that this makes MLB Network even more important (it already was getting close to eating and breathing), this also could mean that Bob Costas, one of the signature voices of sports broadcasting, will once again be calling October baseball, if only for two games. Costas has done select games on MLB Network since the station started, as well as hosting various shows and calling in to give analysis whenever a extremely major story happens. Sadly, due to the stupid MLB TV blackout map, I haven’t been able to see that many of them, as the games he’s covered usually have the Yankees or Mets (after all, Costas still needs to be close to 30 Rockefeller Center once football season starts). But with MLB Network now having some post-season play, not only will Costas possibly be calling baseball for the entire nation (blackout be damned), but he’d be calling postseason baseball. I only have the vaguest recollections of his postseason work, with the exception of the occasional MLB Network classic game, but I’m sure most would agree that the possibility of him calling postseason baseball can only be a good thing for all parties involved.
ADDED LATER: The NY Times confirms that Costas will do one of MLB Network’s games. Matt Vasgersian will do the other.