A few pre-dinnertime morsels that’ll stick in your craw…

… like this comic on the evolution of the fan from @mattomic, which I think is pretty awesome– even if I also happen to believe that there’s a lot more to MMA than the average meat-head would lead you to believe.

On Lawrie, Parkes is Probably Right

Over at Getting Blanked our old friend Parkes explains why he doesn’t want to see Brett Lawrie called up. And frankly, he’s probably right.

The crux of his argument is that, at this point, the value of having Lawrie come up to face full-on Major League pitching for just a month before the rosters expand in September is outstripped by the value of pushing his free agency back a year, as the Jays would if they waited until a week into next season to bring him up– plus the fact that Edwin Encarnacion needs to keep getting at-bats if he’s to finish the season a Type-B free agent and net the Jays a pick in the 2012 draft when he signs elsewhere.

It’s easy to say that Lawrie doesn’t need more at-bats at the minor league level and needs to be here for his development, but that argument is a red herring: if it was just about the bat, Lawrie probably would have been here already.

It’s also easy to say that Rogers is so rich the Jays don’t need to look to save money, or that worrying about when players become free agents doesn’t matter, because if they’re any good the club will have locked them up long-term anyway– but it’s way easier to say that both of those arguments are fucking moronic. You need to only look at the contract extensions given to Yunel Escobar and JJ Hardy this season to see how what important leverage it is to have extra years of team control.

The only thing that really makes me wonder on this is that it’s going to be awfully hard to justify not having him break camp with the club next spring– not that clubs haven’t gotten away with it before. (Oh… and also because I’m pretty sure it’s a moot point and they’re totally going to bring him up.)

Rock Rodriguez?

OK, so there really isn’t a great cocaine-related riff on A-Rod’s name, but that shouldn’t make this story tickle you any less. According to RadarOnline, “New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez played in an underground, illegal poker game where cocaine was openly used, and even organized his own high-stakes game, which ended with thugs threatening players.”

“We’re talking to people involved in the investigation and we’re taking this very seriously,” said an MLB executive who spoke to ESPNNewYork.com on condition of anonymity.

“In 2005, Rodriguez had been warned about gambling in underground poker clubs by the Yankees and by baseball commissioner Bud Selig, both of whom were concerned that possible involvement with gamblers who might be betting on baseball games could result in a Pete Rose-type lifetime ban from baseball,” the report adds.

Now, I couldn’t possibly give less of a shit what any adult puts into his body, but the gambling stuff? That’s pretty deliciously rich and creamy. And it makes me unable to stop thinking of the quote our friend Craig Robinson from Flip Flop Flying laid down when he visited the Yankees clubhouse with a beat writer during their most recent visit at Rogers Centre:

“I can’t tell you what he said about who were the good guys and who were the dicks, but one thing he did say that it was okay to tell you: what you think about most players is probably true. There were only a couple of players that I was wrong about. But mostly, it was fun to hear someone confirm that players I think of as people who might be dicks are dicks.” Gold!

Has Rogers Actually Done Something Right?

I’m extremely skeptical that somewhere in the bowels of the Rogers “campus” at Bloor and Jarvis enough drones got together to steer that mammoth fuck-ship in the direction of something that might actually be beneficial to fans of the Toronto Blue Jays, but that’s what it almost sounds like, based on this Toronto Star article advertorial on the addition of Jays games to Rogers On Demand– allowing Rogers customers to stream games to their phones and computers.

“Available to Rogers customers through their Rogers on Demand service and its mobile counterpart — which has a $5 surcharge — customers have to sign up to access the service. Unlike Rogersondemand.com services, which allow existing Rogers cable customers access to TV shows depending on their level of cable package, Blue Jays games will be available to all customers across Rogers’ various products,” the marketing literature explains.

Part of this, it says, is to combat the fact that Jays games are not available anywhere in Canada through MLB.tv, because of blackout restrictions.

I’m sure there’s some kind of a catch that will make this completely suck… after all, it’s Rogers. But for those of you without the intestinal fortitude or internet knowhow for illegal streaming, here’s hoping it’s not.

Comments (18)

  1. I Think if Lawrie has earned a call up and the organization thinks he is ready, he should be here, given maybe a week or so to see if you can get some value for EE. I Don’t like blatantly manipulating service time, I think it sets a bad precedent.

  2. Rogers has some ridiculous internet caps, right now I’m paying close to $50 for 60 GB a month and I’m sure watching a game online would take a nice chunk out of the bandwith.

  3. That’s crazy. Teksavvy is like $30 for 300 GB or something like that– and that’s their “light” package.

  4. I think Bell is even worse. 

  5. Wow, thanks for the heads-up on the Rogers service. As an existing customer I just went through the hoops of signing up for Rogers OnDemand and it looks like I’ll be watching free Jays baseball (first good thing from Rogers for the past 5 years). It’s sweet that I don’t even have cable through them and I can still do it.

    Jay – usually MLB.TV allows you to select the quality of the stream. I always select the lowest because of my 25GB monthly limit and it seems to take up about 800MB – 1GB per game.

  6. Posted this in another thread, so I risk sounding like an ad, but seriously: use Unblock Us. Removes the blackouts on MLB.tv for Jays games, and lets you use Hulu, US Netflix, and some other shit as well. Way cheaper to pay $5 a month plus $100 for a year of MLB.tv for that than to be a Rogers customer. 

    And really,  MLB.tv doesn’t even have to cost you 100. I bought a month to watch spring training games, cancelled, and then they emailed me offering the last three months of the season for $20 total. AND you can dub over the video with the Fan 590 audio with the click of a button. Absolute cheapest/best way to watch the Jays.

  7. I would “like” this comment six times if I could.

  8. Stoeten’s right, go switch to Teksavvy and you won’t have to worry about caps.

    I watched it last night and overall it was solid but I did have two issues. 1) The stream quality was crap for a while at the beginning of the game so it looked very poor. Now I was playing around with the settings so I’m not sure if it was something I did or if the connection was slow but this was eventually fixed after a few innings and I watched the rest in HD. 2) The feed went down for about 10 minutes in bot8/top9 so all I saw was a black screen. Something must have fucked up at Rogers because when it came back on they were using the MLB.tv feed instead of Sportsnet. Hopefully those were just opening night bugs that will be fixed tonight.

    And it’s nice to see Rogers offer this for free and not charge $15/month like YES does for Yankees games. Shit, I shouldn’t give them ideas.

  9. I get the logic and all, but I’m more concerned with Lawrie learning how to hit Major League pitching the last two months of this year, rather then the first two months of 2012. Because I know it’s “cool” to downplay everything the Jays are doing, 2012 is a contention year for us. I mean, we’ve got a top 5 offense, and that’s BEFORE we added Rasmus and Lawrie. And WITH Hill. Chances are, we’re going to upgrade at 2B for next year. And considering that our payroll for next year is $36 million (if we pick up Hils option) and $28 million if we don’t. There’s an assload of room to pick up some serious FA this year. I expect us to be a player in everyone that makes sense for us, including Sabathia, Darvish, and Fielder. (note, that we’re going to sign all of them, or even any of them. But we’re going to be a factor)

  10. I’ve got my internet from Rogers, and registered for Rogers on Demand last night for free and watched the game on my laptop. No horrible catches yet! 

    It’s almost too good to be true.

  11. People who work at Rogers are all ‘drones’ but a blogger who gets vicarious thrills cheering on a baseball team is a rebel?
    Oh? You’re in a rock band? Nevermind then. All is forgiven. You’re so badass.

  12. Yeah, I think that’s another concern too. You can’t just be business all the time. These are humans your dealing with, and sometimes it makes good business sense to keep your employees happy as well. Obviously, that doesn’t mean you need to keep all your players happy all the time, that’s stupid. But when a kid has proven that he clearly deserves to play on the Big club, and has done it for a sustainable amount of time, you should give him a shot.

    I kind of see jerking around a potential star for the sake of getting an extra year of arb 3-4 years from now as somewhat of a shortsighted move, and I could absolutely see it backfiring.

    It’s trying to be a little too clever, IMO, and unnecessarily so.

  13. So this unblock thing, how does it work? I’m trying ti free trial right now, but it doesn’t say how to make it work. Do I just go to the sites i would normally?

  14. Yeah, the instructions for how to set it up are here: http://portal.unblock-us.com/k… Literally the only thing you need to do is copy and paste the two sets of numbers (the DNS server settings) where it tells you to. It tells you to restart your computer, but you don’t even need to do that. Then you can access region locked sites. If there’s not a Jays game on, you can check Hulu, or the BBC iplayer, or another free (but typically region-blocked) to verify that it’s working.

    I usually delete the alternate DNS settings once I’ve passed the region check to make sure my other information can’t be intercepted, but that’s more paranoia than anything. If you’re worried about the security aspect, they have an FAQ on it: http://portal.unblock-us.com/k

  15. Stoeten, do you know if there’s any way we’re going to get MLB Network in Toronto? It’s absurd that it’s not on the tier.

  16. Is the streaming service available to non rogers customers at a cost? I’ve been looking for info on this everywhere

  17. Shnay-Rod?

  18. If Lawrie gets called up now, but then starts next season in the minors, does this not also push his free agency back a year?

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