Major League Baseball may have large financial disparity between its franchises, it may be slow to implement technological advancements like replay and it simply must incorporate better regulations when it comes to signing young prospects from Central America, but one area in which the league has been close to perfect has been in its MLB.tv application.
Sure, it sucks that you can only watch out of market games, but I put the blame for this more on the teams, especially those with existing ties to cable providers, than a league who would love nothing more than to provide additional content to what is most certainly a money maker. But other than that, the ability to watch almost every baseball game for only $120 is a bargain unlike many others in professional sports.
Last night was a great example of its usefulness. While watching John Axford blow a one run lead for the Milwaukee Brewers against the Philadelphia Phillies, word began to spread on Twitter that Tim Lincecum had a no hitter going on in Colorado, where his Giants were taking on the division leading Rockies.
As the game in Philadelphia went to extra innings, and Lincecum finished the sixth inning without allowing a hit, I was able to watch both events simultaneously, switching the audio between feeds at my own discretion. But I’m really not writing to advertise this service. I’m just amazed at how quickly it’s become a necessary part of watching baseball.
What I would like to write about is Lincecum’s no-hit bid between the bottom of the sixth and the bottom of the seventh. As more and more tweets started to mention the lack of hits in Colorado, more and more people began unapologetically announcing that Tim Lincecum was pitching a no-hitter.
As we all know, the most common held belief of jinxes in sports belongs to telling a pitcher he’s in the middle of a no-hitter. Over time this has transferred to the audience where it’s believed to be unlucky for anyone to even mention that a no hitter is going on. That poses a bit of a problem for commentators and journalists whose job it is to inform an audience of exactly what’s going on.
More often than not when they do mention that a no hitter is happening, they receive a backlash from fans aware of the jinx. The journalist then justifies his or her mention of the no hitter by saying that jinxes don’t exist.
I’m certain that most people in the 21st Century are fairly aware that as human beings not on the field of play, they have no impact on whether or not a no-hitter is thrown. But what kill-joy informers fail to realize is that it’s fun to imagine that we do. It’s fun to avoid saying a word and it enhances the visceral experience of watching an incredible performance by making it a little more easily owned by normal people like us.
If someone feels that they must say something, it wouldn’t be half as offensive as merely mentioning that the Colorado Rockies are hitless through six innings. In fact, the only thing more pretentious than loudly proclaiming that a no hitter is happening despite knowledge of the jinx belief is criticizing people getting excited after six innings of no hit baseball.
Yes, in addition to being aware that jinxes don’t exist, we also understand that there’s still three innings of baseball that a no hit candidate must get through before he’s no longer merely a candidate, but we’re not all soulless “t” crossers and “i” dotters. Some of us enjoy the pursuit of the unlikely.
Unfortunately, whether it had anything to do with the amount of people talking about it or not, Tim Lincecum’s no hit bid ended with one out in the seventh inning when Carlos Gonzalez lined a 3-1 changeup/splitter (who knows with Lincecum) for a single to right center field. The Giants still went on to win 8-1 as Lincecum struck out ten batters in seven and two third innings.
And The Rest:
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