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Friday, April 17, 2009

Shorted season

How did I not notice before? It's baseball season already.

Oh, I'm not talking about Major League Baseball; hard to miss that one. I'm referring to Minor League Baseball. I was reminded of this when I got an e-mail touting MiLB.TV - 800 games for only $29.95 for the whole season to one's computer. This seems like not such a bad deal.

The reason that minor league baseball is off my radar is that it's not yet being played around Albany. The Tri-Cities Valley Cats, a Houston Astros farm team, are in the New York-Penn League a "short season A" league that doesn't start until June and ends around Labor Day. It seems strange for a city of 95,000 in a metropolitan area of about 850,000 to have such a low affiliation. Meanwhile, my hometown of Binghamton, with maybe 47,000 and a metro of 250,000 has a Double A team in the Eastern League, the Binghamton Mets.

Speaking of the Eastern League, I love the angle of this story about Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice Rice being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. It notes that they are the 28th and 29th players from the Eastern League so honored. BTW, I've thought for years that Rice, selected in his 15th year of eligibility, was deserving.

I usually seem to miss that free opportunity to experience Extra Innings, the MLB package of games around the country. This year, it was April 6-12. I did take advantage a few years ago, though. It's fun watching the same game, while alternating two different announcing teams; totally different perspective.

I just realized that I haven't talked with my father-in-law about the inaugural Hall of Fame Classic featuring retired players, some of them Hall of Famers, replacing the Hall of Fame Game. That's probably because tickets aren't available at all until this weekend to Museum members, and not to the general public until April 26. A different system than waiting in line in Cooperstown in February or March, which is what my father-in-law's tradition has been.
Failed to note the passing of the colorful Mark "the Bird" Fidrych, the AL Rookie of the Year. Here's a 1985 interview:


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