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Major League Baseball has the most ridiculous blackout rules!
I live 5+ hours from Wrigley Field.
I live even farther away from Pittsburgh.
I paid for MLB Extra innings.
I can't watch the Cubs tonight.
The Cubs play the Pirates tonight at 6 P.M. It will be televised on Comcast Sports Plus... and despite the fact that I live over five hours from Wrigley Field, I am considered 'in-market'. However, neither Dish Network (my TV folks), Insight (the local cable TV provider), or anyone else provides Comcast Sports Plus down here in Bloomington.
Last year, I bought the MLB.tv package. Same story, I'm in-market and was blacked out for the Cubs' live tv feeds.
MLB has got to change its black out rules so that its fans can watch the games. I should not have to live in Chicago, or on the Coasts to be able to watch all 162 games. Its not like I'm asking for the games for free. I'm paying about $180 to get Baseball content this year. Why can't I watch this game?
The Cubs played the Padres in a three game series this week. Here is what you need to know:
Monday: Dempster very good. Adam Eaton, even better. Cubs offense very bad. Loss 1-0.
Wednesday: Doubleheader. Game One: Kerry Wood, horrible. Jake Peavy, very good. Cubs Lose 3-8. Game Two: Mark Prior, excellent. Brian Lawrence, tough outing. Cubs offense, good. Cubs Win 8-3.
As I mentioned earlier. The Cubs are now in Pittsburgh preparing for a three game series against the Bucs. The matchups are as follows:
Friday: Zambrano vs. Oliver Perez
Saturday: Maddux vs. Kip Wells
Sunday: Dempster vs. Mark Redman
Oliver Perez: In two outings so far this year, Perez is 0-2 in 9 innings pitched. His ERA is 11.00. He has walked 8 (8 BB/9), he has given up 11 hits (2.11 WHIP). But, he has struckout 10 in 9 innings.
Despite a horrendous start, Perez is a good pitcher. He went 12-10 for a team that was 17 games under .500 last year. His '04 ERA was an impressive 2.98, with a 1.15 WHIP, a 10.97 K/9, and a 3.7 BB/9. He is also a southpaw.
Still, I'm pretty confident that even if Perez begins pitching like he did last year, we'll beat him. We've got Cy Zambrano going against him, and I'll take Zambrano against any other pitcher in the NL. (With the possible exception of Schmidt.) Byron's Predictive Powers declare this game for the Cubs.
Kip Wells became a Pirate through one of Kenny Williams' horrible trades. Like Perez, he has started twice and lost twice this season. His ERA stands at 8.03, with a WHIP of 1.73. He has had slightly better command than Perez, walking 8 in his 12.1 innings. However, he isn't going to strikeout as many batters. His career K/9 is 6.68.
Looking at a bigger sample size, Wells sported a 4.55 ERA and a 5-7 record in 2004. He had a WHIP of 1.52, walked 4.3 batters per 9, while striking out 7.5 per 9. In other words, Wells is your prototypical fifth starter.
However, Wells will be matched up against Maddux on Saturday. As we all know, Maddux doesn't do well early in the season... but I'm going to predict a Cubs win on Saturday.
Mark Redman is a southpaw who has had a good start so far. He's 1-0 with a 1.5 ERA and a .83 WHIP. In two outings, he has lasted 12 innings while only allowing two (earned) runs, 9 hits, one walk, and striking out 8.
Despite the fast start, he does have a 4.33 career ERA with a WHIP of 1.37. He doesn't strike out too many, about 5.8/9 IP. So, as much as Perez has underachieved early, Redman has overachieved.
He will face Dempster on Sunday and I think the game will be a toss-up. I'm going to call this game for the Cubs, based on the strength of Ryan Dempster's last outing and my un-dying Cubs-fan-optimism.
So, my predictive powers indicate that this will be a sweep for the Cubs. Woohoo. Well, the game starts in 35 minutes... and I won't be watching.
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