Monday, October 31, 2011

The three most likely free agency plans for the Orioles in 2012

Based on a deep historical analysis of my own memories, I've come up with the three most likely routes for the Orioles to take in 2012 MLB Free Agency:

1) The Orioles give huge, multi-year contracts to Kyle Farnsworth and Joel Zumaya (although Zumaya isn't Type A or Type B, so the Orioles might instead find someone who would cost them a draft pick). Then they bring in Hideki Matsui on a multi-million dollar, one-year deal (at least it's not multiple years!) and Johnny Damon on a multi-million dollar, multi-year deal (whoops). They may or may not cap this off by adding Livan Hernandez for mentoring purposes.

2) The Orioles give Jose Reyes 10 years, $250 million to play 2B. He plays a total of 6 games in an Orioles uniform between hamstring, hamstring, hamstring and hamstring injuries. (To be fair, in those 6 games he bats .385 and steals 3 bases.)

3) The Orioles give C.J. Wilson 8 years, $180 million. He spontaneously combusts on the mound on Opening Day.

So there it is. I've thrown down the gauntlet to the new, yet-to-be-named General Manager/President of Baseball Operations. Prove me wrong!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

The annual Center Ice debate.

It was nice to see Game Over Green working his magic in the first game of the 2011-12 season after a disappointing 8-goal season in 2010-11. And I got to see the game thanks to a free Center Ice preview, which they run every year to try to entice me to shell out $170+ for every game in every city.

If you're a transplanted fan like me, you probably have the same internal debate that I have around this time every year: Is Center Ice worth the money and time I'm going to devote to it? Is it really worth $170 to cheer in New York City when Ovechkin lights the lamp in Washington?

The first year I lived in New York (2009-10) I purchased the package and watched a good amount of hockey, but I noticed that a huge percentage of the Caps games that I was at home to watch were on NBC, Versus or NHL Network. So in 2010-11 I decided to skip Center Ice, and I still got to watch around 1/4 of all Caps games because the league or networks decided Ovechkin's Caps were a chic team worthy of national airtime along with the Penguins, Flyers and Red Wings. The one aspect of Center Ice that I missed was getting to watch the late games featuring Western Conference teams that I rarely get to see otherwise.

This season, a whopping 30 of the Caps' 82 regular season games are scheduled to be on national TV in the U.S., and they tend to be the times I can watch (Thursdays-Sundays). Throw in the free Center Ice previews they do a couple times a year, and it's probably closer to 35 games. So that pretty much ends that debate.

Although it feels weird to admit that I'm satisfied seeing less than 40 percent of the Caps' games, real life (and grad school, which I don't think counts as real life) dictates that I probably wouldn't get to see much more than that anyway.

See you in another year...

Correction: My brother brought up the fact that I left out all the games that are against the Rangers, Devils and Islanders that will also be on local TV where I live. That adds six more games that will be on TV in New York (the other 6 against those opponents are scheduled to be nationally televised).