Sunday, February 27, 2005

The Internet and Baseball -- Perfect Together

I remember a time when mornings consisted of coffee and newspapers. Back in those days when you could only get one story on your team, maybe two, a day. Even in Spring Training when there is so much going on and guys are getting evaluated, at best you got two different papers at your doorstep, one local and the other regional, then you might get an extra story or two. It made coffee time an efficient 10-15 minutes at the breakfast table.

Enter the new age of the Internet, and for a small fee at espn, you can get every story in print for your team all across the country. This is not a huge deal if you live where your team is, because most of the stories are local, but for the transplanted fan, it just doesn't get any better. Now each morning you can sit down with your coffee and spend as much time as you can spare reading stories about workouts, getting to know new players, and forging a bond with the team you will be following for the long haul, 162 game season. And when your team is stationed in a city that has 15 local papers between 3 states that all cover your team, it is even better. At that level you need to be a little more choosy on the stories you read, because as always, time is of the essence, and you don't want to waste your time reading a story you have already seen, so you have to learn to be able to see behind the headlines. There is only so many times you can read about how Carlos Beltran is taking David Wright and Jose Reyes to the gym with him after practice for extra baseball-focused workouts - and there is no telling how many different ways a sportswriter can headline that story -- I'm telling you, it's a tricky business...

But of course, that is just the beginning. Stories in the morning are just a fraction of the internet goodness available for the baseball lover. History, stats, video highlights, full games, audio or video, interviews, press conferences... everything you could ever ask for is right there at your finger clicks. If you love baseball enough you could spend every moment in baseball related euphoria.

All of this, of course, does not even mention the obvious -- Fantasy Baseball. Could you imagine trying to play this game before the internet? Manually drafting players, keeping stats and adding up points.. every day would be a statistical nightmare.. this would definitely be a full time job (with overtime) for any mere mortal.

So make sure, as you dive in head first to a veritable cornucopia of infinite baseball gratification, that you are thankful to the Lord for Baseball, and of course -- the internet.

Now pardon me while I go repent of my idolatry...

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