Red Sox Nation, MLB does not care about us
Another day of meetings that are leading nowhere and surely an announcement that more games are going to be canceled may be the least of our issues right now. Earlier this afternoon, it was unveiled that MLB and Apple are getting into bed with one another for exclusive games soon to be known as Friday Night Baseball. Red Sox Nation, this isn’t good for us and it’s not good for any other fans around the league eighter.
MLB working with Apple may seem like a great deal to some out there, I can guarantee the owners love every bit of it, but as baseball fans, we already have a hard enough time watching games. Whether it be blackout restrictions on MLB tv, Regional Sports Networks being cut from streaming services, or cable packages just pricing people out of the market, it sure as hell is a challenge to sit down and enjoy some baseball.
I’ll share my own experiences and it may give some insight into my frustration and downright annoyance with this latest news from the league. I subscribe to MLB tv every season, and for the most part, it gets the job done. Unless the Red Sox are playing in New York, where I live, and then those games are blacked out. You know, because I should just drive the 4+ hours down to the Bronx to catch the games instead of enjoying from my couch.
Now, in that sense, I could just put on the good ol’ YES Network, except it’s no longer available on things like Hulu Live or YouTube TV. In my area, at least from what my research has found is that I can only get YES via DirectTV Stream, which runs about $90/month, or cable which isn’t much better.. So, I can’t see 19 Red Sox-Yankees games a season on MLB tv due to blackouts, and the only way I can get the Yankees’ actual channel is through a $90 streaming service. NO THANKS.
For the most part, the only time I run into blackout issues is when Boston is facing either New York team, which is much nicer than some other folks. I’ve seen people in social media threads talking about their issues and some out there have it way worse, and I feel for them. It’s 2022, there is no damn reason why blackout restrictions should still be a thing. I can buy NFL Sunday Ticket and see every game. Same with the NBA. Same with the NHL. Not MLB though!
Our lovely owners love nothing more than filling their pockets with cash, look no further than the current labor headache. So they’re going to parcel out the rights to games to anyone willing to cut them a check. Because Apple isn’t the only one looking to get into the baseball television game as Peacock was also reported as a suitor for future games, another service that needs to be paid for. They don’t care about the viewer as long as their yachts are gassed up and they’re able to jet-set around the world.
Why? Why does this league seemingly go out of their way at every chance possible to make it that much harder to watch games? Again, every other major sports league in the country does the opposite so why is it MLB that feels that they don’t need the fans? Is it because we come back every year? Back to the stadiums, back to the shops, back to the streaming service, is that it? They sure felt it when a mass exodus of people canceled their MLB tv subscriptions and this move will only further push fans away.
Oh, and to get back to the owners for a second. I saw the other day that the owners don’t like being portrayed as the bad guys and it’s making them sad. YOU’RE THE BILLIONAIRES THAT LOCKED OUT THE PLAYERS AND CANCELED GAMES, YOU ARE THE BAD GUYS! Grow up, and if you actually wanted this season to happen you would negotiate in good faith because you sure as hell haven’t.
I’m sick of the owners, I’m sick of Rob Manfred, and I’m sick of them crying as if the players are the ones that are holding things hostage. Adding more layers to watching games and making things even more exclusive is not the way to grow the game, despite what they’re saying. This is a move that only benefits those sitting in the big offices and not folks like us sitting in the bleachers.
I have loved the Red Sox for as long as I can remember. This team and fandom have been passed down in my family from generation to generation as an heirloom. I want nothing more than to pass it down as well but MLB is making it harder to do so. I’ll turn away from this team as they’ve been my longest relationship outside of family, but the owners aren’t doing any of us any favors.