Stockholm and Leksand won their respective Swedish Baseball Elite Division semi-finals last weekend. But while Leksand easily finished off Sundbyberg, Stockholm just narrowly came out ahead of Sölvesborg in the best-of-three series.
This week Stockholm is hosting a qualifying tournament for the 2014 European Cup. Besides the Swedish champs, the other teams taking part are from Moscow, Vilnius, and Bern:
Opening Day saw Moscow drubbing Bern 12-1, while Stockholm defeated Vilnius 6-1.
Defending champs Stockholm remain undefeated after the second weekend of the 2014 Swedish baseball season. Stockholm easily defeated Göteborg in both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader, 10-0 and 11-2.
Game 1 was a truly weird experience after Göteborg took out starting pitcher Jason Norderum in the fourth inning, after he had held Stockholm to just 1 unearned run and no hits. His replacement, losing pitcher Mathias Johansson, had an interesting variety of arm angles, but was extremely wild.
How often does one see a batter hit by a pitch TWICE in the same at-bat? Stockholm’s Matt Merrifield was hit by a pitch from Johansson, but the umpire ruled that Merrifield had either not done enough to get out of the way, or actually put himself in the way of the ball. Two pitches later Merrifield was hit again, and that time was awarded first base.
Merrifield was then hit again by a pitch on his next at-bat.
Defending Swedish champs Stockholm opened the 2014 season taking a doubleheader from visiting Leksand, 6-5 and 9-3.
Leksand led the first game until the bottom of the ninth inning, when Stockholm tied with a bases loaded walk. The winning run came with the bases still loaded, with a batter hit by a pitch.
Twice during the game Stockholm loaded the bases, then failed to score.
One of the strangest plays came while Stockholm was issuing an intentional walk, when the home plate umpire called a balk.
Spring Training is about to end, and the season has actually already begun, with the two games played in Australia by the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks. And yet again, while basically a wonderful service, MLB.tv is still disappointing.
Why can’t we watch Team Australia’s triumph?
When they got to Australia, both the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks warmed up by each playing Team Australia. But while both games, broadcast by ESPN, were carried live on MLB.tv, the archived versions still won’t play. If you look for them, online, in the Apple TV app, or in the AtBat app, you just get an error message saying the media is wrong or the game is “coming soon”.
It’s been over a week, the MLB.com support forum has been full of complaints, yet those games remain unviewable.
This is a shame because the Australians did very well. Australia is not that great a baseball nation. In last year’s World Baseball Classic, they lost all three group games in Taiwain. They certainly couldn’t compare to the best European team, the Netherlands.
Nevertheless, Australia fought well against the Dodgers, losing 4-2, and they actually shutout the Diamondbacks 4-0. It was a great victory for international baseball, but MLB.tv denies us access. If they ever get around to fixing the problem, it will be in the middle of the baseball season, and few will bother to go back and look.
What’s so hard about an audio archive?
Then there’s the multi-year complaint about the lack of archived audio on mobile devices. Through Gameday Audio MLB.tv makes available the radio broadcasts of games, often including those in other languages, like Spanish. These are then available archived for on-demand listening on PCs. But the ATBat app (as well as the Apple TV app) only allows live listening. There is no access to the archive.
This is crazy. It isn’t a server capacity issue, as the audio files are stored for PC access. But listening on a mobile device makes a lot more sense than listening on a PC, the mobile device is like a radio you travel around with. Moreover, many people have caps on how many MB or GB they can download. Audio uses a lot less than video, which is readily available.
Every Spring this issue is brought up on the Support forum, and every year the moderator seems to think the idea is brand new and promises to send it on to the developers. Requests that the moderator explain the developers’ reasoning for not adding the feature have been ignored.
It just makes no sense that you can listen to yesterday’s game on a netbook, but not on a smartphone.
After Christmas I prepared for the 2014 MLB season by watching my recordings from the 2013 World Baseball Classic. This was fun, following the progress of the Netherlands to the semi-finals….but about a week ago I discovered that all of my recordings had been deleted.
This my iptv supplier Telia apparently did because the recordings were from ESPN America, which no longer exists. Why the disappearance of the channel should result in deleting recording files on a harddisk they do not explain, except to say they can’t actively access my harddisk and erase files.
Yet that’s what they did.
ESPN America apparently pulled the plug on August 1, 2013. I didn’t even notice, which perhaps just shows that the channel itself no longer filled a role, at least for baseball fans.
Major League Baseball arrived on European TV screens in 1997 when Britain’s Channel Five started broadcasting the ESPN Sunday Night game live, in the early hours of Monday mornings European time. To explain the game to viewers more familiar with cricket they offered a pair of entertaining and knowledgeable hosts, who introduced the programs and talked during the America commercials.
Daniel Wood hit a home run to give Stockholm the lead in Saturday’s first game
Stockholm has won this year’s Swedish baseball championships, defeating Karlskoga 13-3 and 6-2 in Saturday’s doubleheader. That gives them an unbeatable 3-1 standing in the best of five series.
Karlskoga, last year’s champions, was ahead 3-1 before Daniel Wood’s homerun in the bottom of the 4th gave home team Stockholm a 5-3 lead. Stockholm added to the score, and won in the 7th inning on the mercy rule.
Stockholm has won the Swedish championships three out of the past four years, with Karlskoga winning last year.