Mariners 7, Blue Jays 5: The Search For Sportsnet

Tuesday, September 20 2005 @ 07:30 AM EDT

Contributed by: Rob

With increased workloads here, you'll have to be content with another "day in the life of" Game Report. This time, I move from the GameDay experience to an explanation of the difficult process of finding a television showing the baseball game.

And by explanation, I mean running diary.

Prologue -- I come back from dinner and zip down to the lounge, notebook in hand. Nobody's here. It's too calm for my liking...

6:55 -- Don't you just hate when different channels are different numbers on the TV? Sportsnet is 53 at home, and it's 22 here. It took me forever just to find the TV Guide channel, which defeats the purpose of the TV Guide channel.

6:57 -- Was that Julia Roberts in a Dave Matthews video? Television is a new and strange animal to me now...

6:58 -- I haven't actually watched TV in two weeks, and the first sporting event I see is the highlight package from an Atlanta Thrashers game. You can have highlights in a Thrashers game?

7:01 -- Let me state now that I may not be able to report on this entire game. Tonight, as far as I know, is not "O.C. Night" or "Gilmore Girls Night" but rest assured it is some type of night and that type of programming will push Rogers Jays on Sportsnet aside.

7:02 -- Sorry, "Jays on Rogers Sportsnet."

7:03 -- Counting both chairs and couches, there are 13 seats in this room. Yet we had over 25 in here at the last Movie Night....yeah, it's Seattle-Toronto, cut me some slack.

7:04 -- When two soft-tossing lefties face off, do fans of either team look forward to the game?

7:05 -- Rance!

7:07 -- Are you unclear about nuclear energy?


7:09 -- First pitch. Oh, a foul ball right into the Tom Wilson Souvenir Zone. I guess nobody's there because there's no Tom Wilson to provide souvenirs. Another point against poor Huck.

7:11 -- Two things. Ichiro! is fun to watch and I expected Hudson to get that grounder despite him not being on the field.

7:12 -- "What a dandy [play by Hill]," says Jamie. "Yes, it was," says Rob.

7:14 -- Remember how I said this room seats 13? It's quite lonely when 12 of those seats are empty.


7:17 -- Moyer is not getting the calls against Hill here. I wonder if Downs faced the same strike zone. I must check.

7:20 -- Oh, wait -- C.B. Bucknor? This should be fun.

7:22 -- Back to back visits to the empty lounge here. The first visitor wondered what was up and left soon after. The second one informed me that tonight is a football night. See! I told you there was some sort of Night! In this building, football trumps baseball. It's like a cruel version of Euchre.

7:25 -- Yeah, it looks like I'm getting kicked out of here. I thought Monday Night Football was on at 9. What's this 7:30 all about? As we switch over to ABC, I see that "HALF-BAKED" was the final challenge on Wheel of Fortune. How nice.

(At this point, I was in the chat complaining about the lounge. My running commentary continued.)

7:30 -- Why is Monday Night Football on at 7:30? Why?? I just got kicked out of the lounge for Giants-Whocares.

7:36 -- Aha! A possible television has just opened up! So long, GameDayers and MLB.tvers.

(It was not particularly relevant commentary, but I shall include it anyway. And yes, for those wondering, I share bathroom and shower facilities. But I do have my own room. And the showers are generally clean. Back to the running diary.)

7:38 -- Okay, never mind. No TV.

7:39 -- Everyone who has responded to my "Football is on" complaint said "But it's not 9:00!" And there you have MNF's cultural impact.

7:48 -- To fill you in on the last nine non-baseball minutes, we were analyzing the opening sequence of The Simpsons, frame-by-frame in lieu of a calculus assignment. Canada's best and brighest, working for you!

7:54 -- It's the episode where Bart goes to a Catholic school and they just showed a statue of someone named "St. Jerome." Immediately, everyone in the room went, "Hey, St. Jerome!" It's a Waterloo thing. Joe will understand.

8:13 -- Yes, 20 minutes later and still no baseball. I wonder if Moyer was able to break 88 while I've been gone.


8:34 -- I'm back! Just in time for a Betancourt error. I guess it's halftime in the 7:30 football game...nobody is here. "You Only Move Twice" might be the funniest episode ever, but let's not start that discussion again. (In terms of Humour divided by Number Of Words Homer Says, it has to be top-3.)

8:35 -- 4-3, eh? It's better than 3-4, I guess. Marty Pevey as the first base coach? I forgot he got "the call." Good for him.

8:37 -- Sparky's back to being a woodsman, I see. Can he hit RH pitching with that beard? (Okay, that was mean. Sorry, Reed.)

8:39 -- Moyer still isn't getting the calls on the inside corner against righties. Don't ask me why; I still have "Oh, the Hammock District!" playing over and over in my head.

8:42 -- What the hell is the strike zone tonight? Bucknor is awful. Oooh, something interesting here as Bucknor has glared at Koskie for the entire AB.

8:44 -- This has to be a joke. If there was anyone else in the lounge, I would have looked at them in disbelief over that play. Alas, I had to settle for the curtains. They agreed that it was ridiculous.

8:46 -- And there goes the baseball game. "Dude, this isn't football. We're watching football, dude. This isn't football." That's word for word, by the way. I'll hold strong here as long as I can.


8:47 -- McGowan? What happened to Downs? I didn't notice the pitching change until the pitcher threw a ball that was actually fast. Also known as a fastball.

8:48 -- Phil Cuzzi!?!? You're kidding me! Cuzzi and Bucknor on the same crew?? What's the opposite of the Dream Team?

8:49 -- As Morse strikes out, I notice an ad for a Hitachi HDTV set behind home plate as I watch this game on a -- aw, crap, two-base error by McGowan, Jeremy Reed to third -- TV without high-def made by RCA -- Yes! Great play by Huckaby on the rundown! 3xH,52! -- and I'm not sure if that is significant in any way at all.

8:52 -- Did Ichiro! almost homer? Would that be a "HR!"?

8:53 -- Hey, I'm still here. Seven minutes and holding strong!


8:54 -- There's a Katrina Relief ad with a young woman in the stands featured in the spot, sort of like the NFH closeup during some Digital Camera day or something...anyway, my first thought was, "Oh, her name is Katrina." Was that abnormal?

8:56 -- Alex Rios has a HR and a triple? Screw that, Hinske just got very mad at Bucknor. I don't care if the strike zone is consistent if it's wrong. If my mathematical proofs were consistently wrong, I'd get laughed all the way to Laurier.

8:57 -- And out #3. That inning = subpar. QED.

8:59 -- Nobody seems to know what time the football game started. Yet, we cannot watch baseball. And now I learn that the game did not start at 7:30 at all, despite the TV Guide channel saying it did.

9:01 -- Another badly acted MNF intro. Yet, we cannot watch baseball.

9:02 -- I have never been so depressed to see Al Michaels in my life.


9:17 -- "All that work for nothing!" Exact quote from the Don on this floor, the ever-gracious Don allowing me to watch the game on the cable-equipped TV in his suite-style room. (Oh, and he was talking about the 10-pitch Reed Johnson groundout.)


9:18 -- And thus we have the first time I have been unhappy to realize Batista's going to pitch. Speier 8, Batista 9. Terrific.

9:21 -- "I had to shave it. I looked like a doofus." Provide your own context here.

9:22 -- C.B. Bucknor is a confrontational jerk.

9:23 -- Looking around this that an X-Box controller or a small hovercraft?

9:26 -- More from Marc, the gracious Don: "I wish I had the patience to play baseball, man! I stand there in the outfield, twiddling my thumbs and then a fly ball hits me in the face. And that's just bad news."


9:29 -- Is Koskie hitting anything these days??

9:30 -- Nope. Something's not right here.

9:31 -- I did it again! Batista's name was mentioned and I shuddered. To the ninth we go, boys.


(Time for one straight paragraph, copied exactly as I wrote it as to show my mental state. And I promise I did not change anything after the fact.)

9:32 -- 9-1-2 for Batista. 1 is Ichiro! Not good. Single by Lou Dobbs. Also not good. A pinch runner for a pinch hitter? Bunt! Safe! That Ichiro! both amazes me and pisses me off. First and second, nobody out, some guy up. Who is this? He looks young. Batista keeps stepping off. Oh, it's Ramon Santiago. He's the best they have in the ninth? Is Speizio at home counting his money? More bunting! Stop throwing balls! I love how the Jays are using the bastard play but it didn't work. Second and third, one out. Ibanez intentionally walked. Did Batista almost throw that one wild? When do we just say "Okay, you get first base. Screw throwing four pitches!" Sexson has 37 homers? Wait, no. No. NO, DON'T. NO! There are so many unprintable words I have said in the last five seconds, it's amazing.

9:38 -- "Miguel Batista? Is he on our team? Grand slam? Is that bad?"

9:40 -- I'm done. Thanks to every Blue Jay wearing 43 for making my first game in two weeks beyond enjoyable.

9:42 -- I know there's another half-inning left, but I don't care. I walk into my friend's room down the hall and the entire gang is there. I announce that the Jays lost right at the end, and immediately someone pipes up with "Yep, sounds like a Toronto team."

Oh, there's more! I then complained that nobody was providing sympathy or even pity and this was her response:

"If you cheer for the Jays, there's no way I will pity you. I will mock and demean you, but pity is out."