J.J. Hardy and the Quick Turn

J.J. Hardy is one of the slickest fielding shortstops in the major leagues and his work around the bag on double plays is a leading reason why. Jonathan Schoop isn’t bad around the bag either and has a cannon for an arm to go with it. Put the two together and you have the best double play tandem in the MLB residing in Baltimore.

Hardy has been good the whole time he's been in Baltimore, but seeing him surrounded by good middle infielders, and good corners, and we've been getting to watch something special.

O's forged on contributions of unwanted and overlooked

Parking in the alley behind the row home, he saw something in his headlights before turning them off. A striped cat sprinted out of the darkness, across the beams, and into the darkness on the other side of the alley. Almost immediately, a giant rat scampered through the light, hot on the trail of the cat. The lesson he took from that experience was that while the cat might look rather impressive, you really have to respect the rats because this is a rat town. The flashy and chic are out of place in Baltimore. Hard work and dependability is the currency here.
I call Baltimore a rat town with fondness. It is a charming dirty, old port town with wonderful places spread throughout.

This excerpt captures Baltimore well, I think. It's exactly what I love about this city, and it's told in a way that doesn't take itself too seriously.

The article is about the current Orioles, and doesn't touch on some of our higher-profile castaways like Chris Davis, who struggled to stay in the majors while signed with the Rangers.

Buck Hearts B-More

“’I’ve said it many times, this is my last stop,” Showalter said. “This is my last rodeo. I love what everything represents in Baltimore. Good, solid, blue collar. They love the Orioles. Great tradition. We’re just trying to make them proud of us. We know there’s going to be a lot of people are going to be late to work tomorrow because they stay up late to watch our games. Our guys are a reflection of our city.”

Dammit, Buck. It's not even 9:00 AM, and I've got something in my eye.

The Sad State of MLB's Blackout Policy

Thus, as long as I am standing in Carlisle, PA, I can’t watch Phillies broadcasts. However, if I go a half hour to the west in Chambersburg, PA, Phillies games are not shown on television, but also are not blacked out in the packages. If I go a half hour to the east in Harrisburg, PA, Phillies games are blacked out in the packages, but shown on local television. Therefore, this tiny strip of land in Central PA is the only spot in the entire country that one can not legally watch Phillies games. It is purgatory for a Phillies fan.

It's completely ridiculous that these restrictions are in place. If the MLB was trying to proctect the local affiliates, they would show the local affiliate stream with the ads intact, and give revenue back to the affiliates. The current state just hurts customers.

If only there was some way to get around MLB's ridiculous blackout policy.

MLB Standings Geeklet (2012)

I hoped that I could get the MLB Standings Geeklet updated before the 2012 season started. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to. A lack of available time, and MLB's changes to how the stats are served means that I lack the temporal funds to spend on this project.

If I see a good alternative, I'll pass it along.

Update (June 1, 2012): I enabled the Geeklet on a whim a couple weeks back, and it was working fine! I guess the MLB team websites hid the standings until the season started, this year.