MLB Advanced Media is at it again. We’ve vented about their blackout policies, and their draconian hold on all video clips. Going into the 2012 season, I figured that maybe things would change a little bit… yeah, I was wrong.
Spring Training is generally a time where no one cares about the games, or the stats…. but dammit, fans just want to see baseball. A year after the NFL made a huge deal about airing every preseason game on the NFL Network, MLB made maybe 30% of its Spring Training games available not on MLB Network, but on MLB.TV. MLB Network would generally air maybe one or two games a day most days of the week. I understand it’s impossible to air all of the games on TV because of the sheer quantity of MLB games in a season, but MLB didn’t even go above and beyond to get the games available online. I’ve discussed how ridiculous the games that ESPN chose to air were, and essentially, how the aired games did nothing to advance the spring along or help MLB. But to not air all of the games online on MLB’s fantastic streaming video service is almost unforgivable.
Because of the lack of games being aired, you missed out on a lot of highlights. For example, during Thursday’s Braves vs Nationals game, Jason Heyward apparently hit a titanic homer, over the 40 foot wall in center field 404 feet from home plate. Of course, the only people who actually saw this were the people at the game, since there were no cameras there recording video. The process for putting highlights from spring games so far seems bizarre too. I was at Wednesday's Braves vs Yankees game, and Heyward made a sensational catch to rob Raul Ibanez of a home run. I checked my MLB At Bat app maybe a half hour later to see if any video was up. Of course, it wasn’t. But dammit, there WAS video of Heyward scoring on a wild pitch, Martin Prado hitting a routine RBI single, and a sliding catch from Jose Constanza that was a tenth less impressive than Heyward’s catch. Video of the homer-robbing play wasn’t uploaded online and on the app until much later in the evening…after a recap of Brandon Beachy’s start that day, of course. Because of the lack of video, I had to settle for an animated GIF of the catch. While that’s all fine and dandy… it’s not anywhere nearly as good to see in comparison to a video.
By the way, those mundane highlights are all embeddable while the real highlight, Heyward's catch, is not.