YES to broadcast some Yankees games in 3D. Bleech.

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3D.jpgThis press release is . . . interesting:

YES Network, FSN Northwest and DIRECTV will present the first-ever Major League Baseball telecasts in 3D on Saturday, July 10 and Sunday, July 11 when the New York Yankees take on the Seattle Mariners.  DIRECTV and Panasonic will be presenting sponsors of the two 3D telecasts.

The historic 3D broadcasts from Safeco Field in Seattle, will be made available to DIRECTV HD customers, who have 3D TV sets and live within the YES “home team footprint,” which includes all of New York State and Connecticut, north and central New Jersey, and northeast Pennsylvania.

As Roger Ebert recently wrote, “3-D is a waste of a perfectly good dimension.”  3D — be it in movies, sporting events or what have you — adds basically nothing to the experience. When you watch a ballgame (or a movie or anything else) on a screen, your brain automatically accounts for the two dimensionality of the picture and adjusts. Really: have you ever watched a game on TV in which you couldn’t follow the action because it wasn’t in 3D?  Of course not. Technically speaking the picture may be in 2D but, thanks to your brain, you really are experiencing it in three dimensions.

So why bother?  The sponsorship of this little experience tells you all you need to know: Panasonic sells 3D televisions. They’d like you to buy more of them, thank you. If they can do so by providing a product that absolutely no one is screaming out for, more power to them, but I personally hope this falls flat.

Now, if they want to add gimmicky and antiquated “technology” to baseball broadcasts, they can add smell-o-vision and give me the aromas of the ballpark.  I’d pay for that. 3D, though? No thanks.

Astros push ALCS to Game 7 with 7-1 stunner against Yankees

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There’s just something about playing in your home ballpark. The Astros decimated the Yankees at Minute Maid Park on Friday, riding seven scoreless innings from Justin Verlander and a pair of big runs from Jose Altuve to win 7-1 and force a Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

Through the first four innings, however, the teams looked equally matched. Luis Severino no-hit the Astros through 3 2/3 innings, losing his bid on Carlos Correa‘s line drive single in the fourth. The Astros returned in the fifth to do some real damage, drawing two walks and plating the first run of the night with Brian McCann‘s ground-rule double off of the right field wall. Things didn’t get any easier for Severino. Jose Altuve lined a two-RBI base hit into left field, upping Houston’s advantage to three runs.

Verlander, meanwhile, muted the Yankees’ offense with seven innings of five-hit, eight-strikeout ball. While he didn’t come close to matching his complete game effort in Game 2, he was still plenty dominant against a struggling New York lineup. No player reached past first base until the sixth inning, when a pair of base hits from Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius gave the Yankees their first runner in scoring position. That didn’t last long, though, as Gary Sanchez grounded out on a 3-0 slider to end the inning.

In the seventh, Houston’s ace got into another spot of trouble. He walked Greg Bird on six pitches to start the inning, then plunked Starlin Castro on the wrist. Aaron Hicks struck out, in part thanks to a questionable call by home plate umpire Jim Reynolds, but it was Todd Frazier who presented the biggest threat after returning an 0-1 fastball for a 403-foot fly out to left field. Luckily for Verlander, George Springer was there to bail him out with a leaping catch at the wall.

The Yankees kept things exciting in the eighth, too. Aaron Judge ripped his third postseason home run off of Brad Peacock, taking a 425-footer out to the train in left field to spoil the Astros’ shutout. That was the only real break the Yankees got, however, as Altuve, Alex Bregman and Evan Gattis returned in the bottom of the inning to tack on another four runs, including Altuve’s solo shot off of David Robertson:

Ken Giles handled the ninth, expending 23 pitches and giving up a base hit and a walk before retiring Frazier and Headley to end the game. Thanks to Houston’s winning efforts, the two teams will compete in their first seven-game Championship Series since 2004 — and this time, at least one of them is guaranteed to come away with a win.

Game 7 of the ALCS is set for Saturday at 8:00 PM ET. Houston right-hander Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA) is scheduled to face southpaw CC Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA).