Last year the Dodgers aired a handful of late season games on broadcast TV so fans could see the final games of Vin Scully. It gave some people hope that, maybe, the team and its sports network, SportsNet LA, and its cable partner, Charter Communications, would find a way to end the impasse that has prevented most baseball fans in southern California from seeing Dodgers games due to a carriage dispute between them and various cable providers. We now have our answer.
Nope. From the LA Times:
For the fourth consecutive year, the Dodgers’ television broadcasts could go unseen by a majority of fans in the Los Angeles area.
Charter Communications said Monday it does not anticipate reaching agreements with DirecTV or any other cable or satellite provider to carry the Dodgers-owned SportsNet LA channel by the time the regular season starts April 3.
At some point people just learn to live without watching their baseball team. Time makes it easier. Vin Scully retiring makes it easier. It’s anecdotal, obviously, but I have a handful of friends in Los Angeles who are Dodgers fans and they’ve all since moved on. They check in online, looking at scores and stats and occasional stories but that’s all. They care in the way someone cares about a friend who moved away. Keeping in touch, but only for so long.
The Dodgers will not suffer for this in the immediate future, as the money they got for the TV deal that is so expensive that it is basically preventing carriage on cable providers is guaranteed. But, at some point it’s quite possible that the deal won’t make sense for Charter Communications and they’ll find they cannot get sufficient revenues to support their multi-billion investment in Dodgers broadcast rights. What then?
In other news, if your team has not yet struck a lucrative new broadcast deal, there’s a fair chance that it’s too late for them to take full advantage of one of the bigger bubbles of our time.
Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.
As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.
Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”
The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.
Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki is entering his 25th season as a professional baseball player and his 17th in the major leagues. The 43-year-old is potentially under contract through the 2018 season if the Marlins choose to pick up his club option.
Few players are able to continue their careers into their mid-40’s. No surprise, Suzuki is the oldest position player in baseball. Only Braves pitcher Bartolo Colon, is older, and only by 51 days. Suzuki, however, wants to play until he’s 50 years old, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports.
“I’m not joking when I say it,” Suzuki said. He continued, “Nobody knows what the future holds. But the way I feel, how I’m thinking, I feel like nothing can stop me from doing it. When you retire from baseball, you have until the day you die to rest.”
When asked about what will happen when Suzuki finally does decide to retire, Suzuki responded, “I think I’ll just die.”
Last season, Suzuki showed he still has plenty left in the tank. He hit .291/.354/.376 with 21 extra-base hits, 48 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 365 plate appearances. If the Marlins’ outfielders stay healthy, Suzuki won’t be starting many games in 2017. He started in right field frequently during the second half last year, filling in for the injured Giancarlo Stanton.