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.

Mariners give manager Scott Servais a multi-year contract extension

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Two weeks ago the Seattle Mariners gave GM Jerry Dipoto a contract extension. Today they did the same for manager Scott Servais. They are calling it a “multi-year contract extension,” though the exact number of years and the money is not reported. The money rarely is reported for the managers.

Servais has a record of 222–199 (.527) midway through his third season as the M’s skipper. That, actually, makes him the fourth-winningest manager in Mariners history if you can believe it. Twenty men have held that job. A lot of them helmed some pretty bad teams.

The Mariners released a quote from Dipoto regarding Servais:

“Scott has created a culture here in Seattle that allows players to be successful,” Dipoto said. “They are encouraged to be themselves, which has resulted in a loose environment, while still maintaining the focus on team above self. His leadership has also been evident through the ongoing growth and impact of one of the best coaching staffs in Major League Baseball.

“He has been the right leader at the right time for the right team and I look forward to many more years together.”

The Mariners are currently 58–39, good for the fourth-best record in the Major Leagues. If the season ended today they’d be in the playoffs for the first time since 2001, baseball’s longest postseason drought.