Reminder: MLB.TV and Extra Innings is cheaper this year

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This news actually happened a month ago, but I was just reminded of it by virtue of an email I received reminding me that I, like a lot of you, are members of a class in a class action lawsuit that just settled and that, as a result, we’ll get MLB.TV and the Extra Innings package at a lower price this year.

To refresh your memory, the suit alleged collusion between teams and television networks in the creation of broadcast territories. Which TOTALLY happened and was TOTALLY stupid and random, by the way. Just ask your friends who live in Iowa, Las Vegas or Hawaii about how they can’t stream games for several teams despite the teams and broadcasters making no effort to actually televise the games in those areas. As a result, the cost of these so-called “see every game” packages was wildly inflated for many, giving them up to 33% fewer games than someone who lived in a less-blacked-out area. And which might have inspired some to purchase super expensive sports tier packages from their cable company in order to get them, but I bet that was just a happy coincidence.

In any event, the case settled. Blackouts still exist. They still remain random and arbitrary and we’re not really any closer to any of us being able to cut the cable/satellite cord and just stream everything, local market included, but there are some concessions here and some baby steps. The upshot:

  • A reduction in price for the full package to $110 (from $130);
  • The creation of new single-team packages that will cost $84.99 if you want to just see one team’s games;
  • If you have cable or satellite and have MLB.TV, you can pay an extra $10 to gain access to the visiting team feed for in-market games. Meaning that if you are a Red Sox fan living in New York and you have cable, you can use to get the NESN feed of the game rather than have it blacked out and being forced to watch the YES feed.

The price drop is nice and the other stuff is a point of convenience for some, I suppose. The blackout stuff is still really galling, however. But really, given how dependent MLB and the cable and satellite companies are on sports broadcasting dollars and subscribers, it’s not shocking that we didn’t see a big paradigm shift.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

Minnesota Twis v Kansas City Royals
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.