Baseball is back!

It’s April, and baseball season is back. So far, it has been a mediocre season for the Blue Jays, but it takes more than 1 season of success for me to get too comfortable with high expectations. As such, I remain pessimistic and await a hot streak to become unrealistically optimistic before having my hopes dashed again.

Baseball season comes and goes every year in roughly the same fashion. However, I as a fan will be experiencing this season in a very different way. Thanks to a winning project at the Baseball Hack Day, I got a free subscription to mlb.tv premium, so I can watch or listen to any tv or radio broadcast for any out-of-market games. As such, it is actually beneficial that my favorite team is located across the country because the games are never blacked out.

So far, I have watched parts of maybe half of the Jays games this season, and I think that might already put me above the total I have watched in any past season. When I was growing up, I mostly followed baseball in the newspapers and listened to Astros games on the radio. When I moved to college, I picked up the Baseball Today podcast. After I stopped listening to the podcast, I caught clips and read online. However, never through any of that was I consistently watching games. Now, I come home and can watch the games on my iPad or Apple TV.

Continuing my shameless plug, the At Bat app is quite good. The UI is easy to use, and the streaming works reliably. Past that, there are lots of fancy features like stats and split-screen, but really the important part is being able to carry the game around with me into the kitchen to have on in the background while cooking. Even if the Jays game is done, I have been watching other games as well. Particularly, I have found myself following a lot of Mets and Cubs games as I try to follow the favorites. So far, I coincidentally have caught every Jake Arrieta game. He’s having a great season.

I’m glad to be able to share baseball with Julie as well. Most of my passion for baseball has been expressed indirectly through memories of plays that happened years ago. Instead, it’s much easier to sit down, watch a game, and discuss the in-game decisions and see the different types of pitches one after another. Baseball is often criticized for being a very slow game, but it has actually been quite nice because we can watch the game passively and tune in every once in awhile between whatever else we’re doing.

Over the years, I have wondered how my life would be different if I actually lived in Toronto, went to a lot of games, spent the time watching games, and actually followed the team. It turns out that it didn’t take nearly that much effort to get engaged with the team again. Baseball is a long season, and hopefully I make good use of my subscription all throughout.

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