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On blackouts

More evidence that I'm not that only one pissed off about MLB's stupid blackout restrictions...

There's a new article up on the issue at BP...some highlights:

In last week's article, I posted a small blurb simply reading, "If you are caught in the middle of a blackout dilemma, e-mail me," as well as on my blog, The Baseball Journals. To show how widespread this issue really is, I received my first email less than 30 seconds after my article posted.

On average, I received an email from another "satisfied" MLB customer every five minutes. At its height, I pulled in six in less than a minute. I scrolled through the list of incoming messages with amazement. So many came in that I had to set up an inbox filter and create a new folder for them: Blackout Emails.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, they all had a central theme: anger, coupled with confusion, coupled with more anger: "I'm not sure if this is what you are looking for but I'm frustrated. I pay hundreds of dollars a year for these viewing rights, and I feel cheated," only 'frustrated' was normally replaced with something a little more colorful.

* * *

I contacted the Commissioner's Office about the blackout restrictions and the fan displeasure surrounding them. MLB spokesman Rich Levin said, "We are aware of the problems and our broadcasting people are looking for ways to resolve the issues." This also falls in line with comments that Commissioner Selig made at a luncheon for the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). "I don't understand (blackouts) myself," said Selig. "I get blacked out from some games. Right now, I don't know what to do about it. We'll figure it out."

Pardon me while I don't hold my breath. While the times have certainly changed for the better, a quote by former commissioner Peter Ueberroth keeps ringing in my head. The subject was different, but the point was that every owner has his own individual agenda. "I don't think the owners are capable of colluding. They couldn't agree on what to have for breakfast." Currently, Selig has three years left on his term. Short of an act of Congress, the odds seem good that Selig will retire before getting the owners to agree on how to deal with the convoluted and arcane blackout restrictions we're seeing now.

This is, to me, the ultimate example of how clueless MLB is when it comes to trying to service its fans.

We get stupid crap from Selig, like prohibiting All-Star pitchers from pitching the Sunday before the All-Star Break (so that they can be available to pitch in the game), and the "This Time It Counts!!!" nonsense, and Scooter, and the Spiderman promotion...

But when it comes to something simple and basic, something that fans clearly want, and which should not be difficult to address, they are spinning their wheels and shrugging their shoulders.

This is a perfect example of why Bud Selig is a terrible commissioner, one of the worst commissioners in the history of baseball.