Friday, February 18, 2011

First Toronto Blue Jays broadcast of 2011 - Sunday, March 6th

Two weeks and two days from today - at 1:05 PM - Rogers Sportsnet is scheduled to broadcast a spring training game from McKechnie Field, as the Toronto Blue Jays take on Pittsburgh at the Pirates' spring training facility in Bradenton, Florida.

Here's a calendar from MLB Toronto Blue Jays site. I've circled the date of first televised baseball game of the year.

Toronto's first spring training game for 2011 is on Saturday, February 26th at 1:05 PM and will be broadcast on The Fan590 here in Toronto with Jerry Howarth and Alan Ashby back in the radio chairs - check your local listings.

Sportsnet published a handy list of spring training broadcasts in both TV and radio:
(link is in the title)

Jays on Sportsnet

On Rogers Sportsnet:
3/6/2011 Toronto vs. Pittsburgh   1:00PM (SPORTSNET)
3/13/2011 Tampa Bay vs. Toronto 1:00PM (SPORTSNET ONE)       
3/23/2011 Toronto vs. NY Yankees   7:00PM (SPORTSNET EAST, ONTARIO & PACIFIC)
3/30/2011 Toronto vs. Tampa Bay   4:00PM (SPORTSNET)

Sportsnet Radio The FAN 590 & Sportsnet Radio The FAN 960:
2/26/2011 Toronto vs. Detroit 1:05 FAN 590
2/27/2011 Detroit vs. Toronto 1:05 FAN 590, FAN 960
3/5/2011 Toronto vs. Detroit 1:05 FAN 960
3/6/2011 Pittsburgh vs. Toronto 1:05 FAN 590, FAN 960
3/12/2011 Toronto vs. Pittsburgh 1:05 FAN 590, FAN 960
3/13/2011 Toronto vs. Tampa Bay 1:05 FAN 960
3/19/2011 NY Yankees vs. Toronto 1:05 FAN 590, FAN 960
3/20/2011 Toronto vs. Minnesota 1:05 FAN 590, FAN 960
3/26/2011 Philadelphia vs. Toronto 1:05 FAN 590, FAN 960
3/27/2011 Toronto vs. Baltimore 1:05 FAN 590, FAN 960


Sunday, February 6, 2011

BBA suffers self important deception neurosis - eats it own

(This piece has been held in draft since early December)

So the Baseball Bloggers Alliance has a constitution now, and publishing quotas, and content regulations.

A member must vote on at least one of the BBA's year-end Major League Baseball awards and must be posted to your blog - or the Hall of Fame ballot. One must also publish the results of the BBA's Hall of Fame balloting. And one must publish at least once a month (see Article II below).

Well holy shit! I haven't published anything here since November; so here goes.

I became aware that these conditions existed last month, as several blogs were sent packing for not being on point enough to just answer an email from the BBA. It was at this point I found out I had to vote on one of the years ballots, so as it was Hall of Fame voting time; I check-marked some squares and pushed "Submit", to the democratic (w)ill.

You may be able to tell, I'm not a big fan of Major League Baseball. If it wasn't for Marvin Miller and the Professional Baseball Player's Association, this corporate club of crooks would still be sending great stars off to live their retirements in poverty. If Congress, towards their own ends, didn't happen to be in a position to wield the anti-trust hammer over this group of goons - they would have crushed that union by legal or extra legal means long ago I'm sure.

So when a group of Baseball Bloggers who couldn't even write a proper press release last year start telling me what content I have to include in my Blog... well you can guess I'm going to to find a way to skewer those BBA rule fetishists and MLB at the same time.

Welcome to the nightmare.

BBA Constitution

Baseball Bloggers Alliance

Article I: Purpose
The purpose of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA) is to foster communication and collaboration amongst bloggers across baseball, increasing understanding and knowledge about the game.
Article II: Membership
Any blog that has been in existence three months or has 20 posts is eligible to become a member of the BBA. Members are placed into chapters that correspond with their blogging focus.
To retain membership, a blogger must meet three criteria.
  • Criteria 1: A blogger must not have a gap longer than one (1) month between posts on his/her blog.
  • Criteria 2: A blogger must have at least thirty (30) posts during a calendar year, save the year that they join the BBA.
  • Criteria 3: A blogger must vote in at least one (1) of the three (3) voting opportunities during the year. (See Article III.)
If the criteria are not maintained, a blog may be placed on inactive status or dropped from the organization, depending on circumstances.
The criteria above for eligibility and retaining membership will go into effect January 1, 2011.
A blogger may not have more than one voting blog in the organization at a time. Blogs, websites, or individuals may also be listed as a “Friend of the BBA.” Friends receive e-mailings, are listed on the official BBA website, and may post the BBA logo on their site, but may not participate in any of the voting opportunities. Friends also do not have any requirements to retain their status.
Article III: Voting
There will be three (3) different voting opportunities during a calendar year. As noted in Article II, a member must participate in at least one (1) of these opportunities.
  • In January, there will be a vote based on the official Hall of Fame ballot for the BBA recommendation of who should be selected. This will be done either via e-mail or internet form. All active members are eligible to participate.
  • In June, there will be a vote for those to be selected to the Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Game. This voting will be done via posts on member blogs detailing their selections. All active members are eligible to participate.
  • In October, there will be voting for post-season awards.
There will be five awards voted on. Newbie of the Year (to correspond with the official Rookie of the Year), Skipper of the Year (Manager of the Year), Pitcher of the Year (Cy Young Award), Player of the Year (MVP Award), and Goose Gossage Award (given to top reliever in each league).
Each chapter will receive two votes for each award. Votes will be delegated in a manner designated by the chapter president. Voters will vote for the league their team is in. In the case of the general, non-team-specific chapters, the voter may vote for whichever league they wish.
Ballots must be posted to the member’s blog (or another designated publically viewable area on the internet) by the deadline set for the award.
Article IV: Miscellaneous
Chapter presidents will be initially selected by the BBA President. Chapters are then free to set up their own methods of changing those presidents in the future, if they wish. If a chapter president resigns with no mechanism in place to select a replacement, the BBA President in consultation with other members of that chapter will appoint a new president.
Members are encouraged to link to other members and the official BBA website as well as posting a BBA logo on their site.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"Truck Day" picking up converts across the Majors

I'm trying to drum up some interest for the idea of celebrating a Toronto Blue Jays "Truck Day" in Toronto.

'What the hell is Truck Day?!' You may well ask.

Truck Day is the day the equipment truck leaves from the home field for the trip down to a team's spring training facility. We watch it pull off the dock and drive away - that's it. It's funny because it talks to a passion for baseball that makes non-believers stand and stare blankly.

Boston fans invented the ritual; here's a video of "Truck Day" in Boston 2007 - note the AC/DC Truck Day theme song seems to have been dubbed in with "Truck Day!" in the lyrics - or am I imagining that?.

Toronto NEEDS a "Truck Day" more than any other team because we're the most northerly MLB franchise - we're in the deepest grips of winter - we MUST have this early February baseball ritual because at this time of year we're not actually sure there will be an April.

Over at "Truck Day" is getting some attention as teams' PR departments get on board.

I grabbed some coverage video associated with the article "Truck Day portends dawn of new season" by Mark Newman/

So here's video of three Truck Day's from 2010 that I uploaded to Youtube:

New York Met's Truck Day 2010

Texas Ranger's Truck Day 2010

Cincinnati Red's Truck Day 2010

Also from a nice article on how the Chicago Cubs celebrated Truck Day last year: "Kids help send off Cubs' spring truck".

SB Nation reports in an article from last year, Truck Day 2010: Bigger And Better Than Ever, that in 2010 the Mets, the Cubs, the Indians and the Royals are doing some sort of Truck Day ritual; add to that list Boston and Arizona (??? - a 1/2 hour drive one would presume) and a total of seven teams have gotten on the Truck Day band wagon, so to speak.

(MLB Advanced Media will likely take the bottom three video's down because they aren't advanced enough to understand the value in letting fans embed MLB production. Perhaps this article will change MLB new media policy - but I'm not holding my breath - I'd be dead.) 


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Toronto Blue Jays "Truck Day" 2011

Below is a letter I just sent into the Blue Jays, my pitch to try to get their help in organizing a "Truck Day" in Toronto.

'What the hell is Truck Day?!' You may well ask.

Well, Truck Day is the day the equipment truck leaves from the home field for the trip down to a teams spring training facility. We watch it pull off the dock and drive away, that's it, that's Truck Day. But in early February it makes April seem a whole lot closer; and it's funny - it talks to a passion for baseball that makes non-believers stand and stare blankly.

This is Truck Day Boston - 2007

This is Truck Day 2007 - A Re-enactment

Let's Go! Blue Jay fans! Lets pull together and get Truck Day Toronto going!

Note into Toronto Blue Jay's Official Site:

I see you're doing a "60 Day Countdown" towards the start of Spring Training. Many of us baseball fanatics look forward to the day pitcher and catchers report at Dunedin Florida - nothing happens - it's just a day on the calendar we mark; and we know in our hearts that somewhere, way down south in Florida baseballs are being thrown by our favourite players.

Some baseball fanatics in America have taken this silly ritual to the next step - making the day the equipment truck leaves the ball park heading for the particular teams spring training facility - a day of celebration.It happens about a week prior to the day catchers and pitchers report (as that's how long it takes for a transport truck to travel from say, Boston to the City of Palms Park in Fort Myers Florida.

I don't know if the Blue Jays store any equipment up here in Toronto, so maybe there isn't a truck that makes that trip, (I hope there is though); but that doesn't mean we can't have a Truck Day here in Toronto, perhaps as part of the "60 Day Countdown"? I'm trying to drum up some interest in this idea, whether it happens this year or next is un-important, but we NEED a truck Day more than any other MLB team, because we're the furthest north, deepest in the grips of winter - we need the ritual in the depths of February that is Truck Day - to give us hope that there will be actually be an April.

Below are a couple of Tweets I've sent recently that have a link to a Youtube video of Boston's Truck Day 2007 - there are related videos at Youtube with the keywords to more recent Boston Truck Days.!/m_holloway/status/32224586800037888!/m_holloway/status/32604317995241472

The video I point to is a 'virtual' Truck Day video from 2007 - and is something along the lines of what we could do here, this year - no budget, just fun.

Any information from inside the organization - whether there is a truck, do you want to help out in any way, etc. would be appreciated.

Michael Holloway
Baseball Blogs
(member Baseball Bloggers Alliance)

The note was sent into BlueJays "Help/Contact Us" portal, "How Can We Help?" Media comment section:
(Yeah, it's a MLB portal, they don't make it easy; really Web 1.0 around there.  If you want to send a note in, the last link is your friend.)

Follow me on Twitter if you want up to the minute news on this, or check back to this blog, there will be update posts at the "Truck Day" label.