Sunday, April 24, 2011

From tables to an better understanding of CSS - The 'Minima II Blogger Baesball Scorecard'

Simultaneously posted at Michael Holloway's FilterBlogs - a culmination of three articles at The Blogger Baseball Scorecard

It's been a good week.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The 'Minima' Blogger Baseball Scorecard

Introducing an important milestone in the development of this html baseball scorecard

I began this html scorecard project to score baseball games in a blog about a year ago. I started with very little experience in coding - just a basic understanding of blog writing production coding; like how to write code to make a link, how to code for italics, bold, make a headline sized font - basically stuff I learned producing the style I wanted and fixing problems while blogging over seven years.

Last spring I hacked a table out of an ESPN page that had 10 columns; I figured I could create a 9 inning wide by nine batter deep table with it - and score a baseball game using notations I would invent on the keyboard. (See Michael Holloway's Baseball Blogs - Thursday, May 6, 2010: "My HTML Baseball Score Card Hack".)

It worked fine, but it was pretty sprase looking - and the more data I added to each at-bat 'box' the more distorted the scorecard graph became ... so sometimes one couldn't quite follow what inning or what batter you were looking at. In the first go around I didn't know what 'cascading style sheets' were (they were those scary looking squiggly lines at the top that I never touched for fear of blowing up my computer), and I quickly threw out the CSS notation as they didn't do anything (I hadn't imported the style sheet). So I began by making boxes with html style tags - using width and height in almost every line of code. (Interestingly my development path followed the same path - ten years later - that led programmers to develop CSS.)

My learning curve in table making was all about stabilizing the scorecard graph while at the same time inventing a scoring notation that one could create with a keyboard, and creating a card that had enough room to score 'everything'.

The result is the table below which is made entirely of CSS boxes - 80% of them hidden from view now (thus the "Minima"). Those boxes are the 'skeleton' that keeps the thing stable. Below in the first player row of at-bat boxes, I've input some scoring notations that test every parameter of the scorecard and show some extreme scoring situations that test the size of the text areas - thanks to, for example, the Blue Jays vs. Mariners - April 11th, bottom of the 8th inning - 3 bases loaded walks. (See the 8th inning - April 11)

The places where text is input give you a clue to where the invisible or 'transparent' boxes are - the four quadrants around the diamond shape are the four - of Twenty boxes that make up One at-bat box - that can receive text; the rest hold the diamond shape in place, 'pressing' against the table that holds them, all the tables of all the rows constructed exactly the same so that when a reader zooms in and out, or resets their screen resolution - nothing moves relative to the rest. So anyone can learn to read it with out a jumble of distorting x, y axis making it difficult.

The next step in this project is to set up a web address, turn a computer into a server and rebuild the scorecard with position attributes, and use server-side includes (SSI) to lay in the tables (there are 333 of them in all - but only 13 different tables in all.)

Soon I'll need some programming help (and some financial backing - hint, hint), to produce a web site where people an come and score baseball games - a whole social networking thing with-in a baseball scorekeepers meme - anally retentive people like myself scorekeeping, saving scorecards to their personal accounts, printing copies, sharing them electronically, talking about scoring techniques in forums, developing the craft and the scorecard in wikis... .

Later still, and on the 'drawing board' (in my head) is an idea for a program that can 'lay in' data into these scorecards in real time, taking advantage of the work done at Retrosheet, to produce scorecards that update as the game progresses. Conversely a similar 'scraper' could extract data from html scorecards - written according to Project Scoresheet notations guidelines - to build an digital archive of baseball from across the culture - woman's leagues, children's leagues and even co-ed softball bar leagues.

If information is power then this much baseball information would be... well, confusing - and that ain't all bad.

Much thanks to:

* Kathryn Barrett, Sr. Publicist at O'Reilly Media, Inc who prized me Head First HTML, just for responding to a questionaire after an O'Reilly Web Cast.
* Also kudos to W3C school's CSS Tutorial pages and especially their neat-o "Try It Yourself" widget which I will continue to use extensively as I move forward.
* And thanks to Robert Brodrecht of "Robertdot" for being so clear and concise about "Triangles in CSS".
* And last but not least, my friend Chris F.A. Johnson who's timely tips and regular cues in direction have sped my learning - and who's vast knowledge of coding has helped make me aware of some of the best practices in this sub-culture of coding crafts-people.

Please note: I am self taught and don't follow the paths of teachers - rather the path of necessity (the mother of). Some may find my seemingly gargantuan gaps in knowledge unfathomable - and my blithe ignorance of well known CSS solutions worrisome ... so for those who's materials I have used as reference or who's advice I have sought, it should be noted that they are not to blame for the way I learn - I am. :)


Monday, April 18, 2011 - The 'Minima' Blogger Baseball Scorecard

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

CSS Position at-bat Box - another milestone

Yesterday's milestone, the Minima Blogger Baseball Scorecard, sucks compared with today's milestone.

Below is a new AB box that is made with CSS position elements; the diamonds are where they are because of top and left absolute position elements with-in a relative parent element - rather than a series of boxes that are packed together so none of them move - as in the 'Minima' scorecard I finished yesterday. Yesterday I scored the New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays game with the Minima scorecard and I had a great deal of difficulty keeping up, every time I changed the position of the cursor in the graph, the blogger-create-interface would pause for about 2 or 3 seconds as the spider finished crawling the 604 KB file. I guess that might have something to do with my processor speed.

This is how CSS really shines - the code for this is only 64 four lines long as opposed to the Minima scorecard's AB box which took 130 lines to create - that's 66 lines saved X 162 AB boxes in a two team scorecard = 10,692 lines of code!



#9 1,2
#9 2,3

That's good because before I erased all the spacing tabs that make code easier to read, the Minima was at 1.15 MB and Blogger's per-page limit is 1MB - trimming all the indent tabs saved about 300,000 bytes! Like in the Shampoo commercial - wash rinse, repeat - coding is a lot of cut and paste and repeat, and repeat and repeat. I was astonished the other day when I looked at the size of the Minima scorecard; a million bytes?!? How did I create a million keystrokes?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Minima II Blogger Baseball Scorecard - styling with position

In case you haven't been here before, or haven't been back in a while - the Blogger Baseball Scorecard Project is a ongoing development of an interactive baseball scoring form that you can use in a Blogger blog to score baseball games.

The 'Minima II' is the latest model in the project and I'm very excited about it! Today, April 23, 2011 at 1:00 PM EST I'm going to score my first game with it at this address.

In testing the 'Minima II' I am shocked at how fast and responsive it is - there's no delay from the moment one clicks in a particular text area to the time the blinking prompt is ready for keystrokes - this is surprising to me because although the previous incarnation in this project, the 'Minima I' has twice as many bytes, it was infinitely slower (a function not of size, but architecture).

The difference between the two scorecards in coding is qualitatively different. The first, the 'Minima I' represents the old way that websites were contructed in the 1980's and early 90's - the New Minima II is constructed with Cascading Style Sheet coding the way modern web pages are made today - the two scorecards represent two points on a learning curve which is me teaching myself to write code. Oddly, my epiphany from one style of coding to the other happened with out any thinking - as soon as the older card was done I started writing Minima II - and had it ready for scoring in 2 days.

Yesterday I was going to score Game 1 of the Tampa/Jays series (that's Game 2 that I'm scoring today) but blogger kept discarding the bottom pitching table - so last night I added an relative position outer wrapper CSS element and added absolute position wraps around the five tables, and gave them all top and left positions - now Blogger reads the whole scorecard correctly (and dosn't mistake repeating data for an error).

So below is a first attempt at adding some style with position - it looks at little less like a brick wall now I think. :)

Next, maybe some images here and there.


Saturday, April 23, 2011 - Minima II Blogger Baseball Scorecard - styling with position

(All Images 'Rebigulate' on click)


Monday, April 18, 2011

Daisuke Matsuzaka Red Sox's Mothra - destroys 'Nine-Game-Fiasco' Godzilla Monster

"We've created a nine-game fiasco early in the season and now we've got to try and figure out a way to make it better." 
- Red Sox manager Terry Francona - Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I know no one in Boston will buy this - but from the Toronto side of the pitching ledger Daisuke Matsuzaka is a god among pitchers.

One Hit?!? One Walk?!?  Who was that guy?  Hither-to sucky, sucky, suck-suck, now Cy friggn' Young? Ouch!

Boston turned their ugly early season 2-9 record around at the Blue Jays expense this weekend - winning 3 out of 4 including a 9-1 drubbing this afternoon. (In a game that started at 11:00 AM this morning so as to not create traffic chaos with the Boston Marathon, that began snaking it's way by Fenway Park at about 1:00 PM.)

The series win brings the Boston's record with-in sight of the first division in the American League East - on their way to second place or better, no doubt. The Jays won Friday 7-6, lost on Saturday 4-1, Sunday 8-1, and today 9-1. 

Below are the Jay's at-bats from today's game. Toronto was one-hit by Matsuzaka over 7 innings. One hit in the first, a walk in the second - then 1,2,3 in the third, forth, fifth, sixth and seventh - not to mention the relief pitcher's 1,2,3 eighth - read it and weep (a complete game scorecard of the game from the Blogger Baseball Scorecard is here).

(All images 'Rebigulate' on click)

It'll be good to play in a nice warm dome tomorrow I expect - even if it is the New York Yankee's waiting there. A J Burnett is pitching for the Empire - and we all know how sucky, sucky, suck-suck he can be.

Should be fun - knock on wood. :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

'Sometimes you eat the baseball, and sometimes the baseball eats you.'

- which is better I wonder?

Seattle Mariners' #2 starter, Michael Pineda looked pretty good last night - shutting out the Blue Jays until the 8th inning. For long stretches the Jays were no-hit - managing just two hits in the 4th - one in the 5th and two in the 8th.

Cory Patterson drove in both Toronto runs with a base hit in the eighth inning after a pass ball moved runners up and over - the first Blue Jays in scoring position since the forth inning - the only other time they achieved such a thing until that point.

The positive news is that the Toronto Bullpen got the night off as Ricky Romero pitched a god-like 8 inning complete game putting up zeros right along side this new Zeus of the Poseidons. Except for the third inning, Romero matched his nemesis.

A Mariner three in the 3rd held up, and the Jays drop to 5 wins and 6 loses.

The only question this observer has is - if the hitting part wasn't working, wasn't expected to work going in, why did manager John Farrell seem to be waiting for the home run in the 4th when Bautista and Patterson were on first and second respectively, with nobody out? The Jays only opportunity to use the running game seemed to go by without the characteristic free-for-all that this team was becoming known for. The forth was their only opportunity to use the running game - until the eighth - when Patterson ran the Mariner battery into a throwing error and a free base. (And, - one could counter - ran them out of the inning on the very next pitch with an attempted steal of home on a foul-out down the line in right.)

* * *

Below is the Jays at-bats last night from the Blogger Baseball Scorecard - and below that, a line drawing rendered from the Jays batting scorecard that shows - rather well I think - the 22 year old Seattle phenom's dominance last night. And below that... Ricky Romero's fabulous start.

Michael Pineda pitching to Toronto last night

Line drawing of  Pineda's start

Batters faced per inning - Seattle's Michael Pineda pitching (RP's in red) to Toronto - April 12, 2011

Ricky Romero pitching to Seattle last night

Line drawing of Romero's start

Batters faced per inning - Toronto's Ricky Romero pitching to Seattle - April 12, 2011

(All images are 'Rebigulated' * on click)

* Simpson's reference: Professor Frink, "..Rebigulator, which is a concept so ridiculous..." -


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

That bullpen's dead - we need another one

Yup, they're all too tired to play anymore...

So John Farrell has found a limit to the bullpen. Now he will embark on finding out how long to rest each before they don't suck.

I say this bullpen is toast - they need a holiday ... is there a way to rent another bullpen from somewhere? - like a temporary position in an office?

Wanted: 7 guys with good arms to fill in for a few days while our very appreciated crew get some R&R.

Boxscore and relief pitchers totals from the 8th and 9th Inning - April 11,2011 - Blue Jays at Mariners Scorecard of  Game 1

Ball location to all batters faced for the four relievers on April 11 2011
- via "Brooks Baseball".

David Purcey 0.1 IP 2H 3R 3ER 1BB 16/6(P/S)

Octavio Dotel   0.0 IP  0H  2R  2ER 2BB 12/4(P/S)

Marc Rzepczynski   0.0 IP  1H  0R 0ER  1BB  10/3(P/S)

Shawn Camp  1.1 IP  2H  2R 2ER  1BB  22/12(P/S)


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Narrative of a most Interesting 14 Inning Marathon

What a game in Anaheim tonight! Three different games in one 5 hour, 3 minute 14 inning roller coaster.

The first 4 innings were a shoot out - each team scoring 5 runs, reckless base running, ill considered throws, base runners everywhere - and hits as often as the tick of a clock. Then came a bullpen-pitchers-duel - and the tick-tock of hits turned to thwacks of the catcher's mitts as hitters fell 1, 2, 3. Followed later on by an hysterically crazy finish that could not - would not end.

The chaos of hits and runs, and the taking of extra bases that was the first incarnation of this game ebbed imperceptibly between the 3rd and the 6th, and we became aware that the game we were watching had vanished and a new game had taken it's place. The thing we thought we were watching had become a game reminiscent of the well played, pure-ists style pitching match-up of the night before. Time seemed to stop - no runs plated after the forth; before we knew it was the ninth... and into the tenth we go. Almost as if baseball games were supposed to do this.  This one anyway.

The tenth is always full of tension; this is extra innings after all, it's the nature of the thing - out here on the edge every 6 outs is a 9 inning game. The Jays began with the 7,8,9 hitters and - what do you know - the lead-off guy gets plunked. Next batter flies out but the 9 guy works a walk. (Alright, they've turned the line-up over - here we go - one out and the go-ahead run on second.) Two quick outs and the calmness like from the-before-time returns to the Angel Stadium.

The Angels go 1,2,3 and I'm filling in the top of my scorecard; 11th, 12th, 13th... - this is going to be a long one - neither team has scored since Saturday.

In the 11th the Blue Jays get a runner on, but then go down in order.

Then the change.

The Angels get an error to start their half of the inning - E5th, on Edwin Encarnacion, and veteran Bobby Abreu is on first. They follow that with the first Angel hit since the 5th, and it's no outs, runners on the corners. The Jays battery manages to manufacture a strike-out and then intentionally loads the bases to set up a double play. (Ground ball the right side - the winning run's coming on contact!) The second baseman picks himself up off the infield - finds the ball - and with robotic efficiency rifles home in time. Two out - still bases loaded. Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Swing - the great young catcher Mathis is out.

Just no runs (so that you'd notice).

(These moments of opportunity-not-seized, in extra innings, offer much potent. That kind of Karma costs games; everyone knows you don't fail in such situations and very often win.) It's at this point that we notice that this is again a different game. There isn't the deluge of hits like from the-before-time - but now there are dead base runners all over the place. But this is different than the first four inning free-for-all --- this is 'serious-er'. :)

The Angels have already used their entire bullpen - it's all riding on Jason Bulger, the last man standing in their rank. It's only pitch 10 when the reliever walks the lead off Jay in the 12th - but with the news that the Angel bull pen is empty we're wondering maybe this guy isn't the best Angel pitcher on the roster? Bulger efficiently strikes out the next guy on the 2-2 pitch - but the battery has allowed a stolen base during the AB. One out - a runner at second --- then he walks another.

The Jays play small-ball - the lead-off guy moves them over with a bunt. Two outs, runners at second and third. Next guy works a walk, and now it's bases loaded with the 2010 Home Run Champion Jose Bautista up. Fly Out centre.

Three runners left. 'Karma'. And 'these moments of opportunity-not-seized'... . But the Angels go quietly in the bottom half. It's like redemption, all sins erased; and we are born again.

And on to 'lucky 13'.

Lead off base hit to right for the Jays, this must be the inning! TV play-by-play man Buck Martinez said earlier, "lucky 13". Could the numerology be correct? Where did I put my tea leaves? The next guy walks. (Bulger is still out there - he's wild and likely tired. He's toast, left out to dry - he can't do it, it's over - get a fork ... done. Ah, the taste of sweet victory! Hallelujah!)

The manager insists on small-ball again, 'Move 'em over!' he says.

But the catcher out of the Blue Jays farm system can't for the life of him preform such a thing. He looks amateur-bad as he strikes out on the 0-2 pitch trying to catch up with a fast ball he hadn't even seen yet.

Oh well, Next! And 'next' guy moves them over with a perfect ground ball that the first baseman has to field down the line, he feeds Bulger at first as the runners move up. Now the go ahead, and the insurance run are in scoring position. This team will play little-ball this year or John Farrell will not be it's manager - count on it. With two outs the go-ahead run is ninety feet away; but the Jays need a hit, a wild pitch, a pass ball or an error to plate it.

The hit ball bounces lazily towards the shortstop position, but it's too slow for the shortstop playing deep with 2 outs - it's the third baseman's ball. It seems to me the first thing Alberto Callaspo's does is notice that Yunel Escobar is going to intersect him at the point where he wants to field the ball - so instead of charging the ball, he waits until Escobar is by - then in one motion, grabs the bouncing ball and makes a sling throw to first - the ball sails towards the right field side and pulls the first baseman off the bag. SAFE! the Umpire gestures. (The run scores! Holy cow, we finally scored! This is the first base hit since the ninth - about an hour ago...)

Wait a minute...

Bob Davidson, the third base umpire's saying Yunel Escobar's out - "Baserunner Interference". Escobar interfered with Alberto Callaspo's attempt to field the ball!! he is out; run does not score; inning over.


(There will be LOTS of conversation about this tomorrow, I'm sure - see my take on the controversial call here.)

(Is there no end to these endings that don't cause ending - that wind up short? Holy mother of god I don't think I can take another half inning of this. But that doesn't matter, there's more... and once into extra innings there no getting out, this isn't the kind of game you can just quit.)

Bottom 13

Abreu leads off again; BH. Hunter follows with one of his own, moving Abreu to third. On the corners, no outs. The Angel manager has been starting the runners all game long, and he does it again; he's pressing his advantage - at home, in extras. Off 1B goes Hunter; it's a hit and run and aTexas-leaguer arcs out into short left where a charging Snider meets it with his glove in a tumble. He gets up quickly and throws it back to McDonald at cut-off. Shawn Camp is yelling and pointing, managing the infield. 'Throw to first!! Hunter - double him off!, Watch the runner at third! ' John McDonald checks the runner and tosses the ball. Double play 7-6-3. Two outs. Runner at 3rd.

(What just happened? Karma. All that. They just gave it back - we can win this - we're going to win this! Just one more out and we'll get our turns again... .) The next guy walks - runners at the corners two out. Mike Scioscia figures the Jays won't be ready if they try to run again - who would? So now they try the double steal, a play designed to fool a team - entice a throw to get the guy stupidly going from 1B which is only a distraction from the guy stealing home - just behind the play. But the Jays see through it and plays goes 1-4-2 as quick as you please. Third out at home is DOA. Slam-Bam. Thank You Mame!

OK, they're Crazy - we'll win for Sure.

But we don't win - we don't even get a runner on - some guy who usually starts games (Dan Haren 2-0 1.15) came out of the 'empty' bullpen and shut us down! (Well at least that inning didn't cause any heart attacks. No runners - no tension. Cool. Get 'em next inning.)

The Bottom of the 14th

A guy I've been watching, Peter Bourjos, Centre Fielder for the Angels. He's one of the sweetest centre fielders in the league - he gets to stuff and gets there poetically. He played 51 games with the Angels last year after coming up from the AAA Salt Lake Bees of the Pacific Coast League. I first noticed him when he made a brilliant catch in left centre robbing Bautista of a 2BH hit in a game in Anaheim on Friday, August 13, 2010. The Angels have even changed the way they play outfield defence because of Peter's range (and 2 former CF's on either side of him, Vernon Wells & Torii Hunter); they hug the gaps and leave the lines to the odds. (Coincidentally it's the way I play left and right field - I figure that all things being equal, on average most balls are going to be hit out to the centre area of the field - I consider the hits down the lines, flukes statistically - on a straight run to the foul line I'll make the play on most balls. I figure if you scorch a ball down the foul line, good for you, nicely done - you beat me - but what are the chances? So I play towards the gaps as much as I can to cut off balls in the power alleys and Texas-Leaguers out of the reach of the infielders.)

So any way, because I love the way this guy plays, I've begun penciling him into the line-up as Peter "gorgeous" Bourjos.

(It's a loose reference to Firesign Theatre's "Georgy Porgy" character from the comedy album, "Don't crush that Dwarf, hand me those pliers (side 2)"

(Youtube: ).

So anyway... with two outs in the bottom of the 14th inning of a game the Jays have had about 5 good chances to win - the number nine hitter - who is currently batting .231 -  Peter "gorgeous" Bourjos hits a double to left - which is peremptorily followed by the game winning RBI base hit by the lead-off batter, Maicer Izturis.

Finally an end of chances.

One of the most entertaining games I have seen --- and these new John Farrell little-ball Jays are great.  I look forward to a lot more RBI's from this team. I really think they're on the right track with this. This should give all Jays fans a really good idea of just how many parts this team is away from contending for a Pennant.

Scorecards for this game (two separate scorecards):
Innings 1 to 9.
Innings 10 to 14.


Baserunner Interference call on Jay's Yunel Escobar hands Angels Win

The story

It's the top of the 13th inning. The go-ahead run is ninety feet away, the Jays need a hit to plate it. The ball bounces lazily towards the shortstop position, it's too slow for the short stop who's playing deep with 2 outs - it's third baseman Alberto Callaspo's ball. First thing he does it seems to me, is notice that Yunel Escobar is going to intersect him at the point where he wants to field the ball - so instead of taking charge he waits until Escobar is by - then grabs the bouncing ball and makes a one motion zing to first - the ball sails towards the right field side and pulls the first baseman off the bag. SAFE!
The run scores! Holy cow, we finally scored - this is the Jays first base hit since the ninth inning - about an hour ago...

Wait a minute...

The third base umpire's saying the batter-runner's out, baserunner interference. Yunel Escobar interfered with Alberto Callaspo's attempt to field the ball - he's out, run does not score, inning over! WHAT?!?
(More on this amazing game here.) 

Two Arguments

There will be LOTS of conversation about this tomorrow, I am sure.

I'm of two minds; Escobar didn't come out of the base-path; he left the ball behind him as he made his way to third - he was past the ball before it left the infield - Callaspo was positioned deep and well off the foul line on the outfield side of the base path. How could have Yunel have interfered?

On the other hand, there was no runner on first, Yunel didn't have to go, no force was in order, so he wasn't trying to beat the third baseman past the ball - he cold have held up. Usually in that situation that's what you do, you slow up because you don't run into the tag --- but it looked like Escobar was racing to the intersection of the three; the ball the third baseman and himself - like he was testing the situation, the rule and the opposite player all in that second.

Ask yourself, if there had been no runner coming from second would Callaspo have made the play? The answer is yes - it would have been an easy out with out a runner bearing down on him. So if you look at it that way - he did interfere, or at least his intent was to make the third baseman reconsider his route to the ball - as he had already shown that weakness right off the bat, that he could be 'cowed' it appeared to me... . Callaspo should have charged the ball and forced the issue, Escobar would have had to slow and let him make his play.

Looked at in that way the third base ump might have made the right call after all - the first time all game long, I might mention, that he had done such a thing - so you can see the problem....  ;)


Friday, April 8, 2011

Blogger Baseball Scorecard - Free Printable Baseball Scorecard - Version 3 (982px × 1,600px JPEG Image)

I've up-loaded the original size - 982px × 1,600px - left click on the image and it will open at it's own page - reduced - left click on the image again and it will expand to it's full size.

Print instructions are below the image.

JPEG Image
324.81 KB (332,604 bytes)
982px × 1,600px

Image URL: 

Long version of the URL:
(copy and paste from box)

To copy and print simply:

  • Copy Image and open in Microsoft Paint: first, open image in it's own page, click on image above or copy from  the 'textarea' box, or the shortened version and open in a new window/tab. Right click on the image and choose "Copy Image"
  • Open Microsoft Paint (or other such image editing application - like the Open Source GIMP)
  • Paste in the address*
  • Save
  • Print**
To paste into "Microsoft Paint": with the Image on your mouse via the "Copy Image" function, click "EDIT" in Microsoft Paint (top left). Select "Paste" - image will appear full sized. Save and Print**.

To print the scorecard (print the scorecard on two pages - page 1: Top, Visitors - page 2: Bottom, Home). Set at default Microsoft Paint, 'Print'  prints the scorecard on six pages - so change two defaults:
  • In "FILE" (top left) choose "Page Setup..." - a window will open (image on the right)
  • Under Paper, option "Size", choose "Letter" (default)
  • Set "Margins", "Left" to 0.25 (smallest) 
  • Under "Scaling" click "Adjust to:" and change from "100%" to 20%.

Please share.

GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program:


Friday, April 1, 2011

Rogers to show a lot of Blue Jays Baseball - but not "all"

Rogers' Sportsnet shouts, "Sportsnet has all 162 Jays games" in an article announcing the 2011 Blue Jays Broadcast Schedule. That's the headline; but as far as I'm concerned - it buries the the lead.

Rogers basic cable channel, Sportsnet will be showing 124 of 162 games. 38 Blue Jays games will be available only on the premium priced "Sportsnet-One" channel.

Last year in one of my scorecards of a Blue Jays game I surmised that Rogers Communications Inc. was trying to put more and more Blue Jays games in the higher priced cable packages - the n'th of which is the dreaded, pay-for-view baseball. That was a knee jerk reaction - an opinion I came to without doing any research. Though for Rodgers, last fall was a mess to say the least.

Rodgers has had a lot of trouble rolling out the new "Sportsnet-One" channel. A lot of cable providers across the country wouldn't carry it at the price Rogers was asking. As well, Rogers went ahead before it had all it's ducks in a row, putting customers in a hostage situation in a battle between them and local providers. The war put late season Blue Jays games - some of which had spoiler implications in the run-up to the postseason - to places where baseball fans could not access them no matter what - in some areas they just were not available.

Rogers deserved the wrath they got. But as far as Rogers trying to go in a pay-for-view direction with baseball - I'm happy to report I was wrong last year, and it doesn't ring true this year either.

This year I went and got the Blue Jays broadcast schedule that Sportsnet published in February. In editing the comprehensive table in order to publish it here, I gleaned a pretty fair appreciation of the complexities of working out a seven month baseball broadcast schedule, the dates for each of which are arbitrary (from Rogers point of view) - the dates and times are a product of a process MLB used to produce their schedule. I think I can see in this years schedule, that Rogers' goal is to show as many Blue Jays on the regular cable channel as possible.

Also very important is that the Blue Jays - owned by Rogers - has re-invested in the minor leagues under new President of Baseball Operations Paul Beaston and general manager Alex Anthopoulos. Rogers has approved money over the last two years on minor league talent that will force a decision to spend a whole lot more in a couple of years - towards a shot at the postseason. I'm seeing a magical confluence of opportunities approaching (due to superior management of the team) - much like that which, in hindsight, was happening in the 1990's when the Labatt family owned the franchise - which tells me Rogers Inc. is planning to take a shot at the Pennant in the near future.

These two things together tell me that the near term broadcast strategy is to spread the good Blue Jays news as far and as wide as possible - and that means as much Jays on basic cable as possible.

A longer term strategy say, 10 years down the road, may be to cash-in on success with pay-for-view baseball after a successful run at the postseason. But it's hard to see that far in this quickly evolving media environment - 10 years is another world, the pay-per-click era perhaps - or an internet ad model may emerge. In my opinion all the games that are unavailable on basic cable this year are due to conflicts with other programs Rogers needs to fill out a 24/7, 365 days a year broadcast schedule.

I couldn't find a broadcast schedule for Sportsnet-Ontario online, and TV Guide, or Zap2it only go 2 weeks into the future. All the info in the Blue Jays 2011 broadcast table below was collected via pages put up by event organizers that mention Sportnet-Ontario is broadcasting them on such and such a date. I researched the basic cable blackouts to find out what was on instead of baseball using the date, time and the channel - but I could only get so much info - so in the table below, there are more and more blanks the further into the future you look. 

Rodgers needed to sign contracts with content producers and vendors, to fill out their schedule - some of these contracts have time restraints associated with them - like the English Premier League weekly preview show EPL. In order to provide a complete 24 hour broadcast schedule and offer relevant programming that includes new and emerging markets - like the soccer craze that is sweeping this town and remains strong in British Columbia - Rogers has had to bend a little. That 'bend' is Sportnet-One - and of coarse, as with all corporations, they want someone else to pay for that 'bending' as much as they think they can get away with. I say to Rogers, invest in the new market of soccer - pay it forward so to speak - make sure Sportnet-One is available in the lower priced cable package; and don't make life-long Toronto Blue Jay's baseball fans - a demographic that is entering a key, third generation ---> their parents were fans too - pay for it.

The Toronto Blue Jays Broadcast Schedule table below shows a couple of interesting regular metrics. A blank day every Wednesday; what is that about I wonder? (Not enough info going forward to determine that yet.) The games not on Sportsnet-Ontario that really hurt baseball fans are those where for several consecutive days, while baseball is being played, there is no baseball available in the way one has been experiencing it hither to. There's one such blank in May where in a nine day stretch we get ONE game. Then later, in August there is a stretch of hell - the Rogers Cup Tennis match - where the Jays play at Baltimore on Sunday August 7th, then a Blue Jays travel day - then all the way through to Saturday August 13th at 1:00 PM - no games for you! (said the broadcast nazi).

But that's it - no other horrors are apparent - except for the All Star Game in July - and that's someone else's fault (Bud).

The table below is an edit of a Sportsnet produced 2011 Toronto Blue Jays Television Broadcast Schedule (, a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. The Sportsnet spreadsheet link is available via a Sportsnet MLB-News article entitled "Sportsnet has all 162 Jays games" (February 23, 2011). I've edited out 5 columns including: 'Game', 'Day', 'Sportnet East', 'Sportnet West' and 'Sportnet Pacific' - leaving only "Sportsnet-One" and "Sportnet-Ontario" - here in Toronto, the regular priced cable channel 22. 

(Sorry, the rest of Canada, the entire spreadsheet was too wide to fit in this blog - so I included only the Ontario market - which is the market I'm familiar with. I could create three tables - one for each time zone. That could happen - if there's a demand.)

If I could find the info, I've added in red, entries to the table of what is showing at that particular time - instead of the Blue Jays game that happening out of our view.  The chart entries seem to show that the NHL, UEFA Cup Soccer have important contracts with Rogers - and as well Rogers is Sponsoring the Professional Tennis Tour; the Rogers Cup. And Roger's is the television presentor for the Memorial Cup. Also of note is the regular occurrence of Ultimate Fighting Violence this year, and last year I noted several Poker pookies poking around in stead of baseball games (both of which in my humble opinion, are signs of a coming apocalypse).

I'll keep updating this chart with 'instead ofs ' entries throughout the year; and see what we see as we go forward - and next year at this time we'll do this again with a better temporal understanding.

Toronto Blue Jays 2011 Television Broadcast Schedule + Blue Jay basic cable black-out 'instead-ofs'

04/01/11 Minnesota Toronto 7:00PM
04/02/11 Minnesota Toronto 1:00PM
04/03/11 Minnesota Toronto 1:00PM
04/05/11 Oakland Toronto 7:00PM NHL Hockey
04/06/11 Oakland Toronto 7:00PM UFC Live
04/07/11 Oakland Toronto 12:30PM
04/08/11 Toronto Los Angeles Angels 10:00PM 10:00PM
04/09/11 Toronto Los Angeles Angels 9:00PM
04/10/11 Toronto Los Angeles Angels 3:30PM
04/11/11 Toronto Seattle 10:00PM
04/12/11 Toronto Seattle 10:00PM
04/13/11 Toronto Seattle 3:30PM UEFA game
04/15/11 Toronto Boston 7:00PM
04/16/11 Toronto Boston 1:00PM
04/17/11 Toronto Boston 1:30PM
04/18/11 Toronto Boston 11:00AM
04/19/11 NY Yankees Toronto 7:00PM
04/20/11 NY Yankees Toronto 7:00PM ?
04/22/11 Tampa Bay Toronto 7:00PM
04/23/11 Tampa Bay Toronto 1:00PM
04/24/11 Tampa Bay Toronto 1:00PM
04/25/11 Toronto Texas 8:00PM
04/26/11 Toronto Texas 8:00PM
04/27/11 Toronto Texas 8:00PM ?
04/28/11 Toronto Texas 2:00PM
04/29/11 Toronto NY Yankees 7:00PM
04/30/11 Toronto NY Yankees 4:00PM
05/01/11 Toronto NY Yankees 1:00PM
05/03/11 Toronto Tampa Bay 6:30PM
05/04/11 Toronto Tampa Bay 6:30PM ?
05/05/11 Toronto Tampa Bay 1:00PM
05/06/11 Detroit Toronto 7:00PM
05/07/11 Detroit Toronto 4:00PM
05/08/11 Detroit Toronto 1:00PM
05/09/11 Detroit Toronto 7:00PM
05/10/11 Boston Toronto 7:00PM
05/11/11 Boston Toronto 7:00PM ?
05/13/11 Toronto Minnesota 8:00PM
05/14/11 Toronto Minnesota 4:00PM
05/15/11 Toronto Minnesota 2:00PM
05/16/11 Toronto Detroit 7:00PM
05/17/11 Toronto Detroit 7:00PM
05/18/11 Tampa Bay Toronto 7:00PM Memorial Cup Preview
05/19/11 Tampa Bay Toronto 7:00PM
05/20/11 Houston Toronto 7:00PM Memorial Cup
05/21/11 Houston Toronto 1:00PM Memorial Cup
05/22/11 Houston Toronto 1:00PM Memorial Cup
05/23/11 Toronto NY Yankees 7:00PM Memorial Cup
05/24/11 Toronto NY Yankees 7:00PM Memorial Cup
05/25/11 Toronto NY Yankees 1:00PM
05/26/11 Chicago White Sox Toronto 7:00PM Memorial Cup
05/27/11 Chicago White Sox Toronto 7:00PM Memorial Cup
05/28/11 Chicago White Sox Toronto 1:00PM Memorial Cup
05/29/11 Chicago White Sox Toronto 1:00PM
05/30/11 Cleveland Toronto
05/31/11 Cleveland Toronto 7:00PM
06/01/11 Cleveland Toronto 7:00PM
06/03/11 Toronto Baltimore 7:00PM
06/04/11 Toronto Baltimore 7:00PM
06/05/11 Toronto Baltimore 1:30PM
06/06/11 Toronto Kansas City 8:00PM
06/07/11 Toronto Kansas City 8:00PM
06/08/11 Toronto Kansas City 8:00PM
06/09/11 Toronto Kansas City 4:00PM
06/10/11 Boston Toronto 7:00PM
06/11/11 Boston Toronto 1:00PM
06/12/11 Boston Toronto 1:00PM
06/14/11 Baltimore Toronto 7:00PM
06/15/11 Baltimore Toronto 7:00PM
06/16/11 Baltimore Toronto 12:30PM
06/17/11 Toronto Cincinnati 7:00PM
06/18/11 Toronto Cincinnati 7:00PM
06/19/11 Toronto Cincinnati 1:00PM
06/20/11 Toronto Atlanta 7:00PM
06/21/11 Toronto Atlanta 7:00PM
06/22/11 Toronto Atlanta 1:00PM
06/24/11 Toronto St. Louis 8:00PM
06/25/11 Toronto St. Louis 7:00PM
06/26/11 Toronto St. Louis 2:00PM
06/28/11 Pittsburgh Toronto 7:00PM
06/29/11 Pittsburgh Toronto 7:00PM
06/30/11 Pittsburgh Toronto 7:00PM
07/01/11 Philadelphia Toronto 1:00PM
07/02/11 Philadelphia Toronto 1:00PM
07/03/11 Philadelphia Toronto 1:00PM
07/04/11 Toronto Boston 1:30PM
07/05/11 Toronto Boston 7:00PM
07/06/11 Toronto Boston 7:00PM
07/07/11 Toronto Cleveland 7:00PM
07/08/11 Toronto Cleveland 7:00PM
07/09/11 Toronto Cleveland 7:00PM
07/10/11 Toronto Cleveland 1:00PM
07/14/11 NY Yankees Toronto 7:00PM
07/15/11 NY Yankees Toronto 7:00PM
07/16/11 NY Yankees Toronto 1:00PM
07/17/11 NY Yankees Toronto 1:00PM
07/19/11 Seattle Toronto 7:00PM
07/20/11 Seattle Toronto 7:00PM
07/21/11 Seattle Toronto 12:30PM
07/22/11 Toronto Texas 8:00PM
07/23/11 Toronto Texas 8:00PM
07/24/11 Toronto Texas 8:00PM
07/26/11 Baltimore Toronto 7:00PM
07/27/11 Baltimore Toronto 7:00PM
07/28/11 Baltimore Toronto 7:00PM
07/29/11 Texas Toronto 7:00PM
07/30/11 Texas Toronto 1:00PM
07/31/11 Texas Toronto 1:00PM
08/02/11 Toronto Tampa Bay 7:00PM
08/03/11 Toronto Tampa Bay 7:00PM
08/04/11 Toronto Tampa Bay 12:00PM
08/05/11 Toronto Baltimore 7:00PM
08/06/11 Toronto Baltimore 7:00PM
08/07/11 Toronto Baltimore 1:30PM
08/09/11 Oakland Toronto 7:00PM Rogers Cup
08/10/11 Oakland Toronto 7:00PM Rogers Cup
08/11/11 Oakland Toronto 12:30PM Rogers Cup
08/12/11 Los Angeles Angels Toronto 7:00PM Rogers Cup
08/13/11 Los Angeles Angels Toronto 1:00PM
08/14/11 Los Angeles Angels Toronto 1:00PM
08/15/11 Toronto Seattle 10:00PM
08/16/11 Toronto Seattle 10:00PM
08/17/11 Toronto Seattle 10:00PM
08/18/11 Toronto Oakland 10:00PM
08/19/11 Toronto Oakland 10:00PM
08/20/11 Toronto Oakland 9:00PM
08/21/11 Toronto Oakland 4:00PM
08/23/11 Kansas City Toronto 7:00PM
08/24/11 Kansas City Toronto 7:00PM
08/25/11 Kansas City Toronto 7:00PM
08/26/11 Tampa Bay Toronto 7:00PM
08/27/11 Tampa Bay Toronto 1:00PM
08/28/11 Tampa Bay Toronto 1:00PM
08/29/11 Tampa Bay Toronto 7:00PM
08/30/11 Toronto Baltimore 7:00PM
08/31/11 Toronto Baltimore 7:00PM
09/01/11 Toronto Baltimore 7:00PM
09/02/11 Toronto NY Yankees 7:00PM
09/03/11 Toronto NY Yankees 1:00PM
09/04/11 Toronto NY Yankees 1:00PM
09/05/11 Boston Toronto 1:00PM
09/06/11 Boston Toronto 7:00PM
09/07/11 Boston Toronto 7:00PM
09/08/11 Boston Toronto 7:00PM
09/09/11 Baltimore Toronto 7:00PM
09/10/11 Baltimore Toronto 1:00PM
09/11/11 Baltimore Toronto 1:00PM
09/13/11 Toronto Boston 7:00PM
09/14/11 Toronto Boston 1:30PM
09/16/11 NY Yankees Toronto 7:00PM
09/17/11 NY Yankees Toronto 1:00PM
09/18/11 NY Yankees Toronto 1:00PM
09/19/11 Los Angeles Angels Toronto 7:00PM
09/20/11 Los Angeles Angels Toronto 7:00PM
09/21/11 Los Angeles Angels Toronto 7:00PM
09/22/11 Los Angeles Angels Toronto 7:00PM
09/23/11 Toronto Tampa Bay 7:00PM
09/24/11 Toronto Tampa Bay 7:00PM
09/25/11 Toronto Tampa Bay 1:30PM
09/26/11 Toronto Chicago White Sox 8:00PM
09/27/11 Toronto Chicago White Sox 8:00PM
09/28/11 Toronto Chicago White Sox 2:00PM


Sportsnet MLB-News - February 23, 2011: "Sportsnet has all 162 Jays games"

Sportsnet Microsoft Excel spreadsheet:  "2011 Toronto Blue Jays Television Broadcast Schedule" (

Sportsnet Soccer - News - February 26, 2010: "EPL going global with television channel"
( Sports - Baseball - May 13, 2010: "All 2010 Jays games now on Sportsnet"

Wikipedia: "History of the Toronto Blue Jays"