Friday In case you missed it, Twitter recently featured an extremely stupid debate involving cable, streaming services, the Yankees, and, somehow, New York’s Attorney General. The gist is as follows: Aaron Judge was on pace to tie (or possibly break) Roger Maris’ American League record of 61 home runs in a season (he did not).
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The Red Sox game was broadcast on Apple TV Plus rather than YES, New York’s regional cable sports network. Some people were upset about it, presumably bar owners in New York who show baseball games, including the state Attorney General.
Others have correctly pointed out that watching a game on a paid cable service is no more convenient than watching it on a free streaming app.
The thing is, you don’t need cable or Apple TV Plus to watch a historic baseball game. Follow the local team the same way I do: on the radio. Do you remember the radio? It still exists, and baseball is one of the best uses for it.
Have you heard the soothing white noise of the crowd hum as your home team advances in the playoffs? With a glass of whiskey in your hand and a cool, early-fall breeze streaming in through the window? I haven’t seen it because I’m a Mariners fan, but it sounds incredible.
You do not need a radio to listen. There could be a streaming app for your local station. Or, like me, tell Google Home to play the Mariners. It gladly obliges and tunes in to my local station, 710 AM, via a service called Audacy.
I’m not sure what Audacy is, and I’m not interested in learning. Whatever it is, it brings me pure baseball joy 162 times a year.
There are a few advantages to watching baseball in this manner. For starters, it’s either free or very, very cheap. Use a streaming service, or if you don’t want to, go to your local Goodwill, where I guarantee you’ll find a stack of radios for 50 cents each.
Second, while you’re listening, you can do other things. Even I, a lifelong baseball fan, can’t sit through an entire game on TV because my attention span is that of a fruit fly. I’m usually scrolling through my phone, half listening, half watching.
You can get up and do things while listening to baseball on the radio. You can do a jigsaw puzzle or bake bread (I’m sorry, I share your Grandma’s interests). When it’s time to pay attention, your local broadcaster, if they’re anything like mine, will make a big friggin’ deal about what’s going on so you don’t miss a beat.
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Basically, it’s a nice screen-free activity, and occasionally really cool stuff happens, such as a generational talent breaking a home run record. And if nothing happens, at least you didn’t have to pay for it.