The first game of the Major League Baseball season was played this morning in Japan between the Oakland A’s and Seattle Mariners. Amazingly, the game was not shown live at its official start time of 6:10 am Eastern, but rather on tape delay three hours later on the MLB Network. Tape delay!
When is the last time tape delay was a common expression when it comes to a major sport? The NBA Finals in the mid-80s? This is the opening game of the season in the year 2012, an age where you literally have to shut down the entire world around you not to find out the score of a game. So how it was not shown live regardless of start time remains more puzzling than Ken Rosenthal’s true height.
Imagine if someone in the NFL league office had the gall to suggest they broadcast a football game on tape delay. They would be unceremoniously thrown into a trunk and sent to the Pine Barrens with Christopher and Paulie Walnuts.
To make matters even more embarrassing, at 9 am, when the riveting tape-delayed broadcast began to air on the MLB Network, the actual game was in the 11th inning. So rather than have baseball fans who had just woken up tune in to see the finish, they were left with two options: Scan Twitter for real-time updates or watch the first at-bat of a game that began three hours ago. I went with choice ‘C’ and attacked myself with a penny-loaded sock.
Tomorrow’s game is also being shown on tape delay. Then the A’s and Mariners travel back to the states while the other 28 teams don’t begin playing games that count for another six days. But of course. Baseball! This whole thing makes less sense than Tim McCarver’s disturbing solo album.
[UPDATE: Lorraine Fisher of the MLB Network sent us an email saying that “based on fan response, we realize the better decision is to air tomorrow’s 2nd game of the series live at 5 am, then re-air it immediately after and again at 10 pm.”]