Washington Nationals sign Matt Wieters to a two-year deal

Former Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters is now a member of the Washington Nationals. He signed a two-year contract with the choice of opting out after one season. That may work out in Wieters’ favor if there is a demand for 31-year-old low average, switch-hitting catchers next season.

Matt Wieters will make $10.5 million this season. That’s a pay cut when compared to the $15.8 million the Orioles overpaid him last year.

Matt Wieters never turned out to be the player the Orioles hoped he would be when they drafted him with the 5th overall pick in 2007. His lifetime batting average is .257. When the Orioles signed him, he was supposed to be the next Joe Mauer. Matt Wieters was never Joe Mauer. He did win two Gold Glove awards, in 2011 and then again in 2012.

Watching Orioles games on TV and hearing the way color commentator Jim Palmer talked about Matt Wieters, one might think that Wieters was baseball Jesus. It was obvious Palmer had a severe man-crush on Wieters. Like most things said by Palmer, it was annoying to listen to. When Palmer speaks, you can almost hear the Grecian Formula drip from his head and puddle up on the broadcast booth countertop. Someone should tell Palmer that it’s not natural for 71-year-old men to have a full head of jet black hair. Palmer looks like he’s cosplaying Ronald Reagan.

Goodbye Dish, I’m cutting the cord

We currently get TV through Dish. To save money we have the cheapest plan they offer, the Flex Pack. The base price for the Flex Pack is $34.99. It’s limited in what it offers. For instance, it includes CNN, but not MSNBC or Fox News. It also doesn’t include any local channels. For that, it costs an extra $10. The local channel pack for the Washington DC area includes:

  • CBS
  • NBC
  • ABC
  • Fox
  • Univision
  • Ion Television
  • Telemundo
  • Unimas
  • PBS

Three of these local channels are Spanish language channels, a language I do not speak or understand. I live in Hagerstown, Maryland. I don’t live in Juárez, Mexico.

Missing from the local channel pack are the local sports networks, MASN and Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. Currently, I’m unable to watch the Baltimore Orioles, the Washington Nationals, the Washington Capitals, The DC United, or the Washington Wizards. To add those local channels, I would need to upgrade from the Flex Pack to at least America’s Top 120 Plus just to add the Multi-Sport package. When you have Flex Pack or even America’s Top 120, the ability to add the Multi-Sport package is grayed out.

Here is what it would cost to make the switch:

Goodbye Dish, I'm cutting the cord - Bent Corner

This means that if I wanted to watch the Washington Capitals, my local hockey team, I would need to pay an extra $38 a month.

That’s ridiculous.

It gets worse. It would actually be cheaper to buy a year of NHL.TV.  I could then watch every NHL game in full HD on my TV, computer, iPad, or iPhone. I could watch games live or later at my convince. I could choose the home or away TV coverage. With my military discount, a full year of NHL.TV would cost $90.97. It would pay for itself in less than three months.

The only problem is that Washington Capitals games would be blacked out. The reason? Because the Capitals are my local hockey team, I can only watch them on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. It’s a channel Dish doesn’t consider a local channel. I would only be able to watch Capitals games on NHL.TV 48 hours after they originally aired.

The cable and satellite TV industry is an anti-consumer racket. I’m more than happy to pay for the TV I want to watch. What I resent is being forced to pay for channels I don’t want or need.

Consumers should be able to pick the channels they want without being forced to pay for other channels they don’t want. Instead of including three Spanish language channels in my local TV package, Dish should include regional sports channels. Do they not understand what the word “regional” means?

Because of this regressive way cable and satellite TV providers deliver content to consumers, I’m going to become a cord-cutter.

A cord-cutter is a person who doesn’t have a satellite or cable TV subscription. It shouldn’t be that hard to make the switch. We already watch a lot of our TV shows on Hulu, streamed to our TV through a Roku device. The problem is, we have channels on Roku that we’re only allowed to watch because we pay for Dish. Before accessing some channels on the Roku, you have to log into your Dish account and activate an access code.

There’s ways to get around that. I need to familiarize myself with those ways.

 

Tonight is Game 7 of the World Series

The All-Star Game deciding home-field advantage in the World Series has got to be the most stupid rule in baseball. Considering that baseball is a game full of stupid rules, that’s saying something.

The Chicago Cubs (103-58) and the Clevland Indians (94-67) face off tonight in a World Series Game 7. Even though the Cubs won nine more games than the Indians, they don’t have home field advantage. Because the American League beat the National League in the 2016 All-Star Game, the Indians have home field advantage.

The All-Star Game deciding home-field advantage in the World Series has got to be the most stupid rule in baseball. Considering that baseball is a game full of stupid rules, that’s saying something.

The All-Star Game use to be just a fun exhibition game between players that almost never played against each other. The advent of interleague play ruined all that. Now teams play teams in the other league every day. For example, the American League Baltimore Orioles play the National League Washington Nationals six times a year because both teams are geographic “rivals.” They aren’t rivals. We went to an Orioles game in Washington a few years ago and not only were there about an equal amount of fans from both teams, but a lot of people were also wearing both Orioles and Nationals gear. For instance, an Orioles jersey with a Nationals hat.

Both interleague play and the All-Star Game deciding home-field advantage in the World Series was the doing of one man: former Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig.

Bud Selig
Bud Selig

Selig was an awful commissioner. He was at the helm during the 1994 player’s strike. He was also in charge during the so-called steroid era. The idea that his stupid ideas would remain in effect even after leaving the commissioner’s office seems dumb.

Personally, I don’t mind interleague play, but it does make the Word Series a bit anti-climatic when one team for the National League and one team from the American League face off to decide which team is the world’s best. The Word Series use to be exciting for no other reason then you would get to see teams play each other that you never got to see play against each other.

The Chicago Cubs won 103 games this season. That’s tough to do. Every year, one team wins the World Series.  Usually, no team wins  100 games in a season. The idea that the Cubs could win 103 games and then have to play Game 7 of the World Series in Cleveland in front of Indian fans seems all sorts of wrong. The Cubs should be able to play tonight at Wrigley in front of Cubs fans.

Usually, under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t care who wins this Word Series. I don’t hate either team or even more importantly, I don’t hate the fans of either team. Typically a match-up like this would invoke nothing but neutrality within my heart. Because the Cubs and their fans are getting jobbed with home field advantage, I want the Cubs to win.

No team that wins 103 games in a season should be forced to play Game 7 of the Word Series on the road unless the other team somehow won 104 games. That didn’t happen, so I’m rooting for the Cubs.

Bryce Harper drags foot over Braves logo

Spoiled brat Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals took some much deserved heat Saturday night from Atlanta Braves fans when he intentionally dragged his foot over the giant stylized letter “A” behind home plate. Evidently, this was done in retaliation for Braves fans booing the immature outfielder every time he made his way to the batter’s box.

Harper, of course, lied about it after Saturday’s game. That’s what he does. He acts like a punk and then lies about it after he’s called out on it. It’s the Harper way.

It’s hard for me to put into words just how much I dislike Bryce Harper. I can’t even watch Nationals games anymore. Living here in Maryland, I can watch every Orioles and National game on TV. I used to, pre-Harper, watch quite a few Nats games when the O’s weren’t on. Not anymore.

As of this morning, Harper is batting .249 and has only four home runs. Harper has struck out 65 times. Being the Bryce Haper hater that I am, maybe I should start watching Nationals games again for the schadenfreude.

Manny Machado to start minor league rehab assignment Friday in Frederick

Baltimore Orioles Platinum Glove third baseman Manny Machado begins a rehab assignment this Friday for the Frederick Keys, the Orioles High-A minor league affiliate. Machado had surgery on his left knee during the offseason and had been in Sarasota at the Orioles’ spring training facility recuperating.

Tickets for this weekend in Frederick are still available, for now, at the Frederick Keys official website. As more area Oriole fans in the area learn about the assignment, tickets should go pretty fast. Manny Machado is to the Orioles what Bryce Harper is to the Washington Nationals, except Machado graduated high school, and he isn’t a spoiled jerk-face.

Bryce Harper benched for being Bryce Harper

Washington Nationals All-Star Bryce Harper has shown he’s more than willing to run his cranium full speed into the Dodgers Stadium out-of-town scoreboard, but not so much when it comes to running to first base on a groundout. Harper dogged it in yesterday’s 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals and was benched because of it. Harper was removed from the game in the sixth inning and replaced with Kevin Frandsen.

When asked about the move, manager Matt Williams told reporters after the game that Harper’s “inability to run 90 feet” was the reason for the benching. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo later told reporters that he agreed with the decision.

Have they forgotten who Harper is? Anyone employing the baseball talents of Bryce Harper had better get used to him taking plays off. Anyone who remembers his time here in Hagerstown knows that Harper often lacks dedication. That’s putting it nicely.

If the Nationals wanted a player who always played hard and played with hustle, they should have taken a pass on Harper and instead drafted Manny Machado. The Nats had the first pick in the 2010 MLB Draft and the selected high school dropout Bryce Harper. The Baltimore Orioles had the third pick, and they drafted Manny Machado.

The Nationals should have drafted Machado.