Bases Loaded: MLB.tv Across the Pond

Bases loaded, bottom of the ninth, two outs and the count is 3 and 2. It’s all down to this, if the ball is despatched into crowd, via the inky black night sky. The game is won. Miss, and the glory is theirs.

MLB on Apple TV almost like being there... well maybe
MLB on Apple TV almost like being there… well maybe

My first brush with baseball came with the launch of Channel 5 in the mid 90’s. Late night, after the low rent porn movies, I would sit and watch. I chose a team, based on name only; The Royals of Kansas City. The Royals also being the name of Reading FC.

Both sets of Royals during this period were less than good.. Also I can’t recall Channel 5 showing a single one of the KC Royals games. Now however, thanks to the glory of my Apple TV I can enjoy, every single strike out or homer of the MLB season regardless of whether I can stay up to see the games or not. My allegiances have changed somewhat. The draw of the Yankees and the influence of a friend who is far too wonderful for her own good, means that I now follow the boys from the Bronx.

MLB.tv is included on all Apple TV’s second gen onwards (and 39 other devices). It is a subscription service in the UK it costs £89 per year. I didn’t sign up for the whole year, because I wasn’t sure I’d get into it or if most of the games would be at stupid o clock so I signed up via MLB.com which lets you use Paypal to pay monthly. From there you sign into your account via Apple TV and you are good to go.

The MLB.tv subscription includes access to the great MLB At Bat App for mobile devices, which allows you to follow more action than you’ll ever have time for, wherever you are. You can enquire about that hitter whilst on the shitter if you so desire. You have stats, video and audio feeds.

Baseball itself for the uneducated English gent; Forget comparisons to Rounders, yes this is where the game originates but to compare it now is like comparing an iPad to a Newton. Think Cricket, think T20. If you stripped some of the English away from that and replaced it with some American English terms you’ll be halfway there. (My favourite term from last nights game was “Nowhere man’s land.” So no mans land then!) The game itself is not typical of American sport, there are long periods of action, at a low level (like cricket) but then it can change in a split second and be over quicker than an excited virgin. This is an American showcase but without the usual need to score a point every other second.

Yankee2WM
Thanks for the images.. you know who you are 😉

The Premier League take note. This is how sport should be delivered, all the games (for UK viewers, blackouts are in effect in North America) whenever you want. No adverts (yes really!) I want to be able to watch my team play, be it at the ground or via Apple TV in my pants. If you like Baseball or even have a passing interest. Well worth a look.

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Bases Loaded: MLB.tv Across the Pond

National Poetry Day: Poem: Twinkle Twinkle

By Acerview54 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Twinkle Twinkle little star,
What has become of you?
Has the fame gone to your head,
Or merely changed your view?

The song brought you fame and fortune,
Rivalled only by the Sun,
If you could only kick the Charlie,
You’d be number one.

So you are up above the world, so high,
Produced nothing new in years,
Tell your friends, you are burning out,
All your selfish fears

Like a diamond in the sky,
Or do you go by Crystal?
Why did you have the sex change op?
Simply for double D Bristols?

How I wonder where you are?
Where now can you go?
Your phone nearly stopped ringing,
Cept for that Celebrity Jungle Show,

Twinkle Twinkle,
Media whore,
No one loves you,
Like before.
You’ll be dead and you’ll be gone,
Then they’ll wheel the next one trick pony on.

 

National Poetry Day in the UK. Theme for this year Stars.

National Poetry Day: Poem: Twinkle Twinkle

The New Job

Applying for a job, you know what it’s like. Bigging up your achievements, the project that you worked on for five minutes, whilst a colleague was making the tea, suddenly becomes a four year odyssey where you were master and ruler of a small country and 50 pure virgins were at your beck and call. Where your leadership was so good they considered it a privilege to surrender their womanhoods to you.

Maybe that’s why I’ve failed in my the last three attempts at getting a new job.

It is very rare however that this bigging up of your achievements is done by someone else on your behalf. With elements of the media massaging your ego, touting you as some kind of cross between Brian Clough, The Fonz and Jesus. You should be a shoe in for any job, you are the chosen one, the one to lead us into the promised land. Get that contract, wow the crowd, spank the monkey, win that trophy.

Some employers may fall for it, if you walk the walk, and talk the talk enough. However if someone else turns up with actual bonafide achievements they might just look at the other guy. Your backers will wail, before any work has been done. Their web of embellishments lies on the floor in tatters. How dare the other guy with his actual achievements, higher success ratio and experience in the field get the top job. He has no chance of bringing home the bacon… (Clearly) Rumours of money will be abound, they went for the other guy cos he is an inferior to you but he undercut you. Typical employer cutting costs and corners to go against public (media generated) opinion.

Maybe your backers will wheel out “experts” in the field to belittle the employer, it matters not that the experts in question, failed miserably whilst working at the level at which they like to appear so knowledgeable. “Not the first time they have gone against public opinion.”* Is this you he is talking about or himself and his failed career. It’s not working. The employers have their man, that guy.

That guy is Roy Hodgson, he has international football experience following spells at Finland, Switzerland and the UAE. He has won 5 league titles. Media darling Harry Redknapp has won one FA Cup. He has no international experience, he has a talent as a wheeler dealer, buying and selling players, making the most of the clubs money. A talent which is wasted at international level.

Will Hodgson's England attack or "Park the Bus"
Thanks to the the morons at fleet street, Roy Hodgson will have to win Euro 2012 to be ensured of a job at the end of it. He will be hounded out. Instead of given the chance his non-embellished CV should give him.

*Matt Le Tissier, speaking on TalkSport. About the FA going against public opinion, he failed for England as player, playing at Southampton where they built a team around him. He expected, in my opinion, England and the FA to do the same. He still remains bitter.

The New Job

Marketing Factor

Genius of Simon Cowell. Mogul behind and in front of the X-Factor, begins with the naming of the show.

The X factor, a factor which no-one can quantify. It’s just a little something extra (or X-tra, as Syco Productions would put it) So thousands of “hopefuls” every year queue for hours and hours to enter a competition which in theory has no criteria, as long as you have the X-factor you should go far. It’s predecessor in the UK “Pop Idol” has clearer aims from the outset, to create a pop idol. This premise will killed stone dead when Michelle McManus won, because she could sing, but a Pop Idol she was not.

,I hate to draw comparisons between Michelle McManus and Mama Cass, because Mama Cass had a much better voice and recording success but… both were larger ladies. Both could hold a tune. Both would not make it in todays pop chart because as Music Market men would say they have a “image problem” which is marketingspeak for “they are fat and ugly”

So with the fat and ugly tarnish on the “Idol” franchise in the UK, X factor was born. If the purpose of the competition is to find someone with the X-factor, this competition would be difficult if not impossible to judge. After all someone who can fart the national anthem has a certain X-factor but not one you could market and sell on iTunes. This problem is resolved because apparently you only can have the X-factor if you are singer, which sounds a lot more like the criteria for “Idol” hmmm.

It returned to Saturday nights last week with another refresh. New judges Gary Barlow, Kelly Rowland and Tulisa from N-Dubz (I’m assuming “from N-Dubz” is her last name) joined Irelands favourite son Lois Walsh. Walsh also appeared recently on BBC’s Top Gear program. Jeremy Clarkson quizzed him on his musical taste. Walsh is apparently a huge Led Zeppelin fan. Which begs the question why does he inflict the world with the likes of Westlife? Jeremy Clarkson to his credit asked this. Walsh replied, “Because the kids buy it” There is a market for making money in other words.

Why do the kids buy it? Well, they like the sound.. that’s an unfortunate given. But if you thought you were trapped in a room with only wallpaper to eat for the next 20 years, you might end up liking the taste of the wallpaper. I’ve written before about the saturation of “pop music” on UK radio in Sophie Rocks, so I don’t wanna bang on about that here.

Pop music is marketed to kids everywhere in the media. Disney push their artists Selena Gomez, Jonas Brothers et al in between programmes on The Disney Channel, Nick do similar things with Big Time Rush. Breeding familiarity, this works in a similar way to the success of the X-Factor artists. X-factor runs from August until December and whoever wins is guaranteed a hit single due to the mass exposure of Saturday night prime time TV. This success has for the most part tailed off when they are not on TV.

When these x-factor style programmes started I thought it was good. Wow the music industry is finally trying to find un-tapped talent, give exposure to someone who could take the world by storm. However what it actually is, is that the music industry know what they want long before the competition starts, they just want a puppet who they can mould to fit the market. Talent has nothing to do with it. The market is king.

If you are in marketing. Kill yourself.

Marketing Factor