The Good, The Bad and the Inbestream

Woo! Uni is over and the ABL is back. Summer is perfect. Or is it?

So, wait. Is this happening?

So, wait, is this happening?

The ABL is three weeks into their fourth season and things are getting interesting.

On one hand the table is skewed because teams haven’t played the same amount of games, and on the other hand fans are frustrated because they aren’t getting what has been promised of them (see tagline of the above image).

Naturally, I can see things from about four thousand different perspectives.

Positive

  • Baseball is back :: As usual there isn’t a lot better than sitting in the sun taking in a ballgame, Sure the sunburn on my knees suggests otherwise, but why would you want to spend your weekend any other way given how reasonable the price of admission is? The standard of the league is getting better every year, as is the standard of import that the league is bringing in. As a result the results are tougher to predict and we could easily see a similar situation to what was seen on the last day of the season in 201–12
  • The Aces have Chilli Dogs this season :: I tucked into two of these on opening night. Well worth it, but BYO hot sauce if you are looking for some heat. Also, to the person I saw eating one with a fork – You are doing it wrong.
  • There is more media coverage of the league than ever :: News Limited, Fairfax, ABL Website, ABC Grandstand, Independent Media organisations, live radio shows. This must be what heaven looks like
  • Regular Social Media updates :: Teams are on Facebook and Twitter not only throughout games, but throughout the week in an attempt to give the fans a look at everything happening inside the organisation.
  • Cavs getting the job done in Asia :: Semi-Finalists at the Asia Series. Enough said.

Negative

  • Aces lack the Home Run dog :: It’s a real shame I didn’t get a chance to take down one metre of hot dog. Probably not something anyone besides me is missing.
  • The way media coverage is being handled is putting some fans offside :: Hashtags DO NOT WORK WITH PUNCTUATION #C’monAces is in fact #C . Does not mean anything. Social Media 101, and fans took the opportunity to appropriately vent about it on Sunday afternoon.
  • Clubs non-responsive to fan questions :: Many fans have asked questions about streaming situations (more on that below), or roster moves, and for whatever reason those questions are being left unanswered.
  • Cake / Pie of a humble variety for ABL “star” :: Luke Hughes¬† took to twitter over the weekend to display his discontent with Canberra taking players from other clubs for the Asia Series, yet attempted to justify that when Perth did it last season it was fine. Well, like it or lump it Hughesy, the Cavs have had more success in two days at the Asia Series than the Heat had in two years, and regardless of how that success comes it is great for the sport in Australia.

Inbestream

  • A dot point just won’t do for this.

So, where do I start on this point. ABLTV, the great digital hope. Finally fans could watch every game, only that hasn’t really happened. The Aces decision to stream only one of their three games this weekend has fans in a spin, and has me concocting theories as to what lead to this. Given the deal they have with SEN, I wouldn’t be surprised if they are only going to stream games where the audio is provided by the SEN team. Do I think this is acceptable? By no means, especially given the directive which has coming from the league, which stipulates that teams are to stream every game live. Whatever happens I hope there is an answer soon, because if the league get ABLTV right, then they are one step closer to striking it rich in the gold mine they are currently sitting on.

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Reporting for duty

Michael Collins with the Claxton Shield

Michael Collins with the Claxton Shield

Less than a week ago I was pacing my bedroom, anxiously begging for the Canberra Cavalry to make the last out of game two of the ABLCS to clinch the first ever Claxton Shield for the Australian Capital Territory.

Cue a knocked down ball by closer Sean Toler and an underhand toss (looking at you Mr.Foulke [2004 Red Sox]) toss to Aaron Sloan and it was all over.

Now it’s a warm Wednesday night and I’m absorbed by the fact that Spring Training has kicked off in the States.

As a Red Sox fan, I’m devastated by the news John Lackey is healthy, so right now I’m focused on the Australian connection.

The main player in said connection right now is the man of the moment, Michael “Tubby” Collins.

When I spoke with Collins shortly after his appointment last year, he said the one of the most exciting prospects of the job was the Canberra fan base, who he rewarded in spades on Saturday night.

“Playing in front of our fans was about as much fun as I’ve had playing,¬† so now that I’m a manager this is a great opportunity to continue being with these fans. ”

Not only is Collins receiving well deserved accolades from the Australian baseball public after his efforts as a first-year manager, but he is also making waves within the San Diego Padres organisation.

After managing the Dominican Summer League team in the Padres organisation, Collins has in the last fortnight helped ABL Triple Crown winner Adam Buschini ink a deal, while Brodie Downs will head to Peoria, Arizona to link up with the Padres organisation as they head into camp.

While neither Buschini or Downs will get near Petco Park this year (fortunate circumstances aside), the work Collins has done to get them back into, or with a real at joining an affiliated organisation.

One question I’ve heard a lot in the last few days is “what can be done to get this on tv every week?”

Honestly, not a lot more than what is being done now.

Pick a team, get to a game, buy merchandise, grow the addiction and then feed it more.

With pitchers and catchers reporting within 48 hours of the end of the ABL season and the ABL opening little more than a week after the end of the World Series, it truly is a game that never ends.

I live for this.