Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Baseball is back

Two of the little pleasures of my life have returned: the major league baseball season, and the ESPN Baseball Today podcast.

The A's have lost their first two games of the season to the Mariners, who have now won has many games against the A's as they did all last season! (Oakland won 17 of 19 against Seattle last year.) Hopefully Rich Harden can prevent a sweep tomorrow. (And tomorrow's game is on KICU, so I'll be able to watch it on TiVo after the kids are asleep.)

I subscribed to the ESPN Baseball Today podcast all last year, and I don't think I missed an episode. It's just the right length: 15-20 minutes (every weekday); long enough to cover all the previous games and point out the interesting match-ups of the next day. The host Alan Schwarz and his rotation of co-hosts don't waste much time focusing on payrolls or the politics of the league--instead they focus on the games themselves--which I like. I wish I could point you to an easy way to subscribe, but for some reason there's no iTunes link on the only web page I could find: http://espnradio.espn.go.com/espnradio/podcast/index. But you should find it if you search for "ESPN Baseball" in the iTunes Store.

I only wish I could download podcasts and videos of games. Last year I subscribed to mlb.com's Gameday Audio, but I could rarely get it to work on Mac OS X and it was even flaky on Windows. I got excited when I read "MLB highlights coming to iTunes Store", so I've been watching for the "MLB.com Daily Rewind" and "Games of the Week". (I downloaded the 2007 Season Preview from iTunes, and it was worth watching.) "MLB.com Network Just Added" is prominently featured in the iTunes Store today, but when I click on it they only show the preview and "Baseball's Best". I'll keep watching.

Update 2007-04-05 09:30 PDT: I just checked http://espnradio.espn.go.com/espnradio/podcast/index and Baseball Today is right at the top of the page (describing yesterday's episode), with an iTunes link. But I'm getting an error (8006--whatever that means) when trying to update the podcast in iTunes. Perhaps that means that their podcast feed is down right now while today's podcast is being posted. (I saw the same error yesterday, and it went away later and then I could download yesterday's episode.)

MLB.com "Daily Rewind" is available on iTunes. I bought a 30-day "multipass" for $8, and downloaded the latest (April 3rd) episode. I'll let you know what I think.

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