Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sin Filtro

Yesterday marked my debut on Baseball Prospectus's new blog, BP:Unfiltered. I'll admit, I thought the name was a little silly, in a pack-o-smokes kind of way. Still, it's fun to have the kind of platform BP gives you, without all the process and editorial oversight. Here's the requisite taste, which expands on some of the issues I addressed in yesterday's post:

Getting to enjoy or even follow winter baseball can be a challenge. The official minor league baseball site, for example, will list a minor leaguer’s current winter league stats on his player page, and will list the day’s games on the site’s scoreboard–but there are no links for winter league teams, standings, or boxscores, aside from the Arizona Fall League. Baseball America, which used to be the resource for winter league info in the pre-Internet days, now only has coverage of the Arizona and Hawaiian leagues in its “Winter” section, ignoring the latin american leagues, so far.

Despite the fact that MLB.tv carried last year’s Caribbean World Series, MLBAM isn’t carrying video of any Winter League action, so far (the exceptions being the Arizona Fall League’s championship game, and the MLB/Japan exhibitions last month). If your cable or satellite provider carries ESPN Deportes, you’re in luck–they regularly carry Dominican, Venezuelan and Mexican Winter League games. Sadly, Deportes hasn’t reached the level of ubiquity of the Worldwide Leader’s other offerings, and is not carried by a large number of cable systems, even in areas with big Hispanic populations–like New York freakin’ City.

Frustrated in my efforts to find baseball action on the ‘net or the tube, I started looking forward to my upcoming trip to Puerto Rico. Sadly, it’s harder to get information on the Puerto Rican Winter League than it is to discover the Pentagon’s top-secret war plans. I’m both bilingual and more than a little bit obsessive-compulsive, so I eventually found a website that sells tickets, but you have to wonder if a lot of sports fans looking for an easy baseball fix wouldn’t just throw up their hands when a couple of simple google searches won’t reveal updated team websites or ticket information.

I'm throwing this topic out for suggestions: does anyone know a decent bar in New York where you can catch winter league action? Does anyone have winter league resources or stories they want to share?

3 comments:

DFL said...

Read your comments with interest since I'm heading to Puerto Rico myself pretty soon. Count me as a real-life example of somebody who did a few google searches, found nothing and then gave up on the idea of attending a baseball game while down there.

What's the website you found where you can buy tickets? And when does the league run, is there schedule info somewhere?

DJ said...

You can find schedules for the Puerto Rican Winter League here:

http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/cs/puertorico_sked.jsp

The regular season ends January 5, and the playoffs go through the end of the month. The ticket website I found was actually a bust for Puerto Rican Winter League games (I wound up changing my plans to going to the Caribbean World Series, which is the first week of February). From what I read, PR League games are rarely sold out (the League is really suffering), so there shouldn't be much risk buying at the gate at gametime.

DJ said...

Hate replying to my own reply, but checking Ticket Pop again, they do seem to have tickets to Ponce's games available. Here is the link:

http://www.ticketpop.com/category.asp

Click on "Deportes" which means Sports, and the Lions' schedule should be there (WARNING: it wasn't when I checked late last night.)

Also, this site has lots of good information about the PR Winter League:

http://mysite.verizon.net/charliesballparks/spike/index.htm