The end of the World Series and the 2010 season seems much more than a couple of months ago.Â However, weâ€™ve moved past the calendar hump, no longer looking back on the previous campaign but looking forward with hope towards the new season and the endless possibilities that it may bring.
It wonâ€™t be too long now before weâ€™ve got some live baseball to follow again.Â The games cannot come soon enough.
If you love the game and are able to subscribe to one of the MLB.com packages, you know that the end of the season is going to hit you hard.Â Thereâ€™s a brief period of reflection after the World Series, a welcome chance to draw breath, but soon enough the withdrawal symptoms start to kick in.Â Â After a summer spent catching bits of games virtually every day for months, suddenly the players go into hibernation, only emerging occasionally to smile their way through a press conference or two.
So this past Wednesday brought some long-awaited news as MLB officially announced the Spring Training schedules for 2011.Â
No, Spring Training games donâ€™t count for anything.Â The MLB regulars are off to the beach after five or six innings during the games played in the firstÂ couple of weeksÂ and the period can drag on a bit as we all become impatient for the real action to begin (something that might not be such a factor this year with the regular season starting a few days earlier than in previous years).
Yet itâ€™s baseball, wonderful baseball, back with us once again.Â
And it looks like fans who do not subscribe to MLB.TV will be able to catch a few games along the way.
The ESPN Dallas site has published details of the Rangersâ€™ Spring Training games that will be covered by radio and TV.Â Thatâ€™s interesting news for Texas fans, and fans of their opponents in those games, but what catches the eye is the comment at the bottom of the main blog piece.
â€œ* The club is also offering 10 free webcasts on texasrangers.com starting Sunday, Feb. 27 when the Rangers play the Royals in Surpriseâ€.
There are no further details as yet as to whether this is solely a Texas Rangers venture of if other (all?) teams will be providing some free webcasts over Spring Training.Â
In the past, MLB.com has shown a few Spring Training games as a way for fans to try out the MLB.TV service.Â They did so back in 2005 and it was the ability to try out the live service for free (in particular seeing what the picture quality was like on my broadband and computer set-up) that convinced me to sign up for the season, as Iâ€™ve done every year since.
So this should be a great opportunity to try out MLB.TV, with the vast majority of Spring Training games being played during the daytimes in the States, therefore during the evening here in Britain.Â
The prices for the 2010 MLB.com subscriptions were announced on 28 January last year, and itâ€™s likely that details of the 2011 offerings, and the all important prices, will be announced on a similar date this year.