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I have been a Dodgers fan as long as I can remember. It is the only real carry-over from my early childhood spent in Los Angeles. Well, that and Del Taco, which made a surprise re-entry in to my life last summer when I moved to Utah.
One of the most annoying things about following the Dodgers is the blackout restrictions imposed by the various teams that make up Major League Baseball. A few years ago I made the greatest investment ever: Extra Innings. For a mere $150 a year, I had access to countless Dodger games. Not too long after I got hooked on the satellite, MLB opened up its website to offer the same games on streaming video.
Story over, right? Happily ever after in a blue wonderland of Rafael Furcal, Nomar and Olmedo Saenz, right? Wrong. Thanks to some real pieces of work in the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies organizations, northern Utah is designated as those teams' territories, which means that I can't get games the Dodgers play against the Diamondbacks or Rockies. Yes, this is a big deal! These teams are in the same division! I'm losing nearly 40 games a year!
Now you tell me how Salt Lake City is fair game for franchises that are a long day's drive away? I don't know about you, but I never get the itch to just hop in a car or take an hour-and-a-half flight to Phoenix or Denver to see a ballgame. Thanks to archaic rules that were developed when rabbit ears were all the rage, MLB has overlooked this idiotic practice for years, until now. Yeah, I know Fox Sports Rocky Mountain has Rockies games, but only some of them. I'm blacked out on many more.
Finally, Commissioner Bud Selig has asked every team to review its market territory and submit reasons why Oregon should be included in the Bay Area's territory, why North Carolina got grabbed by Cincinnati and for the love of Derek Lowe's sweet, sweet sinker, why Las Vegas is claimed by, count 'em, six different teams! This may take a year, but at least MLB is agrees that there is a problem out there and people that are paying good money are getting a raw deal.
It's one thing if you're in Olympia and the Mariners claim your town. It's one thing if you're in Malibu and the Angels claim you. It's entirely different when you have to cross deserts and time zones to get to a team.
Free Salt Lake City!