We purchased the NHL Center Ice package last fall and have seen all but one Penguins' game this year. It's been fun, very educational from a hockey perspective, and helped me to get back in touch with some things I'd always enjoyed but had drifted away from due to the demands of everyday life.
The Pens' package went so well I thought strongly about enlisting in the Major League Baseball equivalent, Extra Innings. While an opportunity to watch all 162 Pirates games may seem like a deal made in masochist's heaven, I wanted to be in on the ground floor with young prospects like Andrew McCutcheon, Pedro Alvarez, Jose Tabata, and, we hope, Brad Lincoln and Tony Sanchez so I wouldn't look like a bandwagon-jumping frontrunner when they got good. (For a definition of "bandwagon-jumping frontrunner," look in the dictionary under "Washington Capitals Fan.")
These premium services give you a few free weeks to see how you like the service. Early season baseball watching is limited by conflicts with the Stanley Cup playoffs, and I wasn't sure if I wanted to invest in something that wasn't really worth the effort if I didn't plan to watch well over 100 games a year. Still, the hockey plan was great for those evenings when mental vegetation is in order, as there's almost always a game on somewhere; with baseball, there really would be a game on all the time. The Pirates swept Cincinnati last weekend, coming from behind twice. They were 7-5, one game out of first, and I was thinking of how I might juggle my schedule to catch four or five games a week.
Then Milwaukee came to town.
Three days later the Pirates had been swept themselves, outscored over the three game series by a total of 36-1; they lost 20-0—which is an embarrassing football score—on Thursday afternoon. My first thought was, "There's no way I'm going to sit through 140 games of this shit." So the deal's off.
They'll have a promotion in September, a reduced price for the rest of the season. By that time Alvarez and Lincoln should be on the big team, and everyone will be positioning themselves for jobs next year. I'll look at a handful of games before hockey comes back. If they look good, I'll go through the same considerations next year.
But they'd better knock off this 20-0 shit.