After last night’s game the Arizona Diamondbacks began packing up for their first road trip of the 2008 season. Tomorrow is Opening Day for the snakes as they visit Cincinnati Ohio to face the Reds in a three game series. For months I have tried to find a reason to go to Cincinnati so that I could just happen to attend a baseball game too. But oddly enough I could find absolutely nothing that I could justify going to that city for. That’s not necessarily a slam on Cincinnati Ohio, I am sure it is a very nice place. It’s just that other than baseball I can’t find anything to do in that town. And since Trina seems to believe that 81 regular season games and 2 Spring Training games at Chase Field is quite enough baseball that means I’ll be sitting out this road trip. That means I am going to need to find another way to follow the Diamondbacks at least for the first six games of the season.
Locally the Arizona Diamondbacks can once again be heard on 620 KTAR AM radio. This station has been the home of the Diamondbacks since 1998 when they arrived in the valley. Play-by-play will be handled by Greg Schulte while color analysis will be by Tom Candiotti. I love Schulte, I think that he calls a great game. He is a throwback to a yesterday era when radio was the only way to hear a baseball game when you couldn’t make it to the ballpark.
In years past; the Arizona Diamondbacks played the majority of their games on 3TV which is locally channel 3. Beginning this year the Diamondbacks will be exclusively broadcast on Fox Sports Arizona. FSN is scheduled to offer 150 televised games this season. Of those 150, 86 games can be seen in high definition. According to their press release,
Every single home game that is scheduled to be televised by FSN Arizona will be done so in High Definition (72 total), as well as 14 road games, including eight against National League West rivals Colorado, Los Angeles and San Francisco. FSN Arizona also took the steps to ensure that the most important games are in High Definition, highlighted by the fact that 11 of the D-backs final 14 televised games of the regular season can be seen in HD.
But that is not the only broadcasting avenue available that covers the Diamondbacks. This year again XM Radio will be the home to every Diamondbacks game played. As part of the MLB Home Plate offering Major League Baseball games will be broadcast on channels 176-189. I’m a big fan of XM Radio especially since they use the Diamondbacks radio broadcasts featuring Greg Schulte for much of the time. It used to be when I traveled I would miss a few games or a few innings as coverage came and went on land-based radio stations. But with XM I never have to miss the Diamondbacks even when they are clear across the country. At least for the first week of the season the Diamondbacks will be featured on channel 183 or 185.
XM will continue its complete coverage of Major League Baseball by nationally broadcasting every game in the 2008 MLB regular season and playoffs where fans can stay connected to their favorite teams through their local play-by-play broadcast.
In addition to play-by-play broadcast, XM’s MLB line up includes extensive programming with XM Channel 175, “MLB Home Plate,” offering baseball junkies in-depth analysis, baseball talk and fantasy tips from respected baseball personalities such as Buck Martinez, Charley Steiner and Kevin Kennedy – 24 hours a day.
Finally when none of these other avenues will work, there is always MLB.com. Their multimedia package allows you to purchase web broadcasts (either video or audio) for each Diamondbacks game. The quality is slightly improved but it is still not as good as the other options. I also have an issue with being charged for these games that would otherwise be on television or on the radio for free. And before anyone argues that FSN and XM are both subscription models I would counter that at least with those media choices I have a lot of different channels from which to choose from for my money. With MLB.com I am paying for a substandard broadcast of just one team and I don’t think it is accurately priced for the level of quality I am receiving.
But I think you can see that your choices are much greater for following the Diamondbacks in 2008 than they have been in the past. And while these are all great options, nothing beats being at the ballpark in person taking in a game.