Check out our Minor League Baseball resources Part II!
For those who read Ben’s piece yesterday morning and were waiting for the season to begin likely had the same experiences I did; the Minor League Baseball website and First Pitch app experienced technical difficulties. I wasn’t as much bothered by not being able to watch games or view highlights as I was about the absence of scores
Just goes to show you the IT guys at the Minor League Baseball office had opening day jitters too.
There’s a great site out there called MLBFarm which I’m sure most of you are familiar with. With it, you can bookmark players, check on prospects by league or organization and view spray charts. When I looked at it yesterday I noticed a banner at the top of the page indicating the site has a new look, when I clicked to view it took me to MLB.com’s Prospect Pipeline page, showing a potential partnership of some sorts.
When I worked for the Eastern League back in the late seventies/early eighties we’d stop by the newsstand and pick up three or four papers to go along with our coffee and geographically popular breakfast treats. We’d get to the office, almost always located in the bowels of a minor league stadium and spend the first two hours of the morning catching up on the previous day’s news and box scores. Quite often we would have to call other teams for information especially if our team was on the road.
We have it made today. The internet. Social media. Electronic devices that can send a text without even typing anything. I’m still a novice with all these new toys and probably always will be but I’ve been around long enough to have a few tricks up my sleeve so receiving and distributing information is a pretty simple and smooth process.
That really is the key; building your own network so in the event of technical difficulties or forgetting to charge your phone you’re not left in the dark.
For me though, the minor league site is the best resources, you can easily check multiple scores by league or organization with a click or two. Twitter is also a great resource, there’s always someone at a game somewhere.
My schedule usually follows the same pattern with the exception of the weekends when there are more day games than night games. Being home most of the day doesn’t always equate to more viewing time.
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The first thing I do every day is to check the website for schedules (both major and minor). If there are multiple games starting at the same time, which there usually are, I first look at the team matchups. I know by having had the MiLB.TV subscription for a while which stadiums have the best view. I’ll never watch a game from Cashman Field in Las Vegas, for example, they use one camera for the whole game which appears to be from a satellite somewhere in space.
Once I’ve narrowed the list down I’ll go back right before game time and check out the posted lineups, seeing a guy coming back from an injury or making his debut with a new organization is more important to me than his subjective prospect ranking.
As a former player, coach and scout I watch games differently than most and I don’t need to see the whole game to get a feel so I usually move around from game to game quite frequently. I’m also keenly aware of the flaws with video and poor camera angles, if either prevents me from seeing what I need (not want) I won’t waste time hanging around.
Once we get two or three weeks into the season then I’ll use the player tracker on MLBfarm or milb.com to keep an eye on who’s hot or not, who may have recently been promoted a level and so on.
As with anything else, the key is finding a plan which works for you for your Minor League Baseball needs.