When Scott Braun, the play-by-play man on the Mets-Phillies game, began the exclusive Facebook stream Wednesday, he announced, “We are making baseball history in the broadcast world.”
Initially, it felt like they were just annoying fans, who either didn’t have a Facebook login, didn’t want to give the social media behemoth any information or, when connected, couldn’t figure out how to sweep away the comments and emojis to watch their beloved Mets.
With Wednesday’s game unavailable on SNY or any other television network, fans who wanted to see it had no choice but to log in to Facebook for the first foray on the exclusive 25-game, Wednesday afternoon package on the social network.
In the deal, MLB tore a page out of the NFL playbook. MLB had 25 games of already-sold Wednesday-afternoon inventory and sold them again, receiving another $30 million from Facebook, a source confirmed. When you spread it around to all 30 clubs, that money can help the Wilpons pay Hansel Robles’ $900,000 salary for the season.
Once people figured out the kinks, it didn’t feel that much different than any other streaming most people do these days. Was it history? Well, no, it didn’t feel that big, and most New York baseball fans are probably just happy they are likely done with it for this season.
Several key Flames dealt with injuries during the season, including goalie Mike Smith, defenseman TJ Brodie and forwards Sean Monahan and Matthew Tkachuk. Meanwhile, the free-agency signing of 45-year-old winger Jaromir Jagr was a bust; Jagr played only 22 games before he was put on waivers in late January.
Calgary also fired assistant coaches Dave Cameron and Paul Jerrard on Tuesday.
As was expected, the Calgary Flames fired coach Glen Gulutzan on Tuesday after two seasons. The team was a massive disappointment: a lifeless offensive group, including an atrocious power play, propped up by goalie Mike Smith like he was doing a community theater version of “Weekend At Bernie’s.” So where do they go now? GM Brad Treliving has a relationship with highly regarded Dave Tippett going back to their Coyotes days. He selected Carolina Hurricanes coach Bill Peters, who is under contract but apparently allowed to shop his services, as head coach for the 2016 world championships. AHL coach Ryan Huska will be in the mix; will former NY Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault as well? And what about Albertan farmer (and former Flames coach) Darryl Sutter? The Flames won’t suffer for options.